John 17:1-5

Sunday Morning Bible Study

December 29, 1996


Jesus is on His last evening with the disciples.

He's been giving them lots of instruction, preparing them for the tough days ahead.

And now He stops to pray.

:1-5 "Glorify Me"

:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven,

This is known as the "high-priestly prayer" of Jesus. Some call this the true "Lord's Prayer".

Jesus is going to be praying for the disciples before He goes and gets arrested.


Don't just talk to your friends, pray for them and with them.

Jesus has been trying to get the disciples ready for His departure.

He's been trying to give them words of encouragement and comfort, preparing them for what's up ahead.

But He doesn't stop with just talking to the guys, He prays for them.

Though it will take a few weeks for us to get through this prayer, it's aimed at asking God to help the disciples.

Talk is cheap. Why not pray with your friends as well?

John wrote:

(1 John 1:3 KJV) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

"Fellowship" is all about having something in common with someone.

We can kind of get into the mode of thinking that since we believe the same as a friend, maybe even go to the same church, that this is all there is to fellowship.

Yet the best sense of fellowship is when we're expressing our fellowship with Jesus, by praying, and by praying together, both being connected to Jesus at the same time.

:1 the hour is come;

Early on in His ministry, there was this mysterious "hour" that Jesus kept referring to:

Joh 2:4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. (AV)

It was this certain hour that all of Jesus' life was pointed towards.

It seemed that certain things just couldn't happen until this "hour":

Joh 7:30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. (AV)

Finally, in the past week, Jesus has been beginning to acknowledge that this "hour" had come, the time had come for Him to complete His work.

At the beginning of the week (Sunday), Jesus said:

Joh 12:27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. (AV)

Then on this same evening, we read:

Joh 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. (AV)

Now is the time for everything to fall into place.

Now is the time to get moving, this is the climax.


Timing is everything.

We can get ourselves into trouble by rushing things.

We can get ourselves into trouble by stalling too long.

We need to learn to move in God's timing.

:1 glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

The glorification of Jesus would bring glory to the Father.

How was Jesus glorified?

1. The glory of heaven.

It certainly must be talking about Jesus receiving the same kind of power and honor that He had in heaven before He came to earth.

Jesus mentions this in verse 5: (John 17:5 KJV) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Before being born in a manger, Jesus lived in heaven:

(John 1:1-3 KJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} The same was in the beginning with God. {3} All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

And once He has been through the death on the cross, He's going back to the glory He had before:

(Phil 2:5-11 KJV) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: {6} Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: {7} But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: {8} And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. {9} Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: {10} That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; {11} And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

2. The glory of the cross.

Did you notice back in Philippians 2:8-9, that God's exalting of Jesus came because of His death on the cross? It really didn't mention the resurrection.

Paul also wrote:

Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (AV)

I find this interesting.

I would think that "glorifying" the Son would entail a big golden crown, parades, trumpets, and such.

But in reality, the greatest thing that Jesus ever did, was dying for mankind.



"From the human point of view, Calvary was a revolting display of man's sin; but from the divine point of view, the cross revealed and magnified the grace and glory of God."

When Jesus died on the cross for us, it showed us God's great love and compassion for us, by taking care of our greatest problem, sin, in the greatest way possible, by having someone die in our place.


Could your greatest hurt be your greatest good?

We like to think that the greatest glory comes from winning an Olympic gold medal in front of 100,000 cheering fans.

Could it be that in God's way of doing things, our greatest glory might actually come from our greatest pain?

Paul would agree, as he wrote:

(2 Cor 12:7-10 KJV) And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. {8} For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. {9} And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. {10} Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

In Paul's life, his great thorn in the flesh was the thing that brought him closest to the Lord's grace.

And for this, he was grateful.

Think twice beloved, before cursing the thing that's "holding you back".

Maybe it's the thing God wants to use the most in your life.

:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh,

power - exousia - power of choice, "authority" as a government has authority over the people.

NAS - "as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind"

:2 that he should give eternal life

This is how the death of Jesus would bring glory to the Father.

Through providing a way to give mankind eternal life.

(2 Cor 5:21 KJV) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

:2 to as many as thou hast given him

This theme of "the ones that the Father has given to Jesus" is found several times throughout the entire prayer (vs.2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24)

This is one of the great mysteries of the Bible, that we have been chosen by God.

In fact, we can't even come to Jesus, unless the Father chooses us first:

Jesus said:

Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. (AV)

"But I thought that we received eternal life by believing?"

After all, the Bible says -

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

How does this all work?

Is it by believing? Or is it by God's choice?

John 6:37-40 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Here we see it all kind of put together.

The Father "gives" a person to Jesus.

But eternal life comes when a person responds by "believing" in Jesus.

"What if I'm not one of the "chosen" ones?"

You'll never know unless you choose to believe.

If you believe, you're chosen.

If you don't believe, it doesn't prove anything, other than you just haven't believed yet.


You are chosen by God.

Some of us have a hard time with this concept, we shouldn't.

It should make us feel like those times when we've been "chosen" for something, like being on a softball team, singing in a special choir, or just being chosen as a friend.

To His people, God says:

(Deu 14:2 NIV) for you are a people holy to the LORD your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the LORD has chosen you to be his treasured possession.

God cares about you. He's chosen you.

:3 this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

When we think if "eternal life" we often think of heaven.

There are a lot of ideas floating out there as to what heaven is all about:

Out in Cyber-space (found "surfing the 'net")

Motorcycle heaven (are you required to where a helmet there?)

Buyers' heaven (is that where you go if you die at Brea Mall during the Christmas rush?)

Hub-cap heaven (where those missing hubcaps end up ... I think it's located near Missing-sock-in-the-dryer-heaven)

Cartoon heaven (I thought you couldn't kill a 'toon!)

8-track heaven (that's where you send that pile of tapes sitting in your back closet)

Cyber-heaven (where your report went when the hard drive crashed)

A book you can by called, "Will I see Fido in heaven?"

Cigar heaven (I thought cigars would be in the other place!)


In Hollywood, heaven seems to either be seen as some foggy place where people walk around on clouds, or as if when you die, you have to come back as some kind of angel to earn your wings.

Ancient Babylon

The ancient Babylonians had no concept of heaven. For them, death was a dreaded thing, with everybody going to hell, no exceptions.

In Buddhism, the goal is "Nirvana", where a person practically ceases to exist, as they stop experiencing the fires of lust, hatred, greed, and ignorance. It is also where the endless chain of reincarnation is broken.

In Islam, the Koran portrays the happiness of heaven as the "unrestricted and inexhaustible partaking of the joys of physical sense". Some of writers consider this portrayal to be purely allegorical.


It's all about knowing Jesus.

Jesus says that it's all about coming to know God personally and intimately.

That's true eternal life, having a personal relationship with God.

God wants a relationship with you.

It's not just knowing about God.

I know a few things about William Jefferson Clinton, but I don't know him.

It's knowing God.

know - ginosko - to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of perceive, feel

I know my wife. I know my kids. I know my friends.

It's not knowing things in the Bible, like how to find the book of Malachi.

It's knowing the author behind the book.


Do you know Him?

Would you like an introduction? It starts by opening up your heart to Him.

(John 1:12 KJV) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

:4 I have glorified thee on the earth:

The NIV translates this verse:

Joh 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. (NIVUS)

The idea here is that Jesus brought glory to the Father by finishing the work that the Father has given Him to do.

:4 I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

finished - teleioo - to make perfect, complete; to carry through completely.

This is related to the word that Jesus cried out on the cross:

Joh 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (AV)

Jesus took the job that the Father gave Him, and is finished it right to the end.


Finish what God's given you to do.

God is glorified when you finish the work.

But ... we live in such a disposable society.

We eat off of paper plates so we don't have to do the dishes (not a bad idea!)

We put disposable diapers on our kids so we don't have to wash the dirty diapers (not so bad either!)

But some things aren't meant to be thrown away -

Your life

Sometimes we catch ourselves entertaining the idea of suicide, of throwing our lives away. God wants you to finish the race.

Friends or Family

I see a disturbing trend that some people would rather throw away their friends or family, than learn how to forgive or apologize.

We need Jesus' attitude of finishing the race before us:

(Heb 12:1-3 KJV) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.


In the early morning hours of July 4, 1952 a powerful swimmer named Florence Chadwick attempted to become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. The 21-mile swim through shark-infested waters began on a foggy morning. Less than a half-mile from the finish, however, Chadwick had to be pulled from the water. Later she said she hadn't been defeated by fatigue, but by the fog. "If I could have seen land, I might have made it." Two months later, she made it! Again, fog limited Chadwick's vision -- but this time she overcame despair by keeping a picture of the coast in her mind.

Fix your vision on the goal.

Fix your eyes upon Jesus.


Someone once said:

If you want to be distressed -- look within.

If you want to be defeated -- look back.

If you want to be distracted -- look around.

If you want to be dismayed -- look ahead.

If you want to be delivered -- look up!


"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. "

-- Thomas A. Edison, Forbes Magazine, June 5, 1995, p. 198.

For some of you, this involves a ministry that God called you to long ago, that you've let go by the wayside.

Pick up the race again and finish your course.

Paul wrote:

Col 4:17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. (AV)

:5 with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

As we've seen, Jesus used to live in heaven.

And now He's going back, receiving back the glory He had laid aside to minister on earth.