John 17 Bible Study
What did Jesus do with His eyes His when He prayed?
"Lifted up His eyes to heaven." (John 17:1)
Does the Bible mention Jesus or anyone else closing eyes in prayer?
So why do Christians close them and clasp hands for prayer?
To block out distractions, but also by tradition.
Should it be continued?
It can be, but isn't required.
Why is the glorification in John 17:1 circular?
God the Father and God the Son are one.
Who has authority over all human beings?
Jesus: "You have given Him authority over all flesh." (John 17:2)
Who gets saved?
“As many as” (John 17:2) the Father “has given" (John 17:2) to Jesus.
What is "eternal life" (John 17:3)?
To "know... the only true God." (John 17:3) Jesus isn't praying for people to know "about" God, but to know God in an intimate relationship that starts on earth when they accept Jesus' gift of salvation and continues for eternity.
What does Jesus' statement about "the only true God" imply?
All other gods are false.
What kind of "glory" is Jesus praying about in John 17:5?
What He has always had ruling the universe with the Father in heaven: "glory which I had with You before the world was."
Why does Jesus say He “had” that glory?
Coming in the flesh entailed Jesus to set aside that glory, which He is about to retake upon ascension to heaven.
Who is the “lost... son of perdition” in John 17:12?
Is Jesus praying for everyone in the world?
No: "I do not pray for the world." (John 17:9)
Who is Jesus praying for?
In the previous passage, He prayed primarily for Himself and the Father. In this passage, He is praying for those who believed in Him at the time. And given the distinction He makes in John 17:7 and since anthropos, the Greek word translated "men" in John 17:6 doesn't mean male humans but "human beings as distinct from animals", His prayer is for all who believed in Him, not just the 11 disciples.
Did Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross pay for the sins of
all human beings?
If so, non-believers would go to heaven as well, which isn’t true: "Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:40-42) Jesus' sacrifice wiped out all sins - past, present and future - of the believers only.
What does Jesus say the disciples believed about Him?
"They... have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me." (John 17:8)
Does He say that they believe He is the Messiah who would
die for their sins and be resurrected?
No, they will understand that only after His resurrection. At this point, they understand Him to be someone who doesn’t fit their notion of a militaristic Messiah, but a Messiah from God nonetheless.
Does Jesus want Christians to isolate themselves from the non-Christian world?
No: "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world." (John 17:15) He wants Christians to remain in the world to spread His truth and love, and to engage in the spiritual fight against the "evil one" (John 17:15), from whom the Father will provide His protection. What He wants is not for Christians to be taken out of the world, but for the worldliness to be taken out Christians.
What is the world's expected reaction to Christians?
Hatred: "the world has hated them because they are not of the world." (John 17:14)
Why does Jesus say that He sanctifies Himself in John 17:19?
Hagiazo, the Greek word translated, “sanctify” usually means "to make holy", but it also means "to set apart to the service of and to loyalty to deity.” By praying, "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself" (John 17:19), Jesus wasn't saying that He, who is already sinless and holy, needs to be made holy, but that He sets Himself apart for service to the Father - i.e., death on the cross.
To whom does Jesus extend His prayer in John 17:20-26?
All future Christians: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word."
What phrases in this passage describe Jesus’ relationship with the Father?
"You, Father, are in Me, and I in You… You sent me." (John 17:21) "the glory which You gave Me… We are one." (John 17:22) "You in Me… You have sent Me… You have loved Me." (John 17:23) "My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:24) "I have known You… You sent Me." (John 17:25) "the love with which You loved Me." (John 17:26)
How close is Jesus' relationship with the Father?
It can't be closer; they "are one." (John 17:22)
What phrases describe Jesus’ desired relationship with Christians?
"they also may be one in Us" (John 17:21) "the glory which You gave Me I have given them" (John 17:22) "I in them… You… have loved them" (John 17:23) "I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory" (John 17:24) "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (John 17:26)
So, how close is Jesus’ desired relationship with Christians?
It can't be any closer.
How close are most "Christians'" desired relationship with Jesus?
Most self-declared Christians confine Him to a part or a corner of their lives, weeks or days.
What does Jesus pray for among Christians?
Unity: “that they all may be one” (John 17:21) “they may be one” (John 17:22) “that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:23)
What is the enabler of the unity?
Glory: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.” (John 17:22)
How can “glory” unite Christians?
Doxa, the Greek word translated "glory", actually means “opinion”, “notion” or “what one thinks”. This is the root that gives us the word “doctrine.” So Jesus is saying that He has given the Father's thoughts and opinions to His disciples.
What did the disciples eventually do with them?
Wrote them down into what is today called the Bible.
Why are there so many different factions within Christianity?
There are at least three reasons. For one, some of them are not Christian. While they might call themselves "Christian", they are cults and sects whose beliefs and practices have very little to do with the Bible. For another, some of those that are Christian have veered away from the Bible and each other by failing to be grounded in the Word of God, instead focusing on their leaders, pet doctrines and traditions. Thirdly, while God's resources are infinite, Satan's are limited and therefore concentrated where they can cause the greatest damage among Christians. Division among Christians is sad but still preferable to unity under falsehood.
How can we tell if a group is truly Christian, or how far a Christian group has gone astray?
Compare their beliefs and practices to the Bible, which of course requires studying the Bible for yourself.