The Gospel of John, The Period of Conference, Conference With the Father, Part LVII, John 17 - Lesson 165
Read Chapter 17 of John
This chapter of John is the farewell prayer of Jesus Christ for His disciples.
It is his longest recorded prayer offered during his public ministry on Earth.
It is commonly called our Lord's High Priestly Prayer.
It was probably spoken after Christ and his band of disciples had left the room of the last supper and before they had crossed the valley of Kidron to the Mount of Olives.
It is a prayer of intercession and concerned the needs of Jesus Christ, the needs of his disciples and the needs of future believers.
It is essentially an intercession for those who will form the church.
It is the Sacerdotal (sas er do tal, meaning priestly) Prayer of our Lord because he here intercedes for his people and enters upon his office as the High Priest in offering his own life as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world
It is a prayer of consecration for Jesus Christ as he prepares to sacrifice himself in behalf of all those whom the Father has given him.
It is a prayer of consecration for his disciples for whom the sacrifice is offered.
Believers, it is a prayer for you.
John Knox on his death bed in 1572 asked his wife to read John 17 every day to him where he said, 'I cast my first anchor.'
Matthew Henry said it was: The most remarkable prayer followed the most full and consoling discourse ever uttered on earth.
Luther said: "A prayer wherein he discovereth both unto us and to the Father, the abysses of His heart and poureth forth its treasures. Plain and simple in sound, it is yet so deep, rich and broad that no one can fathom it."
Bishop Ryle said about this prayer: "This chapter we have now begun is the most remarkable in the Bible. It stands alone and there is nothing like it."
Jesus Christ engaged in vocal prayer regularly with the Father.
He was engaged in prayer at his baptism.
As he commenced his public ministry, "He rose up a great while before day, and went out, and departed into a solitary place and there prayed."
Prior to selecting the twelve apostles he went up into a mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God.
While he was praying he was transfigured.
And his last words were given in prayer.
Communication passed constantly between the Jesus Christ the Son and God the Father.
But here he prays audibly so that the disciples would know that they were secure.
He prays audibly so that they might witness the intercessory ministry that Jesus Christ will never cease to have in their behalf.
It is a model of the intercession that Jesus Christ makes in heaven before the Father as our great High Priest.
He expresses the desire of his heart in seeking the temporal, the spiritual and eternal welfare of those who are his own.
The chapter divides itself into three simple sections.
In the first five verses, it is Christ and his Father.
The great word there is "glory."
Jesus desires of his Father that he glorify him with the glory they shared from eternity.
Verses 6 through 19 concern Christ and his disciples.
The great word there is "kept."
Jesus asks the Father to preserve his disciples.
From verse 20 through verse 26 we have Christ and his Church.
The great word there is "one."
Jesus Christ desires for his Church to be in oneness with each other.