is one of the dramatic moments of the New Testament. Christ ends the Passover
in the Upper Room with one last public prayer. It is often referred to as his
“High Priestly Prayer” because it involves all the elements of intercession,
just as a High Priest would intercede for the people.
We will look at it in a different light in this lesson. First, the words of
said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your
Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2For you granted him authority over all
people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4I have brought you glory on earth by
completing the work you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence
with the glory I had with you before the world began.
6“I have revealed you£
to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to
me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given
me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and
they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they
believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the
world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to
me through them. 11I will remain in the world no longer, but
they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them
by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we
are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them and
kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one
doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
13“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in
the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they
are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you
protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not
of it. 17Sanctify£ them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will
believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as
you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may
believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave
me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and
you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you
sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,
and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before
the creation of the world.
25“Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you,
and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will
continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in
them and that I myself may be in them.”
Christ and the Father
prayer concerns all of us; but it is primarily a prayer from the Son to the
Father. As such, it gives us some light on the relationship of the two.
Equality with the Father
prayer shows us some elements in which Jesus, the Christ, can be said to be
equal to the Father:
both share the same heavenly glory.
has eternal life “in himself” – that is to say, he does not obtain it from
another, as we will.
is an equality of possessions – all Christ has belongs to the Father, all
the Father has belongs to Christ.
who have obtained eternal life know the Son in the Father and the Father
in the Son.
there is that mystic “one-ness” which so frequently arises in Christ’s
prayers – that He and the Father are one.
Supremacy of the Father
the very same prayer we see evidence that the Father is superior to the Son (there
is no evidence, anywhere in the Bible, that holds the Son superior to the
Father gives the disciples to Jesus – a gift, not a tribute.
is the Father who grants authority to the Son.
Jesus here tells us that the very words he speaks were given to him by the
Father. Interpreted most crudely, this would make him a puppet. Rather,
this expresses one-ness again. But even in that one-ness there is the
flow from the Father through the Son and into us.
Father is the one who gives the work to the Son – for the Son tells us
that he has completed the work the Father has given him.
telling is this: the Father sends the Son into the world
seems most curious. The Father and the Son are one; but the Father cannot be
seen like the Son. The Son takes his orders from his Father. How can this be
resolved? The ancients simply put it this way: He is equal to the Father “as
touching his Godhood” and inferior to the Father “as touching his manhood.”
Christ – past, present and future
passage also drops in quite a bit of information about Jesus. The items he
listed in this prayer are the ones he thought his disciples should listen to;
they are facts about Jesus (past, present and future) which we should know –
and are of first importance.
past we mean something which Jesus did before the time of this prayer.
has brought glory to the Father by his ministry on earth. Do you see how
it is that all that Jesus does points us to God the Father?
has revealed the Father to those disciples selected. If God does not
choose to make himself known, we can know very little of Him. If He
chooses to make himself known, then we must know him by his words and by
has given the disciples “the word” – the teaching of the last three
years. That time is now at an end.
has protected them from the evil one by the power of the Name of God. Now
Satan will have a chance to attack them directly.
sent them into the world – as those who proclaim the good news.
to God; the revelation of his Word, protection from evil – and the task of
evangelism . These are the things Jesus wants you to remember about his
as he prays this prayer, there is something to be learned.
time has come.” Surely you see that this implies the existence of the
divine plan. Christ did not come when it was convenient; he came when
all was ripe and ready. He did not come to stumble around on the planet;
he came with a plan for our salvation. That plan is now about to come to
its fruition. The Message? The Man Has A Plan.
now prays for the disciples – and us. He does not pray for the world, and
explicitly leaves them out. The Message? There is salvation by no other
name; you’re with him or against him – no one comes to the Father except
by the Son.
tells them this – so that their joy may be complete. There is a short
time of sorrow coming, then the dawn. When that dawn breaks, there will
be great joy.
prayer also looks to the future. What does he proclaim for the future?
that he will again be glorified as he was from the beginning. We shall
see that glory when He returns.
that he is about to go to the Father. Three days to the Resurrection; 50
days to Pentecost; 40 days to the Ascension – not a lot of time.
He promises that he will continue to make known that which we need – so
that the love of God may be in us.
His Commands to Us
well and good; can we put down our pencils? Not just yet. There are lessons
to be learned from this prayer! Lessons – on what we are to be, what he wants
us to have and what he wants us to do.
He wants us to be…
the world, but not of the world. He does not proclaim monasteries for the
masses, but rather that the Christian keep himself separate from the world
and its ways.
be one – one body, one church. To be one to the same extent that He and
the Father are one.
– set apart for the service of God. How is this to be done? We are to
be sanctified by the truth.
He wants us to have…
knowledge of Christ and the Father. He wants fellowship with us; if we
are to have that, we must know Him and know the Father. Therefore he
hides nothing of who he is.
full measure of his joy. He wants us to be rejoicing Christians, utterly
unconquerable by the pains and grey drabness of our world.
life – he wants fellowship with us not just now but forever. He wants us
to be like him, and he is eternal.
in us – so much so that we shine with his love, and the world can see him
He wants us to …
If nothing else, this prayer is a model of intercession. We are to
imitate our Lord.
the word given to us. We are to study the Scriptures and find in them the
the Gospel. He sent the 12 out, he sent the 70 out. He prayed for them,
He prayed for us – and He sends us out.