In John, chapter 14, the Lord instructs His disciples, preparing them for the time He would no longer be with them. Chapters 14-16 are full of needed instructions from the Lord. Instructions that we also need today to live lives to honor our blessed savior.

All of chapter 17 is the Lord Jesus praying to His Father in a remarkable intercessory prayer. In verses 1-5, the Lord prays for Himself…and His prayer for Himself revolves around glorifying His father. The remainder of His prayer is for His own, those who are saved. If you are saved, this prayer is for you! Let’s look at John 17:1-3.

Verse 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.” As the Lord look up His eyes towards Heaven, He stated that His time had come. The Lord has said previously in John 12:23-24, “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” The hour had come for the Lord Jesus to die. Eternity waited for this moment when the Son of God should lay down His life for the sake of sinful people. The Lord Jesus is asking His Father to glorify Him by resurrecting Him from the dead. With His resurrection, the Lord Jesus would glorify His Father by making many “wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15).

Verse 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 a result of the Lord’s redemptive work on the cross of Calvary, the Lord has now given Him power, or authority over all mankind, as ‘the man Christ Jesus’. Hebrews 4:13 tells us, “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO.” We ALL have to DO, with Christ Jesus. We ALL have to ANSWER to Him. This authority allows Him to give eternal life to all that the Father gives Him. We have the words of the Lord in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Verse 3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” This is perfectly clear. The way to eternal life is through knowing God, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One God sent to die for us. Notice, that it is not simply knowing ABOUT God and the Lord Jesus Christ, it is in knowing Him in a personal and practical way that we receive eternal life. There is no other way. We read in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

I encourage you to read this remarkable prayer in its entirety. It appears the Lord’s disciples were still in His presence as He prayed, so they heard the Lord praying for them. How it must have touched their hearts to hear this tender prayer of the Lord Jesus as He prayed for their benefit and for their blessings. As you read that portion, pause enough to realize this prayer is also for you. Consider the Lord’s words as he prayed in verse 20, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.” That is us! We are the beneficiaries of the work of the apostles. They shared God’s Word with others. They, in turn, after believing the truth of the Word of God, passed it down to the next generation where it continues to be passed down to us today. (286.8)