John 17 – The High Priestly Prayer

Old Roman steps leading down toward the Kidron Valley. Jesus and his disciples may have walked on these very steps after the Last Supper

In this chapter, Jesus prays first for himself (verses 1-5), for His disciples (verses 6-19), and then for all believers to come (verses 20-26).  He states in verse 4 that He has glorified God on earth “having accomplished the work that you gave me to do”  (meaning that He did not fail to setup His kingdom as some have claimed – or anything else for that matter).  He gave up the glory that He had with God since before the world existed (verse 5), and now asks God to glorify Him in His presence (after the resurrection), which will also achieve the result of the Son glorifying the Father.

As He prays for His disciples, He notes in verse 12 that He has guarded them and not one has been lost other than “the Son of destruction” (Judas) – which fulfilled the Scripture (Psalm 41:9):

“Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.”

Verses 6, 11 and 26’s use of God’s name is the manifestation of His character and will that Jesus made known to them through His teaching and His actions.  In verses 20-26, He prays for all who believe in Him, so that they may be with Him to see the the glory that He had “before the foundation of the world” (for all eternity).   Those who believe know that God sent Him.  They will know God through the Son; and the love God has for His son will be in them through Jesus.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.


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