The Way - Day 198 (John 17)

Daily Reading:
John 17
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
With your group, make a list of the things Jesus prayed for in chapter 17. Using the list you made, pray like Jesus did and ask God for these things. Then pray for these things again over the coming week.
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 96:2-3
OPTION 2: Proverbs 23:13-14
OPTION 3: Matthew 7:3-4
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for John 17 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
JOHN 17:1-26
Jesus extends His comfort to the disciples about His upcoming departure. Rather than leaving them without His presence, He promises to send the Holy Spirit (the Helper) to provide power (14:12-14), His indwelling presence (14:16-18), guidance (14:25-26), and the convincing work in the hearts of people (16:7-10). Jesus' departure would be a sorrowful time for His disciples, but He assured them that their grief would soon turn to celebration as they began to understand the necessity of His death in order to pay for sin (16:16-22). Jesus provided further encouragement to their broken hearts by revealing that following His death and resurrection, their relationship with God would change. Instead of talking directly to Jesus to speak to God, they would now have direct access to God the Father through the name of Jesus Christ (16:23-24). The disciples rejoiced in Jesus' words and expressed their belief in what He had revealed (16:29-30), but He was quick to remind them that they were susceptible to the upcoming opposition they would face (16:31-32). Jesus did not speak these words to discourage His disciples, but to let them know He still loved them, even though they would abandon Him (16:33).

After His conversation with the disciples, John allows the reader to get an intimate glimpse into one of Jesus' most transparent prayers. Throughout the gospels, the writers affirm that Jesus prayed. In these verses the reader is invited to listen closely as Jesus converses with His Father.

"Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (17:1-3).

Jesus acknowledges that the time had come for Him to give up His life to pay for sin, knowing that His actions would bring eternal life to all who would believe. Not only would Jesus' death bring life to those who believe, but this selfless act would ultimately bring glory to God the Father and Himself as the One who bore the sins of many (17:4-5). Jesus brought glory to God the Father on earth by living a perfect life and now He would finish the work He was sent to accomplish through redeeming sinful man by giving His righteousness to them.

Next, Jesus prays for the disciples (17:6-19), whom God had entrusted to Him while on earth (17:6). He had taught them the truth and they had believed (17:7-8). While Jesus was present with them, He guarded them from the attacks of those who sought evil against them (17:9-14); however, Jesus asked for their protection following His departure. Satan and all of his wicked servants would do everything in their power to lead the disciples astray, but Jesus knew that the Father could bring supernatural protection through the truth (17:15-19). Jesus loved His disciples and did not want the devil to bring evil upon them.

Lastly, Jesus prayed for all those who would believe in Him as the Son of God and Savior (17:20-26). As the disciples spread the truth about Jesus Christ and that salvation exists only through His name, many would believe. Jesus prayed "that they all may be one" (17:20-21). Jesus' prayer for unity among those who would believe in Him is not some manufactured work, but a work of the Holy Spirit who gives new and eternal life to individuals who accept Jesus as Savior. This unity stems from belief in the truth, so there can be no unity when the same truth is not embraced.

Jesus ends His prayer with a summary of everything He had already prayed.
"O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (17:25-26).
May Jesus' concluding words also be the prayer of everyone who believes in the name of Jesus.

Dear God, You expressed Your love by giving up your only Son to die for sin. Jesus expressed His love through voluntarily sacrificing His life so that man could be released from the power and penalty from sin. Help me to express that same love to others.