Daily Archives: May 18, 2021
John 17:1-11 (ESV)
The High Priestly Prayer
17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
“I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do” (John 17:4).
If you find Jesus’ prayer here difficult to understand at first, perhaps it is because what we have here is an exchange between two divine persons. The language of love between humans is hard enough to grasp at times, so it makes sense that we would have to read this expression of divine love slowly and carefully!
Jesus’ first thoughts are for his Father. While he was on earth, he sought to obey his Father in every way possible, and so “vindicate” his Father’s power, authority, and goodness. So what glory does Jesus ask for himself? Only to be with his Father once again. He doesn’t ask for a great throne or for the unerring worship of all peoples. He simply wants to be with his Father.
Jesus’ prayer doesn’t remain focused only on his Father. The consuming love between them spills over into his love for his disciples. Imagine all the pressure that Jesus must have been feeling. He knew that he was about to bear the weight of all our sins. He knew that the devil was about to batter him with unspeakable hatred and temptation. He knew that all it would take was one slip, one sin, and all would be lost. But what was Jesus concerned about? His Father’s plan. His disciples. Each and every one of us. Now that’s love!
We know how this story ends. Jesus triumphed. By dying in submission to God’s plan, he both glorified his Father and redeemed us from sin. His love for his Father and his love for us carried the day.
This is the love that Jesus is offering us today: a love strong enough to repel every temptation, heal every wound, and repair every relationship. It is a love that doesn’t discriminate and never grows tired or jaded. It’s a love that we are meant to experience, not just learn about. Today in prayer, let Jesus shower that love upon you. Then throughout the day, look for signs that his love is still out there. He never stops caring for his people!
Lord, I marvel at the love that you have for me and for your Father. Help me to open my arms ever wider to receive all that you have for me. Amen.