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Summary: John 17

THE CHURCH’S ONE FOUNDATION (JOHN 17:1-26)

My wife Doris had three sisters and a brother and all their kids are overseas now. Her nephew was the last to leave Hong Kong and lived us two years in the 1990s when he went over for college. The first major split in the Family chat group was on the eleventh day of Chinese New Year (February 4, 2020) over the nurses’ boycott during local epidemic.

A nurse relative my age said, “Very angry with HK hospital staff strike, to demand closure of China Border. Below a columnist express exactly my view: ‘

Close border demand merely a death trap set by those yelling for ‘HK leaving China.’”

Later the person sent another: “Give some idea what service affected. One main hospital operation theater force closure. Schedule surgery canceled, emergency operation need to divert. Neonatal ICU nurse severe absence. My friend, a nurse, works from 0800-2200 to cover shortage. (Normal is 0800-1630.) Same amount of patient care, they suffer with absence of 4000+ nurses, 360 doctors. Where is Professional ethics!”

After the second text, I decided to leave the group. Eleven days later, my brother-in-law texted me his latest on his glaucoma surgery and ended by saying, “Oh, by the way, do want to rejoin the Family group?” I replied, “Can add me back. Coast is clear?” He answered, “Yes.” I commented, “Think so. Nurse protest is over.”

Four months later, the last of us three relatives left in Hong Kong had a quiet birthday dinner for the nephew’s father. Doris’ sister was the first to arrive and I asked her in our chit chat: “Anything special happened after I quit the group?” She said, “Waa. You left. Nephew also left after saying his piece. Then the older nurse relative left! Eye-surgery relative had to call one by one back. Sigh!”

This prayer in John 17 is commonly called "The High-priestly Prayer," “The Intercessory Prayer,” “The Farewell Prayer” and “The Eschatological Prayer of Jesus.” It is a stirring prayer made to Father (John 17:5, 21, 24) as well as "Holy Father" (v. 11) and "Righteous Father" (v. 25).

What can we pray for in troubled times? How can we do our part to lessen the tension? Why is it ok to disagree but not ok to disrespect?

Unveil the Splendor of the Son: The Divine Factor

17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Here are some quotes on what “glory” means:

“The end of the creation is that the creation might glorify [God]. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he has displayed?” Jonathan Edwards

“It means to live in such a way that that when people see us they think, Thank God for God!” (Dallas Willard)

“Glorify means nothing other than praising and lifting high, making majestic and manifest so that all the world knows it and can sing and tell of it.” Martin Luther

Long life, good health, and personal fulfillment were not high on Jesus’ prayer list when he knew he was about to leave the world and the disciples. The verb “glorify” occurs 14 times altogether in the first three gospels, but 23 times in John’s gospel, with the most in John 13 and John 17 (vv 1 twice, 4, 5, 10). The imperative “glorify,” however, occurs twice in the passage (vv 1, 5). The imperative “glorify” here (v 1) is doubly important with a purpose clause (hina) of the same verb (glorify). Glorify is also translated as honor (John 8:54) and magnify (Rom 11:13).

In contrast to Luke’s gospel that mentions the most about “glorifying” God – eight times (Luke 2:20, 5:25, 26, 7:16, 13:13, 17:15, 18:43, 23:47), John’s gospel ascribes “glorifying” the Son double the times (John 7:39, 8:54 twice, , 11:4, 12:16, 23, 13:31, 32 twice, 14:13, 16:14, 17:1, 5 twice, 10).

John 17:1 Father, the hour is come; glorify (what) thy Son (who), that thy Son also may glorify thee (purpose)

John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth (where): I have finished the work (how: participle) which thou gavest me to do.

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (when)

John 17:1 Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee (purpose)

John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was (when)

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