Summary: The foundation of all things is the glory of God. Jesus glorified the Father by completing the work He was given to do. We glorify Him the same way.
John 17 is a prayer of Jesus, for His followers. Verse 20 is an extremely important and wonderful verse, which tells us that this prayer is not just for the little flock of disciples that followed Jesus along the roads of Palestine, but this prayer is for us, also.
Isn’t it wonderful when people pray for us? But, oh how much more wonderful when Jesus prays for us. Did you know that the Bible declares that Jesus is constantly praying for us in heaven?
If you live outside the will of God, you will do so against the prayers of the Savior, who laid down His very life for you, so that you could have life, and that more abundantly.
In this prayer, Jesus doesn’t say anything about the poor, the sick, or any of the many other things on which He had shown great compassion during His ministry. This is a prayer for His followers, and the work that they were to continue. More than 40 times in this prayer, Jesus spoke of us, His followers.
In these opening verses, however, there are some truths about God, and the majestic ways of God. I want to call your attention to four of them:
God has set some specific times, v1.
Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 tell us that there is time for everything under the sun. There is a time to be born. What a happy event, when a little baby comes into the world, after the parents have waited and anticipated his arrival. As long as he lives, that day will be marked on his calendar, and on the calendar of his loved ones. There is a time to die. Birth is a far more pleasant thought than death, but both are a reality. The child, who runs and plays, has no
awareness of death, whatsoever, but just the same, from the instant we were born, we started moving toward our time of death. Hebrews.9:27 says, “It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment.” We were created for eternity, and just as the nine months in the mother’s womb is transition time, so is this little three score and ten
upon this earth. There is a time to be saved. It has to happen between birth and death,
because there is no more chance after we take our last breath here on this earth. We’re told in Luke 16 that the rich man died and was buried. I have no doubt he had the finest of funerals with many mourners. Numbers of people came together, and there were probably tables and tables of food, and everybody talked about his contributions to life, as they tried to console his family. But, the Bible doesn’t elaborate on any of that. No, the Bible says, “The rich man also died, and he was buried, and in hell he lifted up his eyes!” He was never saved. 2Corinthians 6:2 gives us this warning: “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
Jesus said, “Father, the hour has come.” Time and again, Jesus had said, “My hour has not yet come,” but now He says, “The hour has come.”
Beloved, appointed times do come. How wise you would be to redeem the
time, this very day.
God has given us to Jesus, v2.
We often think about the fact that God gave Jesus to us and for us. But, here we see that we are God’s gift to Jesus.
God is sovereign over all creation, v2b-3.
He gave Jesus authority over all flesh. The word for authority, is the Greek word, “Exousia,” which means the power to decree, and the power to execute. So this means, Jesus has been given the power to call for what He wants, concerning all flesh, and that He has the power to execute what He wants.
Then, He says something in verse 2 that some people refuse to accept: that Jesus will give eternal life to as many as the Father has given Him. This looks like a great mystery to us. We know John 3:16 says, “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Here’s the simplified answer: There are two groups of people in world,
the whosoever wills, and the whosoever will nots. If you are a whosoever will,” you are in this fortunate group. There will never be a single soul, who will honestly say, “I wanted to be saved, but I couldn’t.” That could never happen, because Jesus said, “Whosoever will, let him come and take of the water of life, freely.”
V3, tells us that the real meaning of salvation is knowing God. The ultimate of salvation is not that we stay out of hell fire, that’s one of the benefits of salvation. The meaning is that we know God. The word, “know,” is translated from two different Greek words in the New Testament. One is the word, “Oidai,” which means, theoretical knowledge. It like when you learn something from a book, so you can pass a test. You know the answer, but it doesn’t make any difference in your life. The other word is, “Ginosko,” which means to learn by experience. That is the word that is used here, and it means, close intimate knowledge that will change your life.