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Jesus Prays for the Father to Glorify Him

17 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward[a] to heaven[b] and said, “Father, the time[c] has come. Glorify your Son, so that your[d] Son may glorify you— just as you have given him authority over all humanity,[e] so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.[f] Now this[g] is eternal life[h]—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ,[i] whom you sent. I glorified you on earth by completing[j] the work you gave me to do.[k] And now, Father, glorify me at your side[l] with the glory I had with you before the world was created.[m]

Jesus Prays for the Disciples

“I have revealed[n] your name[o] to the men[p] you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you,[q] and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed[r] your word. Now they understand[s] that everything[t] you have given me comes from you, because I have given them the words you have given me. They[u] accepted[v] them[w] and really[x] understand[y] that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I am praying[z] on behalf of them. I am not praying[aa] on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you.[ab] 10 Everything[ac] I have belongs to you,[ad] and everything you have belongs to me,[ae] and I have been glorified by them.[af] 11 I[ag] am no longer in the world, but[ah] they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe[ai] in your name[aj] that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.[ak] 12 When I was with them I kept them safe[al] and watched over them[am] in your name[an] that you have given me. Not one[ao] of them was lost except the one destined for destruction,[ap] so that the scripture could be fulfilled.[aq] 13 But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience[ar] my joy completed[as] in themselves. 14 I have given them your word,[at] and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world,[au] just as I do not belong to the world.[av] 15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe[aw] from the evil one.[ax] 16 They do not belong to the world[ay] just as I do not belong to the world.[az] 17 Set them apart[ba] in the truth; your word is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.[bb] 19 And I set myself apart[bc] on their behalf,[bd] so that they too may be truly set apart.[be]

Jesus Prays for Believers Everywhere

20 “I am not praying[bf] only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe[bg] in me through their testimony,[bh] 21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray[bi] that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 The glory[bj] you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one,[bk] so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am,[bl] so that they can see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world[bm] . 25 Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men[bn] know that you sent me. 26 I made known your name[bo] to them, and I will continue to make it known,[bp] so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”


  1. John 17:1 tn Grk “he raised his eyes” (an idiom).sn Jesus also looked upward before his prayer in John 11:41. This was probably a common posture in prayer. According to the parable in Luke 18:13 the tax collector did not feel himself worthy to do this.
  2. John 17:1 tn Or “to the sky.” The Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven” depending on the context.
  3. John 17:1 tn Grk “the hour.”sn The time has come. Jesus has said before that his “hour” had come, both in 12:23 when some Greeks sought to speak with him, and in 13:1 where just before he washed the disciples’ feet. It appears best to understand the “hour” as a period of time starting at the end of Jesus’ public ministry and extending through the passion week, ending with Jesus’ return to the Father through death, resurrection, and exaltation. The “hour” begins as soon as the first events occur which begin the process that leads to Jesus’ death.
  4. John 17:1 tc The better witnesses (א B C* W 0109 0301) have “the Son” (ὁ υἱός, ho huios) here, while the majority (C3 L Ψ ƒ13 33 M) read “your Son also” (καὶ ὁ υἱὸς σου, kai ho huios sou), or “your Son” (ὁ υἱὸς σου; A D Θ 0250 1 579 lat sy); the second corrector of C has καὶ ὁ υἱός (“the Son also”). The longer readings appear to be predictable scribal expansions and as such should be considered Grk “the Son”; “your” has been added here for English stylistic reasons.
  5. John 17:2 tn Or “all people”; Grk “all flesh.”
  6. John 17:2 tn Grk “so that to everyone whom you have given to him, he may give to them eternal life.”
  7. John 17:3 tn Using αὕτη δέ (hautē de) to introduce an explanation is typical Johannine style; it was used before in John 1:19; 3:19, and 15:12.
  8. John 17:3 sn This is eternal life. The author here defines eternal life for the readers, although it is worked into the prayer in such a way that many interpreters do not regard it as another of the author’s parenthetical comments. It is not just unending life in the sense of prolonged duration. Rather it is a quality of life, with its quality derived from a relationship with God. Having eternal life is here defined as being in relationship with the Father, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom the Father sent. Christ (Χριστός, Christos) is not characteristically attached to Jesus’ name in John’s Gospel; it occurs elsewhere primarily as a title and is used with Jesus’ name only in 1:17. But that is connected to its use here: The statement here in 17:3 enables us to correlate the statement made in 1:18 of the prologue, that Jesus has fully revealed what God is like, with Jesus’ statement in 10:10 that he has come that people might have life, and have it abundantly. These two purposes are really one, according to 17:3, because (abundant) eternal life is defined as knowing (being in relationship with) the Father and the Son. The only way to gain this eternal life, that is, to obtain this knowledge of the Father, is through the Son (cf. 14:6). Although some have pointed to the use of know (γινώσκω, ginōskō) here as evidence of Gnostic influence in the Fourth Gospel, there is a crucial difference: For John this knowledge is not intellectual, but relational. It involves being in relationship.
  9. John 17:3 tn Or “and Jesus the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).
  10. John 17:4 tn Or “by finishing” or “by accomplishing.” Jesus now states that he has glorified the Father on earth by finishing (τελειώσας [teleiōsas] is best understood as an adverbial participle of means) the work which the Father had given him to By completing the work. The idea of Jesus being sent into the world on a mission has been mentioned before, significantly in 3:17. It was even alluded to in the immediately preceding verse here (17:3). The completion of the “work” the Father had sent him to accomplish was mentioned by Jesus in 4:34 and 5:36. What is the nature of the “work” the Father has given the Son to accomplish? It involves the Son’s mission to be the Savior of the world, as 3:17 indicates. But this is accomplished specifically through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross (a thought implied by the reference to the Father “giving” the Son in 3:16). It is not without significance that Jesus’ last word from the cross is “It is completed” (19:30).
  11. John 17:4 tn Grk “the work that you gave to me so that I may do it.”
  12. John 17:5 tn Or “in your presence”; Grk “with yourself.” The use of παρά (para) twice in this verse looks back to the assertion in John 1:1 that the Word (the Λόγος [Logos], who became Jesus of Nazareth in 1:14) was with God (πρὸς τὸν θεόν, pros ton theon). Whatever else may be said, the statement in 17:5 strongly asserts the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
  13. John 17:5 tn Grk “before the world was.” The word “created” is not in the Greek text but is It is important to note that although Jesus prayed for a return to the glory he had at the Father’s side before the world was created, he was not praying for a “de-incarnation.” His humanity which he took on at the incarnation (John 1:14) remains, though now glorified.
  14. John 17:6 tn Or “made known,” “disclosed.”
  15. John 17:6 sn Mention of the Father’s name occurs again in 17:11, 12, 26, but not often elsewhere in the Gospel of John (only in 5:43; 10:25; 12:28). In one sense the name represents the person (cf. John 1:12) and thus Jesus by saying that he has revealed the Father’s name is saying that he has fully revealed who God is and what he is like (cf. John 1:18; 14:9). But there is probably a further meaning as well in John’s Gospel: Jesus himself is identified with God repeatedly (10:30; 14:11, etc.) and nowhere is this more apparent than in Jesus’ absolute uses of the phrase “I am” without a predicate (8:24, 28, 58; 13:19). The name of the Father which Jesus has revealed to his disciples is thus the divine Name revealed to Moses in Exod 3:14 (R. E. Brown, John [AB], 2:755-56). See also Isa 62:2; 65:15-16.
  16. John 17:6 tn Here “men” is retained as a translation for ἀνθρώποις (anthrōpois) rather than the more generic “people” because in context it specifically refers to the eleven men Jesus had chosen as apostles (Judas had already departed, John 13:30). If one understands the referent here to be the broader group of Jesus’ followers that included both men and women, a translation like “to the people” should be used here instead.
  17. John 17:6 tn Grk “Yours they were.”
  18. John 17:6 tn Or “have kept.”
  19. John 17:7 tn Or “they have come to know,” or “they have learned.”
  20. John 17:7 tn Grk “all things.”
  21. John 17:8 tn Grk And they.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  22. John 17:8 tn Or “received.”
  23. John 17:8 tn The word “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were often omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
  24. John 17:8 tn Or “truly.”
  25. John 17:8 tn Or have come to know.”
  26. John 17:9 tn Grk “I am asking.”
  27. John 17:9 tn Grk “I am not asking.”
  28. John 17:9 tn Or “because they are yours.”
  29. John 17:10 tn Grk And all things.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  30. John 17:10 tn Or “Everything I have is yours.”
  31. John 17:10 tn Or “everything you have is mine.”
  32. John 17:10 tn Or “I have been honored among them.”sn The theme of glory with which Jesus began this prayer in 17:1-5 now recurs. Jesus said that he had been glorified by his disciples, but in what sense was this true? Jesus had manifested his glory to them in all of the sign-miracles which he had performed, beginning with the miracle at the wedding feast in Cana (2:11). He could now say that he had been glorified by them in the light of what he had already said in vv. 7-8, that the disciples had come to know that he had come from the Father and been sent by the Father. He would, of course, be glorified by them further after the resurrection, as they carried on his ministry after his departure.
  33. John 17:11 tn Grk And I.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  34. John 17:11 tn The context indicates that this should be translated as an adversative or contrastive conjunction.
  35. John 17:11 tn Or “protect them”; Grk “keep them.”
  36. John 17:11 tn Or “by your name.”sn See the note on name in John 17:6.
  37. John 17:11 tn The second repetition of “one” is implied, and is supplied here for clarity.
  38. John 17:12 tn Or “I protected them”; Grk “I kept them.”
  39. John 17:12 tn Grk “and guarded them.”
  40. John 17:12 tn Or “by your name.”
  41. John 17:12 tn Grk And not one.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  42. John 17:12 tn Grk “the son of destruction” (a Semitic idiom for one appointed for destruction; here it is a reference to Judas).sn The one destined to destruction refers to Judas. Clearly in John’s Gospel Judas is portrayed as a tool of Satan. He is described as “the devil” in 6:70. In 13:2 Satan put into Judas’ heart the idea of betraying Jesus, and 13:27 Satan himself entered Judas. Immediately after this Judas left the company of Jesus and the other disciples and went out into the realm of darkness (13:30). Cf. 2 Thess 2:3, where this same Greek phrase (“the son of destruction”; see tn above) is used to describe the man through whom Satan acts to rebel against God in the last days.
  43. John 17:12 sn A possible allusion to Ps 41:9 or Prov 24:22 LXX. The exact passage is not specified here, but in John 13:18, Ps 41:9 is explicitly quoted by Jesus with reference to the traitor, suggesting that this is the passage to which Jesus refers here. The previous mention of Ps 41:9 in John 13:18 probably explains why the author felt no need for an explanatory parenthetical note here. It is also possible that the passage referred to here is Prov 24:22 LXX, where in the Greek text the phrase “son of destruction” appears.
  44. John 17:13 tn Grk “they may have.”
  45. John 17:13 tn Or “fulfilled.”
  46. John 17:14 tn Or “your message.”
  47. John 17:14 tn Grk “because they are not of the world.”
  48. John 17:14 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
  49. John 17:15 tn Or “that you protect them”; Grk “that you keep them.”
  50. John 17:15 tn The phrase “the evil one” is a reference to Satan. The genitive substantival adjective τοῦ πονηροῦ (tou ponērou) is ambiguous with regard to gender: It may represent the neuter τὸ πονηρόν (to ponēron), “that which is evil,” or the masculine ὁ πονηρός (ho ponēros), “the evil one,” i.e., Satan. In view of the frequent use of the masculine in 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12, and 5:18-19 it seems much more probable that the masculine is to be understood here, and that Jesus is praying for his disciples to be protected from Satan. Cf. BDAG 851 s.v. πονηρός 1.b.β and 1.b.γ.
  51. John 17:16 tn Grk “they are not of the world.” This is a repetition of the second half of v. 14. The only difference is in word order: Verse 14 has οὐκ εἰσὶν ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου (ouk eisin ek tou kosmou), while here the prepositional phrase is stated first: ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου οὐκ εἰσίν (ek tou kosmou ouk eisin). This gives additional emphasis to the idea of the prepositional phrase, i.e., origin, source, or affiliation.
  52. John 17:16 tn Grk “just as I am not of the world.”
  53. John 17:17 tn Or “Consecrate them” or “Sanctify them.”sn The Greek word translated set…apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō) is used here in its normal sense of being dedicated, consecrated, or set apart. The sphere in which the disciples are to be set apart is in the truth. In 3:21 the idea of “practicing” (Grk “doing”) the truth was introduced; in 8:32 Jesus told some of his hearers that if they continued in his word they would truly be his disciples, and would know the truth, and the truth would make them free. These disciples who are with Jesus now for the Farewell Discourse have continued in his word (except for Judas Iscariot, who has departed), and they do know the truth about who Jesus is and why he has come into the world (17:8). Thus Jesus can ask the Father to set them apart in this truth as he himself is set apart, so that they might carry on his mission in the world after his departure (note the following verse).
  54. John 17:18 sn Jesus now compared the mission on which he was sending the disciples to his own mission into the world, on which he was sent by the Father. As the Father sent Jesus into the world (cf. 3:17), so Jesus now sends the disciples into the world to continue his mission after his departure. The nature of this prayer for the disciples as a consecratory prayer is now emerging: Jesus was setting them apart for the work he had called them to do. They were, in a sense, being commissioned.
  55. John 17:19 tn Or “I sanctify.”sn In what sense does Jesus refer to his own ‘sanctification’ with the phrase I set myself apart? In 10:36 Jesus referred to himself as “the one whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world,” which seems to look at something already accomplished. Here, however, it is something he does on behalf of the disciples (on their behalf) and this suggests a reference to his impending death on the cross. There is in fact a Johannine wordplay here based on slightly different meanings for the Greek verb translated set apart (ἁγιάζω, hagiazō). In the sense it was used in 10:36 of Jesus and in 17:17 and here to refer to the disciples, it means to set apart in the sense that prophets (cf. Jer 1:5) and priests (Exod 40:13, Lev 8:30, and 2 Chr 5:11) were consecrated (or set apart) to perform their tasks. But when Jesus speaks of setting himself apart (consecrating or dedicating himself) on behalf of the disciples here in 17:19 the meaning is closer to the consecration of a sacrificial animal (Deut 15:19). Jesus is “setting himself apart,” i.e., dedicating himself, to do the will of the Father, that is, to go to the cross on the disciples’ behalf (and of course on behalf of their successors as well).
  56. John 17:19 tn Or “for their sake.”
  57. John 17:19 tn Or “they may be truly consecrated,” or “they may be truly sanctified.”
  58. John 17:20 tn Or “I do not pray.”
  59. John 17:20 tn Although πιστευόντων (pisteuontōn) is a present participle, it must in context carry futuristic force. The disciples whom Jesus is leaving behind will carry on his ministry and in doing so will see others come to trust in him. This will include not only Jewish Christians, but other Gentile Christians who are “not of this fold” (10:16), and thus Jesus’ prayer for unity is especially appropriate in light of the probability that most of the readers of the Gospel are Gentiles (much as Paul stresses unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians in Eph 2:10-22).
  60. John 17:20 tn Grk “their word.”
  61. John 17:21 tn The words “I pray” are repeated from the first part of v. 20 for clarity.
  62. John 17:22 tn Grk And the glory.” The conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has not been translated here in keeping with the tendency of contemporary English style to use shorter sentences.
  63. John 17:23 tn Or “completely unified.”
  64. John 17:24 tn Grk “the ones you have given me, I want these to be where I am with me.”
  65. John 17:24 tn Grk “before the foundation of the world.”
  66. John 17:25 tn The word “men” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The translation uses the word “men” here rather than a more general term like “people” because the use of the aorist verb ἔγνωσαν (egnōsan) implies that Jesus is referring to the disciples present with him as he spoke these words (presumably all of them men in the historical context), rather than to those who are yet to believe because of their testimony (see John 17:20).
  67. John 17:26 sn The theme of the revelation of the Father’s name is picked up from John 17:6 and refers to Jesus’ revelation of the divine Name of Exod 3:14 in his person (see additional discussion at 17:6).
  68. John 17:26 tn The translation “will continue to make it known” is proposed by R. E. Brown (John [AB], 2:773).