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Doctrine of Lord’s Prayer

February 27, 2012

The Lord’s Prayer of John 17
I. Chapter 17 of the Gospel of John is the recorded prayer of Jesus in regard to:
A) Himself and His glorification – vss 1-5
B) His immediate disciples – vss 6-19
C) All believers that would follow – vss 20-26
D) As the High-Priestly prayer, it shows His concerns, desires, and requests concerning
His body and bride, the Church Universal, as well as for His ultimate glorification.
E) It is by far the longest of His recorded prayers, although it does not represent the
longest time He ever spent during prayer. Mar 6:45-46 cp Lk 6:12
1) After finishing a lengthy discourse on His imminent departure and the ushering
in of the new dispensation, Jesus offered this prayer for the benefit of Himself
and His disciples, serving to promise that all the Doctrine He has been teaching
would indeed come to fruition.
2) Its tone is one of complete assurance of triumph and victory, blended with an
intense desire for the benefit and protection of Positive Volition remaining in the
world, and a full expectation of a positive response in all aspects from the Father.
II. The Content of the Prayer
A) Verse 1:
1) He begins by addressing God as Father, just as He had taught His disciples to
address God (Mt 6:9), the lack of the plural pronoun “our” making the term more
intimate and personal – a necessary attitude toward prayer.
2) He informs God that “the hour has come”, which points out that although we are
not actually informing God of things when we pray, it is appropriate to reiterate
Doctrinal principles that are true, and events coming our way.
3) By using the Imperative of doxa,zw – doxadzō “glorify”, Jesus both demands the
glory and realizes the certainty of it, soon to be a reality based on His obedience
and sacrifice.
a) His posture reflects the attitude of familiarity and a secure relationship.
b) that He uses the mood of command with the Father demonstrates that God is
not offended by prayers that reflect confident expectation of fulfillment by
His Person regarding the truths of BD, the Plan of God, and its advancement.
c) His expressed purpose for praying in this fashion, for His own glorification,
was so that He could further glorify the Father, a work to which He had
devoted His entire existence.
B) Vs 2:
1) He claims this right to glorification as a part of the grace gifts of the Father to
Him, based on His perfect obedience to the Will of God in all things.
2) Just as the Father gave Him authority, He correctly fulfilled every aspect of His
responsibilities, and could therefore confidently anticipate the promised reward.
3) By application, we have the right and authority to expect blessing in time and
eternity for our applications, and God is neither offended nor reluctant to return
to us that blessing, based on our acclimation to His Will.
C) Vs 3:
1) The focus of and purpose for the eternal life that He has authority to impart is
specified – “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom
You have sent”.
2) The purpose for the granting of this authority is the ultimate glorification of the
Father, and it is for that goal that Christ lived His life.
D) Vs 4:
1) It is His perfect obedience to the Father that Jesus centers on – “I glorified You
on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.”
2) This obedience establishes the basis for His upcoming requests.
E) Vs 5:
1) He re-expresses His full expectation to receive glory for all that He has done.
2) The one who has correctly completed what the Father has ordained for him can
confidently seek self-glorification and vindication, committing himself to the
Father’s hand for blessing – this is a fundamental truth of God’s Word.
3) The whole Person seeks to enjoy the glory that the pre-incarnate Son enjoyed
with the Father from time immemorial, dwelling in unapproachable light and
splendor – it is, therefore, legitimate for us to do the same. cp 1Tim 6:16
F) Vs 6:
1) He makes application of His work to His disciples, beginning an intercessory
prayer for their continued growth and protection.
2) He initiates the prayer by stating that He has faithfully made the revelation to
these men for which He was commissioned – He has fully disclosed the very
nature of God and His thinking to these men during the course of His ministry.
3) He then points to the fact that these men first belonged to the Father, in vs 6b –
“they were Yours, and You gave them to Me”.
4) The fact that these men “have kept Your word” is evidence that they indeed
belong to Christ.
a) in spite of any of their spiritual weaknesses, they did not waver in their faith
toward Jesus’ uniqueness as the God-Man; they fully believed that His
Person and message was Divine in nature and origin.
b) further evidence is the fact they not only believed in Him, but that they
resolutely attached themselves to His ministry as the Messiah, (regardless of
their skewered distortions of His advent or ultimate purpose).
G) Vs 7:
1) While they were not prepared for the events to follow, they at no time doubted
His Person or His overall message as Messiah; this is the force behind “now they
have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You”. cp Ac 1:6
2) That to which they had come to full confidence was that everything Jesus did
was sponsored by God in corroboration of His being the Promised One.
H) Vs 8:
1) The central core of that message is given in vs 8a – “for the words which You
gave Me I have given to them;”
2) The central truth of His message, that these men had definitely received, is made
clear in vs 8b – “and they received them and truly understood that I came forth
from You, and they believed that You sent Me.”
3) Jesus in His prayer acknowledges that their attitude toward Him in this regard is
correct and deserving of notation to God, an example of sanctified boasting.
I) Vs 9:
1) Technically the beginning of the intercessory portion of the prayer – until this
point the Lord has been qualifying why it is appropriate to ask the following.
2) That volition is key in His prayer is made clear in the remainder of vs 9, as He
continues “I do not ask on behalf of the world (NEGATIVE VOLITION), but of those
whom You have given Me;”.
3) The kinds of things He is praying for here are limited to believers only – those
who reject His Person and Work have neither access nor right to these blessings.
4) The Doctrine of Election is the principle at hand and the cause behind Jesus
receiving these men, as made clear in the final phrase “for they are Yours”.
J) Vs 10:
1) There is total agreement and accord between the Father and the Son – “and all
things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine;”
2) Here is another verse clearly teaching the absolute equality of the Father and the
Son – no other person could make this deliberately bold statement.
3) That the disciples are a part of that which is given to the Son denotes that their
very persons have produced glory for the Son.
K) Vs 11:
1) Having made these observations, Jesus reaches the crux of the prayer in vs 11 –
“And I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and
I come to You.”
2) They will be in a hostile environment of Negative Volition that hates them and
their Master, so Jesus naturally prays for the continued security of their +V –
“Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me”
3) He addresses the Father as Holy to emphasize the moral attributes of God, i.e.
His absolute righteousness (+R), justice (+J), Veracity, Love, and Immutability.
4) Jesus cites God’s character as the basis of His request that God guard these men
and watch over them in the BD that He had imparted to them.
5) The purpose behind the requested protection is seen in the remainder of the verse
– “that they may be one, even as We are.”
a) it is the goal of the Father and the Son that these men become members of the
Church Universal, sharing the nature of Jesus through Positional Truth
b) reaching that goal guarantees that they will be one with the Lord Jesus Christ,
and therefore one with the Father
L) Vs 12:
1) Jesus now looks back on His ministry with the disciples and states “While I was
with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I
guarded them”
2) His reflection in this regard is to serve as evidence from His own Person that His
prayer for the Father’s protection in the future is indeed justifiable – if He
maintained their safety while with them physically, the Father will do the same
as a reward for His obedience and request.
3) The very Name/Reputation owned by Christ is that which the Father gave Him in
accordance with His pre-determined Plan. cp Ac 2:22-23
4) The Aorist tense of fula,ssw – phulassō “guarded” looks at His entire Person
and ministry as an accomplished fact – at no time were they left to the mercy of
the cosmos or Negative Volition.
5) None of the believing disciples suffered any loss in a spiritual or physical sense,
as seen in the phrase “and not one of them perished”.
6) A Hebraistic phrase is used to designate the essential character of the one
disciple lost, due to his recalcitrant unbelief – “the son of perdition”.
7) This designation specifies that what Judas did was in no way what Jesus or the
Father desired for him (cp 1Tim 2:4), and that the very security requested for the
others was just as available to him as the others.
8) Based on His knowledge of Scripture, Jesus knew the reason for Judas’ betrayal
was not due to any failure on His part, but rejection of Him as Messiah.
M) Vs 13:
1) Once again referring to the purpose for this prayer and the fact that His ministry
is essentially complete, He states “But now I come to You”.
2) It is that very happiness/peace based on God’s Word (+H) that His ministry was
designed to impart to the disciples, as He states “these things I speak in the
world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves”
3) A major purpose behind His teaching ministry was to establish the potential for
these men to experientially possess the +H that His humanity enjoyed – if they
will orient to the Truth, they too can enjoy the blessings of happiness in time.
4) Regardless of the circumstances of their life (or relative spiritual maturity), all
believers can enjoy the Ph2 Relaxed Mental Attitude (RMA) God has prepared
for us, simply by focusing on God, His Plan, and His Essence.
N) Vs 14)
1) The reality of suffering in the Devil’s world is made clear, but more importantly
the reason for the necessity and reality of protection by the Father.
2) The singular “word” is a collective singular, encompassing all the words of BD
that He had spoken. cp vs 8
3) That His word was given to these men clarifies the minimum requirements for
+H in their lives: faith in Christ and adherence to His teaching – to the degree
they orient to these realities, so will their +H multiply.
4) The reason this principle is of such utmost importance is due to the natural
consequence that follows +V, i.e. the world despises them, because:
a) the world hated Him first – Jn 15:18
b) He chose them out of the world – Jn 15:19
c) they are not greater than their Master – Jn 15:20
d) the world does not know God – Jn 15:21
5) This hatred is compounded by the fact that they no longer draw their source of
life from the world.
6) Christ was not of the world due to His heavenly origin, the virgin birth bypassing
the STA and spiritual death, and His possession of Eternal Life – as of the new
birth, neither are His followers.
O) Vs 15:
1) Jesus does not ask the Father to remove these men from the battleground of the
world, but to protect them in it – the Plan of God (POG) is not to take the
believer out of the world, but to leave them under the protection of BD as a
witness to the Truth. cp Mt 5:13-14; Phi 2:15
2) With the definite article, “the evil one” is a reference to the arch-enemy of God
and His children: Satan, as the originator and promoter of Evil.
3) Just as in the Model Prayer, He asks the Father to keep these men safe from any
plan of Satan (or human viewpoint originating with him) that would bring a
premature end or disruption to their lives and/or ministries.
P) Vs 16:
1) The repetition of vs 14 serves to emphasize the contrast of the world to their state
of being – the world has nothing to offer as a source or support of the new birth,
emphasizing their experiential existence apart from the world.
2) This transition sets the stage for the next portion of His prayer.
Q) Vs 17:
1) Jesus has acknowledged that these men have received the message given to Him
to impart to them; now He recognizes it is not the Will of God for them to depart
the world as He will shortly do, but to remain behind in a hostile environment.
2) Sanctification, or setting aside as holy, involves the volition of the believer that
chooses to cooperate with the Will of God in issues of the CWL.
3) The sole agent for Ph2 sanctification is the Truth of God’s Word.
R) Vs 18:
1) That Jesus chose these men for a specific purpose, to carry out God’s Plan as
Apostles in the Church, is seen in the phrase “As (kaqw,j – kathōs) You sent Me
into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”
2) Just as the Father chose the Son, via the Incarnation, to bring His revelation to
the world in fulfillment of the Plan of God, even so Jesus has chosen these men
to continue to bring the revelation of God and His Son to the world.
S) Vs 19:
1) The Messianic mission and its fulfillment form the very pattern for the mission
of these men, which is the force behind “And for their sakes I sanctify Myself,
that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.”
2) His willingness to set Himself apart and render Himself as the Sin Offering on
our behalf is the very basis for our potential Ph2 sanctification.
T) Vs 20:
1) The Lord now extends the intercessory portion of His prayer beyond the
immediate disciples to other believers throughout history – “I do not ask in
behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word”
2) The 11 disciples are to act as intermediate agents commissioned by God to
articulate the Truth of the Plan of God in the absence of Jesus.
3) His requests for this group of men is equally applicable to all CA believers.
U) Vs 21:
1) This verse gives the purpose for the statement of vs 20.
2) Upon manifesting +V at the point of salvation, believers of the Church Age are
entered into union with Christ, and thereby with the Father.
3) The phrase “that they may all be one” is essentially a prayer that the body of the
Church Universal will indeed come to fruition; Positional Truth is the force of
the 2nd purpose clause, “that they also may be in Us”.
4) Evangelism over the course of the Church Age is in view in the final purpose
clause of the verse, the world-wide proclamation of the Truth of the Gospel.
V) Vs 22:
1) The Lord’s prayer now moves beyond just the Salvation Adjustment to the
Justice of God (SAJG), to those making the Maturity Adjustment (MAJG).
2) By saying “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them” , He
makes reference to the elevated status that God the Father has bestowed on us –
present and future glory as children of God.
3) The expressed purpose for the impartation of BD is “that they may be one, just
as We are one” –just as the Father and the Son are co-equal, so CA believers
will share intimately in the glorification of the Lord, as one body.
4) The Subjunctive (as opposed to an Indicative) here indicates that the potential
exists for all believers to be of one mind, though not all will seize that
opportunity – it is the wish and desire of Jesus, but He is not foolish enough to
think that all believers will manifest Positive Volition to the same high level.
W) Vs 23:
1) The phrase “I in them” refers contextually to BD resident in the soul of the
advancing believer (cp Jn 15:4-7), since Jesus was the complete representation of
the POG for the salvation of men, hence the phrase “and You (FATHER) in Me”.
2) The purpose for the believer to exploit the potential for what Christ has to offer,
the intake and application of BD over time, and the resultant building up of the
new man, is to be “perfected in unity” with other maturing believers.
3) Like-minded believers, who are growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ, are unified in their approach to Scripture, their
relationship with God, and their access to His grace blessings.
4) The ultimate purpose and result of this unity is the enhancement of our witness in
time toward those on the outside, as seen in “that the world may know that You
sent Me, and loved them, even as You loved Me” – this can only be experientially
true for those who line up with His Word.
X) Vs 24:
1) This verse concludes Jesus’ direct intercession, with the final two verses being a
summation of His relationship with the Father, and His work in the world.
2) He now mentions the sum total of all CA believers, since it is His Will that those
who exercise faith in His Person share the same ultimate destiny as He does.
3) That which the Father has given the Son is again a reference to the Church, the
inheritance for His completed Messianic mission.
4) He then re-engages in sanctified self-seeking with respect to His Person in Ph3,
by saying “in order that they may see My glory which You have given Me”.
5) In this context, His glory refers to the glorification of His humanity as it is
exalted to share in the glory of Deity; it is then that we as believers will have full
appreciation and total understanding as to all that Jesus accomplished during the
Incarnation, and provided on behalf of all men.
6) He then notes that His future glorification is the direct result of the Father’s love
for Him, which existed perfectly from Eternity Past.
7) While the Incarnation was an expression of glory in Jesus’ perfect expression of
the +R of God (Jn 1:14), the ultimate expression of that glory will be seen
experientially in the exalted Son of God.
Y) Vs 25:
1) These next two verses contain no requests, but contain a summation of Jesus’
ministry and purpose.
2) The title “O righteous Father” emphasizes His attribute of perfect righteousness
and holiness (+R).
3) Since He has been praying for +V, it is appropriate that He now distinguishes
between His followers and those who reject Him, by continuing “although the
world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You
sent Me.”
4) It is of interest that, at this point, He does not say that “these have known” the
Father, as He knows Him, but that they have full confidence in the fact that Jesus
was sent by God.
Z) Vs 26:
1) Jesus then states that this reality has been and will continue to be accomplished
through His Person – He had revealed to them who and what God is, as well as
the BD necessary to operate in the POG.
2) His promise of future revelation was fulfilled through His post-resurrection
appearances and the sending of God the Holy Spirit during the CA period.
3) He then points out the purpose of His revelation, so that “the love with which
You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
4) The expressed Will of Christ is that believers enter into the full blessing of God’s
Plan, and that they have total rapport with Him in time, as well as Eternity.