John 17:22-26

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 2, 1997


Jesus is on His last night with His beloved disciples.

He's given them plenty of instruction and warning about the times ahead as He leaves them.

He ends by praying for them.

reread John 17:20-21

Jesus is praying not just for His eleven disciples, but He's praying for us as well.


Robert Murray McCheyne -

"If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me."

:22-26 Glory

:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them

There is a flow of ideas in verses 22-23 (which go together)

The key to seeing this flow of ideas is to track the use of the word "that". (It might be useful to circle your "that"s)

The word "that" shows the purpose that something is done for. ("I have come that they may have life" is the idea "I have come for the purpose that they may have life")

Jesus gives us glory ...

1) That we would have unity, just like the unity of the Father and Jesus, and the unity of Jesus being in us and the Father in Him.

2) That we would be made perfect in unity.

3) And that the world may know that the Father has sent Jesus, and that the Father has loved us just as much as He loved Jesus.

What is this glory?

It's important, since the other three things stem from it.

This isn't an easy question.

Keep in mind the verb tense Jesus is using, it's something that Jesus has already been given, and it's something that Jesus has already given to His disciples.

So it can't refer to something like the shining brightness that Jesus displayed on the Mount of Transfiguration (that's still future for the disciples).

It can't refer to the glory of a resurrected body (that too is future).

It's His Power

When Jesus displayed His power through miracles, He displayed His glory.

Joh 2:11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

Have the disciples already been given the power and authority to do miracles?


(Mat 10:1 KJV) And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

John wrote:

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

That includes us.


Do you realize what you have there?


Some people like to look for treasures at yard sales.

I've known people who have found expensive instruments or rare books, and bought them for pennies, because the people who were selling them didn't know their value.

Do we really understand the glory, the power, the authority, that God has given to us as Christians?

I often think that we don't appreciate it because we don't understand it.


I have to laugh when people buy things they don't ever take the time to learn to use.

It's kind of like an accountant who has a computer sitting on his desk, but because he's afraid to take the time to figure it out, he still continues to use an adding machine and ledger paper.

Maybe we don't really understand the authority and power God has given to us.

But that shouldn't keep us back from learning about it, and putting it to good use.

:22 that they may be one, even as we are one:

Here's the first thing that is to result from the glory He's given to us.


Jesus wants us united.

He hasn't given us His authority, His glory, so that we can try to outdo each other.


If you hitch six Clydesdale horses to a wagon, all pulling in different directions, the wagon isn't going to go anywhere.

But if you get them all pulling in the same direction, they can pull a lot of weight.

We don't have to be a bunch of identical Christians.

We don't all have to sing in unison, we can harmonize.

It's about working together.

:23 I in them, and thou in me

If we're not careful, this can all sound like a bunch of gibberish, kind of like something some eastern guru might tell us ... something about being "one with the universe ..."

All Jesus is saying is that the unity we are to have is like the unity that the Son and the Father have.

He's simply restating what He's just said in verse 22:

"that they may be one, even as we are one:"

:23 that they may be made perfect in one

be made perfect - teleioo - to make perfect or complete.

The idea is that there is a sense of "completeness" when there's unity.

Here's the second thing to result from the glory He's given us.

The glory is to bring unity.

The unity is to bring maturity.


Maturity comes through working with others.

It's not uncommon for people to have a hard time getting along with other people.

"After all, the world is full of jerks, except of course for me."

Some of us get to thinking that we're better off without all those jerks.

But the truth is, we'll never grow to maturity without each other.

Paul describes the church as a living organism, as a "body".

(1 Cor 12:20-22 KJV) But now are they many members, yet but one body. {21} And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. {22} Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

If one of the parts of your body decides it doesn't need the other parts, the whole body is affected, the whole body is sick.


From Aesop: One day it occurred to the members of the body that they were doing all the work and that the belly was having all the food. So they held a meeting and after a long discussion decided to strike work until the belly consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two the hands refused to take the food, the mouth refused to receive it and the teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two members began to find that they themselves were not in very active condition. The hands could hardly move, the mouth was all parched and dry, while the legs were unable to support the rest. Thus they found that even the belly in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the body and that all must work together or the body would go to pieces.

Sometimes when you're struggling, you need someone to reach out and help you.

And sometimes you can be the one to reach out and help someone who is struggling.

Eccl 4:9-10 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.

Sometimes we need each other to help us stay sharp.

(Prov 27:17 NASB) Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

But for iron to sharpen iron, it has to be close enough to rub, and that can hurt.

You may not like that person that seems to rub you wrong, but perhaps God is sharpening you.

There is no such thing as a "Lone Ranger Christian", at least not a healthy one.

:23 that the world may know that thou hast sent me

Here's the third thing that comes from the glory.

Last week we saw that the world would believe that the Father sent Jesus through our unity, our "being one".

Here He's really saying that the world would know that the Father sent Jesus through the glory that Jesus gives to us.

When they see the authority and power that Jesus has given to us, they'll know that Jesus is for real.


Grow in the authority God gives you.

The more we understand and operate under the power and authority that God has given to us, the greater the witness will be to those around us.

Jesus said:

(Mat 5:14-16 KJV) Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. {15} Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. {16} Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

When people see God's power at work through your life, they will glorify your Father in heaven.

Paul wrote:

(2 Cor 4:7 TLB) But this precious treasure--this light and power that now shine within us--is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.

When they see that it's something above and beyond you, they'll realize it's God at work.


Grow in prayer.

I think one aspect that this authority is displayed in our lives is through prayer.

Jesus said,

(John 14:13 KJV) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Prayer isn't an easy thing to do.

It's not as easy as "name it and claim it".

Yes we must have faith.

But we must also pray according to God's will.

We must also pray with perseverance.

We must pray with thanksgiving.

I wonder if we need to learn to pray with fasting as well.


Charles Spurgeon -

"I would rather teach one man to pray than 10 men to preach."

Andrew Murray -

"The man who mobilizes the Christian church to pray will make the greatest contribution to world evangelization in history."


Two pastors' wives sat mending their husbands' pants. One of them said to the other, "My poor John, he is so discouraged in his church work. He said just the other day he was considering resigning. It seems nothing goes right for him."

The other replied, "Why, my husband was saying just the opposite. He is so enthused, it seems like the Lord is closer to him than ever before."

A hushed silence fell as they continued to mend the trousers; one patching the seat and the other the knees.

The best way to learn to pray, is to pray. Just do it.

:23 and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

The power (glory) that Jesus gives us shows that the Father has loved us as much as He loved Jesus.

When the world sees our prayers answered, it will realize that God must love us.

:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am

Jesus is praying for us to be in heaven with Him.

How can I know I'm going to heaven?

Jesus prayed for me to be there!

And you can bet that the Father is going to answer His Son's prayers!

:24 that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me:

better yet, "that they may continue to behold" (present tense)

:24 for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Here's a little glimpse of just how much (or how long) the Father loves Jesus.

He's loved Jesus since before the world was created.

:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

The unbelieving world doesn't know God.

The only way to know God is to know the Son.

Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

If you don't know God, then you can't have eternal life in heaven.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Where are you?

Have you made that step of coming to know God?

It's not just knowing about God.

It's knowing Him. It's knowing Jesus.

:26 And I have declared unto them thy name

declared - gnoridzo - to make known.

Not only have the disciples known where Jesus came from, but Jesus has been making known to them the Father's name, the Father's nature:

(John 17:6 KJV) I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

What is the Father's name?

God Himself explained what His name, Yahweh, was all about -

Exo 34:6-7 ... The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin ...

All through His ministry, Jesus has been living and explaining to His disciples what God is like.

:26 and will declare it

or, "will continue to make it known ..."

Jesus didn't just make known God's nature for those three years during His public ministry.

He continues to make God's nature known.

This is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

We, personally, are continually learning more and more about God's name, His nature.


Grow in God's name.

If Jesus isn't finished explaining God's name, then we must not be finished learning about it.

Just when you think you've got God figured out, there's more to learn.

:26 that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Jesus is continually making known God's nature to us so that we will fully experience God's love for us.


Grow in His love.

If you are learning more about God, you are going to be learning more and more about His love for you.

If you aren't learning more about God's love for you, then I question that you're really learning more about God Himself.

Paul prayed:

(Eph 3:16-19 KJV) That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; {17} That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, {18} May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; {19} And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

It's all about His love for us.

:26 the love wherewith thou hast loved me

The very same love that God the Father had for Jesus is the same love that He wants to pour out on you.


In C.S. Lewis' children's book, The Horse and His Boy, a runaway slave boy, accompanied by a talking horse, travels through dangers and deserts, to warn a distant kingdom about an invading army. At the end of the story, when the king is congratulating everyone, he comes up to his son, one of the fighters, and lavishes the son with hugs and kisses. Then he goes over to the slave boy, and gives him hugs and kisses, just like the ones he gave his son. Of course the slave boy finds out that he's the king's long, lost son.

God loves you as much as He loves His Son, Jesus.

It's an eternal love.

Jesus has just told us that the Father has loved Him from before the foundation of the world!

God loves us that way too!

Jer 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

It's a powerful love.

Charles Finney (autobiography, pg.33) writes:

No words can express the wonderful love that was shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; and I do not know but I should say, I literally bellowed out the unutterable gushings of my heart. These waves came over me, and over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recollect I cried out, "I shall die if these waves continue to pass over me." I said, "Lord, I cannot bear any more;" yet I had no fear of death.