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John 17 - The Long Prayer

As you begin to pray about the new year, it's good to know what Jesus prayed for you.

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John 17 Summary

Remember that John's gospel is different than the other three gospels. We call Matthew, Mark, and Luke the synoptic gospels because they provide a synopsis - a snapshot - of some of the major events in Jesus' life. The other gospels tells us that Jesus spent the night before His trial praying while the disciples kept falling asleep, but don't mention what Jesus prayed about. John sets the surrounding details aside, and focuses on deeper insights, like exactly what Jesus prayed.

Jesus' prayer doesn't follow a rigid, linear pattern, but that's not surprising since it's expressed in the deepest moment of anguish and passion in human history as Jesus stood only hours away from being nailed to the cross. Jesus was crying out to His Father, not writing a term paper.

Yet there are some recurring themes:

  • The unity between God the Father and God the Son, which Jesus longs to share with those He came to save;

  • The reciprocal giving: God gave His chosen people to Christ along with the words of truth (v8). Christ in turn gave those words to us, and also gave us the name which His Father had given Him (v12). In this prayer, Jesus in a sense gives us back to Father having sanctified us (made us holy) and glorified us with the glory the Father had given Him.

  • The desire that God would keep us free from the entrapments of the world - to which we do not belong - and that we might be brought into deeper and deeper unity and knowledge of God

Dig Deeper

We often wonder and speculate what eternal life will be like. We tend to picture it in terms of our current life, just better. We'll do our work, but never have problems. We'll play our sports without ever missing a shot. We'll have friendships and families without the drama.

I have no idea what the details of eternity will be like, since the Bible doesn't give us many details.

But Jesus' prayer gives us probably the biggest clue:

This is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (v3).

Begin living this eternal life here and now, as you continually deepen your knowledge of our Triune God.

AAA Prayer :

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father in heaven, who gave us to Christ to sanctify us for eternal life

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will have the desire, discipline and devotion to begin eternal life right now by endeavoring to know God.


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