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John 17:1

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

These words spake Jesus - That is, what is related in the preceding chapters. We may consider our Lord as still moving on towards Gethsemane, not having yet passed the brook Cedron, John 18:1.

Our Lord, who was now going to act as high priest for the whole human race, imitates in his conduct that of the Jewish high priest on the great day of expiation; who, in order to offer up the grand atonement for the sins of the people: -

  1. Washed himself, and put on clean linen garments. This Christ appears to have imitated, John 13:4. He laid aside his garments, girded himself with a towel, etc. There is no room to doubt that he and his disciples had been at the bath before: see John 13:10.
  • The high priest addressed a solemn prayer to God:
  • For himself this Christ imitates, John 17:1-5.
  • For the sons of Aaron: our Lord imitates this in praying for his disciples, John 17:9-19.
  • For all the people: our Lord appears to imitate this also in praying for his Church, all who should believe on him through the preaching of the apostles and their successors, John 17:20-24. After which he returns again to his disciples, John 17:25, John 17:26. See Calmet's Dict. under Expiation; and see La Grande Bible de M. Martin, in loc.
  • I. Our Lord's Prayer for Himself, John 17:1-5;Father -

    Here our Lord addresses the whole Divine nature, as he is now performing his last acts in his state of humiliation.

    Glorify thy Son - Cause him to be acknowledged as the promised Messiah by the Jewish people, and as the universal Savior by the Gentile world; and let such proofs of his Godhead be given as shall serve to convince and instruct mankind.

    That thy son also may glorify thee - That by dying be may magnify thy law and make it honorable, respected among men - show the strictness of thy justice, and the immaculate purity of thy nature.

    Albert Barnes
    Notes on the Whole Bible

    These words - The words addressed to them in the preceding chapters. They were proceeding to the garden of Gethsemane. It adds much to the interest of this prayer that it was offered in the stillness of the night, in the open air, and in the especially tender circumstances in which Jesus and his apostles were. It is the longest prayer recorded in the New Testament. It was offered on the most tender and solemn occasion that has ever occurred in our world, and it is perhaps the most sublime composition to be found anywhere. Jesus was about to die. Having expressed his love to his disciples, and made known to them his last desires, he now commends them to the protection and blessing of the God of grace. This prayer is moreover a specimen of the manner of his intercession, and evinces the interest which he felt in behalf of all who should become his followers in all ages of the world.

    Lifted up his eyes - This was the common attitude of prayer. Compare Luke 18:13.

    The hour is come - That is, the appointed time for his sufferings and death. Compare the notes at John 12:27.

    Glorify thy Son - Honor thy Son. See John 11:4. Give to the world demonstration that I am thy Son. So sustain me, and so manifest thy power in my death, resurrection, and ascension, as to afford indubitable evidence that I am the Son of God.

    That thy Son also may glorify thee - This refers clearly to the manifestation of the honor of God which would be made by the spread of the gospel among men, John 17:2. Jesus prayed that God would so honor him in his death that striking proof might be furnished that he was the Messiah, and men thus be brought to honor God. By his death the law, the truth, and the mercy of God were honored. By the spread of his gospel and the conversion of sinners; by all that Christ will do, now that he is glorified, to spread his gospel, God will be honored. The conversion of a single sinner honors God; a revival of religion is an eminent means of promoting his honor; and the spread of the gospel among all nations shall yet do more than all other things to promote the honor of God among men. Whatever honors the Saviour honors God. Just as he is exalted in view of the mind, so will God be honored and obeyed.

    Matthew Henry
    Concise Bible Commentary
    Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of his people; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with and equal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given to believers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified the Father, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way to eternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect, holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ, and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for which he endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was the end of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fully satisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is needed as an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternal life is God's free gift.
    Ellen G. White
    Prophets and Kings, 69

    Jesus, the divine Master, ever exalted the name of His heavenly Father. He taught His disciples to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.” Matthew 6:9, A.R.V. And they were not to forget to acknowledge, “Thine is ... the glory.” Verse 13. So careful was the great Healer to direct attention from Himself to the Source of His power, that the wondering multitude, “when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see,” did not glorify Him, but “glorified the God of Israel.” Matthew 15:31. In the wonderful prayer that Christ offered just before His crucifixion, He declared, “I have glorified Thee on the earth.” “Glorify Thy Son,” He pleaded, “that Thy Son also may glorify Thee.” “O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:4, 1, 25, 26. PK 69.1

    “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth Me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23, 24. PK 69.2

    “I will praise the name of God, ...
    And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
    PK 70.1

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    Ellen G. White
    This Day With God, 236.5

    What a faith had that dying thief upon the cross! He accepted Christ when apparently it was an utter impossibility that He should be the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. In the prayer of the poor thief, there was a note different from that which was sounding on every side; it was a note of faith, and it reached to Christ. The faith of the dying man in Him was as sweetest music in the ears of Christ. The glad note of redemption and salvation was heard amid His dying agonies. God was glorified in and through His Son.—Manuscript 84a, August 15, 1897, “Christ on the Cross.” TDG 236.5

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    Ellen G. White
    SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 5 (EGW), 1145-6

    12. See EGW on ch. 13:34. 5BC 1145.1

    22 (ch. 5:40; Luke 12:48). No Provision for Willful Blindness—[John 15:22 quoted.]... Those who have an opportunity to hear the truth, and yet take no pains to hear or understand it, thinking that if they do not hear, they will not be accountable, will be judged guilty before God the same as if they had heard and rejected. There will be no excuse for those who choose to go in error when they might understand what is truth. In His sufferings and death Jesus has made atonement for all sins of ignorance, but there is no provision made for willful blindness.... 5BC 1145.2

    We shall not be held accountable for the light that has not reached our perception, but for that which we have resisted and refused. A man could not apprehend the truth which had never been presented to him, and therefore could not be condemned for light he had never had. But if he had opportunity to hear the message, and to become acquainted with the truth, and yet refused to improve his opportunity, he will be among the number of whom Christ said, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” Those who deliberately place themselves where they will not have an opportunity of hearing the truth, will be reckoned among those who have heard the truth, and persistently resisted its evidences (The Review and Herald, April 25, 1893). 5BC 1145.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Selected Messages Book 1, 197-8

    Sometimes our physicians talk for hours, when they are weary and perplexed, and in no fit condition to talk. Medical missionaries should refuse to hold long night sessions of conversation. These night talks have been times when Satan with his seductive influence has stolen away from one and then another the faith once delivered to the saints. Brilliant, sparkling ideas often flash from a mind that is influenced by the great deceiver. Those who listen and acquiesce will become charmed, as Eve was charmed by the serpent's words. They cannot listen to charming philosophical speculations, and at the same time keep the word of the living God clearly in mind. 1SM 197.1

    Our physicians have lost a great deal out of their lives because they have seen wrong transactions and heard wrong words spoken, and seen wrong principles followed, and have not spoken in reproof, for fear that they would be repulsed. 1SM 197.2

    I call upon those who have been connected with these binding influences to break the yoke to which they have long submitted, and stand as free men in Christ. Nothing but a determined effort will break the spell that is upon them. 1SM 197.3

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