It would take many pages to give a proper exposition of this chapter, so we will confine ourselves to a brief outline. It has been broken down by many into three main divisions:

1) Jesus prays for HIMSELF in verses 1-5.

2) Jesus prays for His APOSTLES in verses 6-19.

3) Jesus prays for FUTURE BELIEVERS in verses 20-26.

As you can see by the outline, in this wonderful chapter we have Jesus PRAYING TO HIS FATHER. This is the true “Lord’s Prayer!” In verses 6-26 we have a sample of what Jesus is doing right now as our Great High Priest, for we read in Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (NKJV).

1) What did Jesus pray for Himself? The answer is given in verses 1 & 5, “Father, the hour has come. GLORIFY YOUR SON, that Your Son also may glorify You…O Father, glorify me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Jesus was on His way to the cross to lay down His life as His Father had commanded Him to do (see John 10:17-18). In view of Him being “obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8), He is asking His Father to allow Him to return to heaven and to resume the glory He had with the Father from all eternity.

2) What did Jesus pray for His apostles? In verses 11-13, 15, 17 we read, “Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that THEY MAY BE ONE as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that THEY MAY HAVE MY JOY FULFILLED IN THEMSELVES….I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should KEEP THEM FROM THE EVIL ONE…SANCTIFY THEM BY YOUR TRUTH.” He prays for them to be ONE (this is a UNITY of mind and purpose), to have His JOY (the same JOY the Lord Jesus experienced in communion with His Father), and to be PRESERVED (from the influences of Satan by being set apart by God’s Word).

3) What did Jesus pray for future believers? Let’s read verses 20-23, “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that THEY MAY BE ONE JUST AS WE ARE ONE: I in them, and You in Me; that THEY MAY BE MADE PERFECT IN ONE, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” As you can see, He again prays for UNITY among all those who belong to Him. I don’t believe He’s speaking merely of “external unity,” but rather of a “unity of character.” If the world sees us (i.e. believers) being “conformed to the image of Christ,” they would see the same divine character that exists in the Father and the Son. This “moral likeness to Christ” would show the world that we are one and it would be a blessed testimony to the fact that the Father sent the Son.

Jesus had one more prayer request. In verse 24 He prayed, “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may BE WITH ME WHERE I AM, that they may BEHOLD MY GLORY WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME.” One day that prayer will be answered, for the Lord is coming to translate all believers to heaven where we will behold Him in all His glory! See John 14:2-3 and 1st Thessalonians 4:16-17. This truth causes us to echo the words of the apostle John, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:20). (305.7) (DO)