John 17:11-26

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 the 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.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

[The son of Perdition] See John 6:68-71.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

[I speak in the world] While I am yet in the world, present with them.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

[I have given them thy word] Straight from heaven. God's will and plan for his creation.

[And the world hath hated them] Rejects God's word and hates any who continues bringing it to their attention. It began with Eve in the garden. Satan's argument was in essence, "God is mean to you. He doesn't really want what is best for you. He just wants to place restrictions on you to satisfy his own ego." Sounded good to Eve and to the natural human mind ever since that day.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

[That thou shouldest take them out of the world] They had not yet born their testimony concerning Christ crucified and risen from the dead. (1) Christ does not desire that his faithful apostles should soon die and be taken to God. No; but that they may live long, labor long, and bring forth much fruit. (2) He does not suggest that they should seclude themselves from the world, but that they should continue in and among the world that they might have the opportunity of recommending the salvation of God. (3) Christ prays that while they are in the world they might be preserved from the influence of the evil one, the devil, who desires to disqualify and destroy their testimony.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

[Sanctify them] From two Greek words which stand for the negative and earth. Consecrate, or separate from earth and common use and devote or dedicate to God and his service.

[thy word is truth.] It is from that truth and according to that truth that ministers should teach. Doctrine which is not drawn from the truth of God can never successfully accomplish God's work.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

[As thou hast sent me -- so have I also sent them] These apostles would continue teaching and winning others who would share the Gospel with still more. They would be empowered and guided by the Holy Spirit.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

[I sanctify myself] I consecrate and devote myself to death -- that I may thereby purchase eternal salvation for them. There seems to be an allusion here to the entering of the high priest to the holy of holies, when having offered the sacrifice, he sprinkled the blood before the ark of the covenant. So Jesus enters into the holiest of all by his own blood in order to obtain everlasting redemption for men. See Hebrews 9:11-12.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

[Neither pray I for these alone] This prayer extends itself through all ages and takes in every soul that believes in the Lord Jesus.

[Through their word] God has seen fit to entrust communication of the Gospel to believers. People who attest to God's word and work in their own lives move others to believe. See 1 Corinthians 1:21, Titus 1:3.

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

[That they all may be one] This prayer was literally answered to the first believers who were of one heart and soul. Acts 4:32.

[That the world may believe] Jesus Christ himself states that the body of believers, when they are united in God, bear a powerful testimony to those who are without.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

As Christ who, in his human nature, is termed the Son of God, so those who believe in him become the adopted children of God; all loved of God and loving him. The lives which they live and the testimony they bear glorify Christ and convince others of his Deity.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

[That they ... may be with me where I am] That they may enjoy permanent residence with me.

25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

[The world has not known me] Has not acknowledged me.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

That the love of God and Christ Jesus may dwell in them and thus they would become a habitation for God through the Holy Spirit.

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 02/03/2007

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