“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 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 17:25-26

John 17 is an amazing chapter that gives incredible insight into the relationship that Jesus, the eternal Son of God, enjoyed with His Father. On the night in which He was betrayed, the night before His crucifixion, He spent several hours in the Garden of Gethsemane in earnest prayer to His Father. He asked God that, if possible, if there was some other way, He would remove the cup of suffering He was about to drink (Matthew 26:36-42). But the heavens were silent because there was no other way that salvation could be provided for this lost, sinful world.

Jesus prays first for Himself, asking that He would be glorified through His death on the cross. And certainly that prayer has been answered as millions bow before Jesus as the Son of God and worship Him as their Lord and God (John 20:28). He also asked that God would restore to Him the outward manifestation of the glory He shared with the Father before the world was, a glory that was veiled during His earthly life.

Then He prays for His disciples, describing them as a gift from God (John 17:6). During His time on earth, Jesus protected them so that none were lost except Judas, that the Scriptures might be fulfilled (v. 12). Now He entrusts them to God, praying, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (v. 11).

He also prays for those who will believe through their witness (v. 20), since He wants the whole world to know that He truly was sent by the Father to accomplish salvation (v. 21) and to demonstrate that God loves them as He loved His Son (v. 23).

Then He prays that all believers might “behold My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (v. 24). Jesus’s final request is that the love with which the Father loved His Son might be in us (v. 26). Our Trinitarian God wants us to experience the love and unity they have eternally enjoyed and Jesus knows that as He goes to the cross His suffering will make it possible for those who believe in Him through the witness of His disciples, to enter into this living, loving relationship.


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