John 17:1-11

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

[These words spake Jesus] That is, what has been related in previous chapters. We may consider our Lord as still moving toward Gesthemene, not having yet crossed the brook Cedron, (chapter 18:1).
Our Lord, who was now going to act as high priest for the whole human race, conducts himself as did the Jewish high priest on the great day of expiation; who, in order to offer up the grand atonement for the sins of the people--
(1) Washed himself and put on clean linen garments. This Christ seems to have done, (chapter 13:4). He laid aside his garments and girded himself with a towel. There is no doubt that he and his disciples had been at the bath before. see chapter 13:10.
(2) The high priest addressed a solemn prayer to God: For himself, verses 1-5, For the sons of Aaron, this Christ does by praying for his disciples, verses 9-19, For all the people, by praying for his Church, all who should believe on him through the preaching of the apostles and their successors, verses 20-24.

[Father] Here our Lord addresses the whole Divine nature as he is now performing the last acts in his state of humiliation.

[Glorify thy son] Cause him to be acknowledged as the Messiah by the Jewish prople, and as the universal Savior by the Gentile world, and let such proofs of his Godhead be given as shall serve to convince and instruct mankind.

[That thy Son may glorify thee] That by dying he may magnify thy law and make it honorable, respected among men -- show the strictness of thy justice and the immaculate purity of thy nature.

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

[As thou hast given him power] As the Messiah, Jesus Christ received from the Father universal domain. All flesh, i.e. the entire human race, was given unto him, that by one sacrifice of himself, he might reconcile them all to God; having by his grace tasted death for every man, (Hebrews 2:9). And this was according to the promise of the universal inheritance made to Christ, (Psalm 2:8), which was to be made up of the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth. He got them all from God that he might give his life a ransom for the whole. See 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, Romans 5:21, 1 Timothy 2:4-6.

[That he should give eternal life] As all were delivered into his power, and he poured out his blood to redeem all, then the design of God is that all should have eternal life. To make this possible, Christ has become their sacrifice and atonement.

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

[This is life eternal] The salvation purchased by Christ, and given to them who believe, is called life: (1) Because the life of man was forfeitted to divine Justice, and the sacrifice of Christ redeemed man from the death to which he was exposed. (2) Because the souls of men were dead in trespasses and sins and Christ quickens them by his word and Spirit. (3) Because men who are not saved by the grae of Christ do not live, they only exist, no good purpose of life being answered by them. But when they receive this salvation they live -- answer all of the Divine purposes, are happy in themselves, useful to each other and bring glory to God. (4) It is called eternal life to show that it reaches beyond the limits of time and that it necessarily implies the immortality of the soul, the resurrection of the body and that it is to never end.

[That they might know thee the only true God.] The way to receive this eternal life is to acknowledge, worship and obey the true God.

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

[I have glorified thee] Our Lord, considering himself as already sacrificed for the sin of the world, speaks of having completed the work which God had given him to do, and he looks forward to that time, when, through the preaching of his Gospel, his sacrifice should be acknowledged, and the true God should be known and worshipped by the whole world.

5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

[Before the world was.] That is, from eternity, before there was any creation. see John 1:1-3.

6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

[I have manifested thy name] I have brought it into the light, caused it to shine in itself and to illuminate others. Some of the Divine nature is revealed in creation, some more was made known by the Mosaic revelation, but the full manifestation of God, his nature and his attributes, came only through the revelation of Christ.

[The men which thou gavest me] That is, the apostles, who, having received this knowledge from Christ, were, by their preachings and writings, to spread it through the whole world.

[They have kept thy word.] Though their countrymen rejectd it; they have received me and ernestly embraced my teaching.

7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

[I have given...them the words] I have delivered thy doctrine unto them so that they have had a pure teaching immediately from heaven, without infusion of fables or fictions of men.

[And have known surely] Are fully convinced and acknowledge that I am the promised Messiah, that they need look for no other, and that my mission and doctrine are all Divine.

9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

[I pray not for the world] I am not yet come to that part of my intercession (see but I am now wholly employed for my disciples, that they may be properly qualified to preach my salvation to the ends of the earth.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

[I am glorified in them] Christ speaks of things which would be. He anticipates the glorifying of his name by the successful preaching of the apostles.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

[I am no more in the world] I am about to leave the world and therefore they shall be in need of special assistance and suport that they may preserved in thy truth.

[That they may be one, as we are.] One God, three manifestations, each with identifiable specialties. So the Church, consisting of many members, each with a unique personality and set of gifts, working harmoniously under the direction of the Holy Spirit to persue one end, the glorification of Christ.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 02/01/2007

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