Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


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
    The Desire of Ages, 680

    Christ designs that heaven's order, heaven's plan of government, heaven's divine harmony, shall be represented in His church on earth. Thus in His people He is glorified. Through them the Sun of Righteousness will shine in undimmed luster to the world. Christ has given to His church ample facilities, that He may receive a large revenue of glory from His redeemed, purchased possession. He has bestowed upon His people capabilities and blessings that they may represent His own sufficiency. The church, endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depositary, in which the riches of His mercy, His grace, and His love, are to appear in full and final display. Christ looks upon His people in their purity and perfection, as the reward of His humiliation, and the supplement of His glory,—Christ, the great Center, from whom radiates all glory. DA 680.1

    With strong, hopeful words the Saviour ended His instruction. Then He poured out the burden of His soul in prayer for His disciples. Lifting His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee: as Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” DA 680.2

    Christ had finished the work that was given Him to do. He had glorified God on the earth. He had manifested the Father's name. He had gathered out those who were to continue His work among men. And He said, “I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are.” “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; ... I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.” DA 680.3

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    Ellen G. White
    Fundamentals of Christian Education, 392

    The term “higher education” is to be considered in a different light from what it has been viewed by the students of the sciences. The prayer of Christ to His Father is full of eternal truth. “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son may also glorify Thee: as thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” “For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God; for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hands. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” The power and soul of true education is a knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He hath sent. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” FE 392.1

    Of Jesus it is written: “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him.... And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” A knowledge of God will constitute a kind of knowledge that will be as enduring as eternity. To learn and to do the works of Christ, is to obtain a true education. Although the Holy Spirit worked the mind of Christ, so that He could say to His parents, “How is it that ye sought Me? wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?” yet He worked at the carpenter's trade as an obedient son. He revealed that He had a knowledge of His work as the Son of God, and yet He did not exalt His divine character. He did not offer as a reason why He should not bear the burden of temporal care, that He was of divine origin; but He was subject to His parents. He was the Lord of the commandments, yet He was obedient to all their requirements, thus leaving an example of obedience to childhood, youth, and manhood. FE 392.2

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