Jesus Prayed for His Disciples
Book of John Chapter 17:1-26
The Apostle Paul was writing to the Corinthian Church and he gave us this piece of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
It is a fact that we cannot know everything of the mind of the Lord but today in Chapter 17 of the Book of the Apostle John, we get to take a look into the deep thoughts of our Savior.
*****Joh 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
At this time these 11 disciples of Christ Jesus are with Him in transit to the Garden of Gethsemane. It would only be a few hours before Jesus would be taken into custody and this same day He would be murdered by Crucifixion, the Capitol death of the Roman Government.
Jesus clearly understood all these things, yet His thoughts were still upon the souls His Father had given to Him!
Jesus was praying directly unto God the Father, but He was within hearing range of His disciples.
Jesus knew that His time had come.
The time of the birth of Jesus had been set by His Father:
Gal 4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Now the time of His death was set by His Father, and Jesus had known these things all along.
Most of us when we pray, we bow in humility, but Jesus lifted up His eyes. We must always remember when we approach the Throne of God, we must remember who is sitting upon that throne.
It is the Almighty Living God!
Psa 89:7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
Psa 89:8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
We must have a reverend fear of God but not a fear of “bondage” but the fear of “adoption”. Romans 8:15
We must be clear in our minds that true prayer must be based upon “faith in” the promises of God.
We live and die by the promises of God.
Our hope lies in the promises of God and even God the Son respected the promises that God the Father had given to Him. Again our example!
We know that Jesus, the Messiah is the same one who walked with Adam and was Captain of the host that help Joshua, but until Jesus came as the Messiah, no one really knew Him.
It was nearly time for Jesus to return to Heaven as High Priest of the Church.
It is our High Priest that represents all believers to God the Father.
Jesus Christ is forever our Intercessor.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Heb 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
It is Jesus Christ who now holds the power over all flesh.
Since Jesus did come, we now know more about the Triune God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
*****Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
How is eternal life obtained? By knowing the only true God and that by Jesus Christ!
Jesus had done His part. He had laid down the foundation of the Church. Jesus had made us all aware of God the Father. When Jesus got back to Heaven, He would dispatch the Holy Spirit to keep the Church moving in the right direction.
It would soon be time for God to do His part. God would have to glorify God the Son by raising Him from that death He had sent Him to do!
We will notice as we go through this prayer that Jesus uses the term Father 6 times. Not “My Father”, not “Our Father” but “Father”.
Everything Jesus did upon this earth was the most important thing that could have happened for us but the one thing that was the most important was the death of our Savior. Let that sink in for a moment!
Jesus was truly the Messiah, the immortal God but He was also man and His man side need to be encouraged and strengthened and He had to realize that only in His death would there be victory.
The whole purpose of God coming to this earth was to provide to mankind the only means of eternal life.
Jesus Christ was glorified by God giving Him the power and authority over all flesh.
Joh 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Joh 5:25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
True life can come from only one direction, it is the life of God instilled into each believer.
It is in God’s energy.
It is in God’s life force.
It is in God’s being.
It is in God’s essence.
It is in God’s principle.
It is in God’s power over all life!
It is impossible to live in eternal life upon this place called earth.
Eternal life comes by perfection and perfection comes only by the Lord Jesus Christ!
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
Jesus Christ had glorified His Father by completing the work God the Father had given Him to do!
It is the same for each of us. We will have glorified God when we have finished the work the Lord has given us to do!
Glorified also means, we honor God, we exalt God, we give God the glory for the things we accomplish in His name.
1Pe_4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
*****Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Joh 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Notice Jesus did not say, “Our Father” that would have put Him on the same level as we are.
Jesus did not say “My Father” because this could have led to a belief of separation, not One God but three.
Jesus simply says “Father” as Jesus had confirmed the Holy Trinity.
What do we already know?
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Php 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
We know that Jesus had emptied Himself of His glory to take on flesh to do the work that God the Father had given Him to do.
Now Jesus is saying to restore that Glory to Him that He had had before the first day of creation.
God the Son was sent to restore the eternal life that Adam once had before sin entered into his life and Jesus would complete that work when He was nailed to that cross until He gave His life for us!
God the Son is distinct from God the Father, yet they are still One God, including God the Holy Spirit.
In His short time on this earth Jesus had shown the world the character and the nature of God.
Jesus also showed the world He was not about to beg people to believe, but only He had the truth and the world is full of lies.
Jesus taught us not to waste our time on those who were not receptive to His truth!
Mar 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.
It is God that calls those who are to be used.
It is the call of God that enables us to believe!
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
But not everyone called of God will believe.
Mat_22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
We should understand this calling as the work of the Holy Spirit!
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Joh 6:46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.
Joh 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Then the truth comes by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
*****Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Joh 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
We may sometimes question the faith of these 11 men but in this text, Jesus says they received His words by “Faith”. Surely like us they did not understand many things but if Jesus says it then, it has to be the truth.
These 11 men had come out of the world to accept the Lord Jesus Christ.
These 11 men had truly become disciples, even though they were not perfect.
Let’s consider that even when we were out in the world, we belonged to God because He is our Creator.
We are called and then chosen if we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and are therefore given to Jesus by our Creator.
One day in the near future, the Lord Jesus will present us back to our Creator our Father, as been made perfect and we can then spend eternity with our Heavenly Father.
Heb 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
The key to these things taking place is the fact that we have place our “faith” in the promises of God’s Dear Son!
At this point Jesus prays for these 11 men.
Jesus did not pray for the world at this minute because the world needed these men to be the chosen Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We already know that God had a great love for the world. (Hence John 3:16).
Jesus prayed for these 11 men because he was responsible for their welfare.
It is these 11 men plus the Apostle Paul who would turn this world upside down to form the Church!
*****Joh 17:10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
Joh 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Again Jesus places Himself on the same level as our Heavenly Father. Every character trait that is in our Heavenly Father is also in God the Son and the same can be said of the Holy Spirit.
Another important fact we see here is that God the Father and God the Son have the same concern over all believers beginning with these men.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.
We must understand that the mission of the Church, preaching the “Gospel” was given to these 11 men.
These were the first Ambassadors of Christ on this world!
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
If we have not seen by now, we live in a very divisive world. It was very important that these 11 men to not get caught up in this divisiveness.
They were to be the start of the Church and they dearly needed one another!
The Lord Jesus Christ had provided the foundation of the Church.
When Jesus returned to Heaven the responsibility of the Church would be handed over to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus prayed to His Heavenly Father that the believers would be as close to God, as God and His Son!
The Church is to be “One” in the same nature as God by being “Born Again” in the family of God.
The Church is to become a partaker of the “Divine Nature” of God.
The Church is to become the family of God.
The Church is to become the rebuilt Temple of God that cannot be destroyed.
The Church is to become the preferred race of people.
Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
The Church is to have a single purpose, to spread the “Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ”.
The Church is to have the “Joy of the Lord” in following in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ!
*****Joh 17:13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Joh 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
That “Joy” comes because Jesus was going home to be with His Father and we are to have this same “Joy” as we will one day be going home to be with the Father!
Many believe that once saved God will deliver us through the trials of this world but that is not true.
The promise of God says He will deliver us through our trials and tribulations.
It means we will live a victorious life! We might ask, why not?
God will always answer the prayers of His Son!
God has given all believers to Jesus Christ.
No doubt the closer the relationship we have with the Lord and our Father in Heaven, the better off we are!
The truth is God will not allow anything to come between us and His Son.
Joh 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
Joh 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
God does not forget the promises He makes!
Why is the Christian hated? We are those aliens that the world has been spending so much money trying find.
We are those peculiar people in a world of people who reject the truth.
Why does the Lord not take us out of this world when we are saved?
The Lord specifically asked Him not to, we have a work that needs to be accomplished.
*****Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
You see Satan, the evil one, can only tempt the Christian, God will certainly keep us from his evil clutches.
These 11 men needed a protection that could come from no other source, just as we do today.
Just because of the message that the disciples of the Lord would bring, they would be hated, and this has not changed today.
1) God has given all His disciples the Word of God. Satan’s disciples do not want to hear what God has to say.
2) God is Holy, the followers of Satan are immoral and depraved.
3) God the Son demands total allegiance and a commitment to God the Father, through God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus came out of Heaven to lay claim to all those that God will call and who God has chosen if they would have “faith”.
All those who would be “Born Again” and would seek to be in the nature of God and not the sin nature of Adam.
The disciples were needed to begin the Church, the body of Christ, the Church, the home of God’s messengers.
To sanctify is to be set apart for God’s use!
Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Jesus Christ did go to the Cross to pay our sin debt but that was only part of it.
Jesus knew that this must take place, so mankind could recover the purity and truth that God intended when Adam and Eve were made in innocence.
To be sanctified then could only take place by knowing the complete truth of God. The Written Word of God that we have today!
Psa 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Psa 19:8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Psa 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psa 19:10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Jesus then says all disciples of Jesus Christ are to be missionaries and ambassadors for Christ.
*****Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
It is a great privilege to be a part of God’ plan for salvation for all those who will believe!
All disciples have the same ministry of Jesus the ministry of reconciliation.
2Co_5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
2Co_5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Heb_2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
How did Jesus say He sanctified Himself?
Psa 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,
Psa 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.
Psa 40:9 I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.
Psa 40:10 I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.
Now then Jesus brings the Church into the picture.
*****Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Saving “Faith” can come only by the Word of God.
From the Word of God we learn of the “pardon”.
We learn of “justification”.
We learn of “adoption”.
We learn of “sanctification”.
All these through the Lord Jesus Christ!
Joh 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
Notice it is very clear, the benefits of Jesus Christ come only to those who believe in the work He has done for our salvation!
Jesus has prayed for each and every one who has “Faith” in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Notice we must not only believe upon the words written about Him, but we must believe on Him, the Living Son of God!
Here we also see the mistake of the modern Church. There is no new message. God has not changed anything to suit this modern world. To be a “Born Again” child of God we must believe the message of these 11 men plus the Apostle Paul and this message will never change because their message was the message that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to them!
We can never be “ONE” with Christ if we do not accept His Message!
*****Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
A divided message is not a true message!
As believers we must be unified around the Word of God.
Just as a divided house cannot stand and a divided kingdom cannot stand then a divided Church cannot stand, and this is what we see today.
The church is more divided than it has ever been. A division that goes far beyond foolish denominations.
We must understand that it is not what we believe, it is what God has said!
The Word of God has been so twisted up deliberately by so many, that today many do not know the truth of the Word of God.
We can only give God the glory when we teach His truth!
God gave Jesus His message and sent Him to this earth with that message.
Jesus gave that same message to the Apostles.
The Apostle gave that same message to this world.
It’s time we listened to what God has to say without voicing our own opinion!
Col 1:25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
Col 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
We can never have the glory of God if we reject the glory of His Word!
*****Joh 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
Joh 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
We find this Scripture in the Book of Hebrews:
Heb 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit all share the same throne in Heaven because they are “One God”.
With this thought in mind, it is the last will of a dyeing man, Jesus in the Flesh, and Jesus the Son of God, that all His disciples be with Him in Heaven.
Now everyone who goes home to be with the Lord, including those 12 Apostles are already with the Lord in Heaven and we will join them all at our death or at the “Rapture” of the Church which is the tool that will make the Jews jealous enough to realize that they have been wrong all these years.
1Jn_3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
Jesus now prays to His righteous Father who always does things the right way and Jesus says it is only right that the family comes back home.
It is just as obvious today as in these last days of Jesus on this earth, that the world still does not know the One True God and it does not look like the world cares.
We know that we have a loving Father in Heaven who not only loved this world enough to have a plan of salvation that cannot fail, but in the end, will accept every believer into His family in a totally new home.
The world says we are crazy, but it is actually in reverse. It is the world that is foolish.
The world we live in now will one day reach a point when all mankind are deliberately evil and the Lord will return to do as he did at the time off Noah, yet this time by fire but this will never take place until he has brought His children home.
It is all our job to declare to this world the name of God which is “LOVE” if we just look at His actions toward us!
It is impossible to love a God that we cannot know!
It is Jesus Christ who expresses the Love of God and shares that love with us!
There is no god like unto Jehovah, the “I AM” of the Bible.