Our LORD’s Prayer

JOHN | Lesson 16 | Lesson Notes / Talking Points

Read John 17.1-26


1 / There is perhaps no deeper, richer, and more awe-inspiring chapter in all of Scripture than John 17. We can but fall on our faces ourselves as we approach it and ask the Lord Jesus Christ who prayed it to please send the power of the Holy Spirit to us as He promised [chs 14.25-26; 15.26; 16.12-15] to help us receive it and understand it as best as He is pleased to reveal it to us.

2 / We are calling this prayer ‘Our LORD’s Prayer’ because this is the longest recorded prayer that Our LORD prayed that is written in the New Testament. Other shorter and briefer and more pointed prayers are recorded, but none as long as this one. We have many lengthy sermons, parables, and conversations – but only this one lengthy prayer.

3 / So what I want to do here in this introduction is lay out some of the general subjects and movements of the prayer, and highlight some of the major requests Jesus makes of His Father on His and our behalf.

4 / OCCASION: This prayer follows immediately after the lengthy Farewell Discourse Jesus has been delivering to His disciples that began in ch 13.

  • Ch 14.31 sees Him lead them from the upper room where they had observed the Last Passover and First Lord’s Supper and out into the streets as they make their way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
  • Chs 15-16 are the continuation of the Farewell Discourse after they left the upper room.
  • Ch 17, this prayer, will be His Farewell Prayer which He prays to the Father in their hearing.

5 / PLACE: If you fast forward to ch 18.1, you will read ‘When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.’ So this prayer is prayed somewhere outside the Jerusalem city walls before they entered Gethsemane.

6 / SCOPE: This prayer is eternity to eternity in its scope.

  • In v 5, Jesus speaks to the Father about the Glory they shared with one another even before the world was created.
  • In v 18, He speaks of the Father sending Him into the world and His mission and ministry here among us.
  • In v 24, He speaks prospectively about the eternity to come when we will be with Him and the Father in their Glory.

Of course, with God there is no ‘eternity past’ or ‘eternity future.’ That is just the only way we can begin to grasp, comprehend, and speak of it. God has and knows no ‘time.’ All eternity is to God ‘the eternal NOW.’ But this prayer spans it all.

7 / GENERAL DIVISIONS: This is overly-simplistic, but there are some distinct shifts in subject matter in Jesus’ words:

  • vv 1-8: Jesus prays about Himself, His mission, and the successful accomplishment of what the Father had sent Him to do;
  • vv 9-19: Jesus prays for His disciples, who are in His immediate Presence and hearing Him as He prays;
  • vv 20-26: Jesus prays for all those who will believe on Him in the ages to come through the witness of all those who will continue to bear witness to Him through the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of the Gospel.


  • This is, first of all, a specimen and clear expression of the intimate communion, unity, and oneness that Jesus maintained with His Father during all His earthly sojourn and ministry here among us during the days of His flesh;
  • This is also an illustrious and encouraging testimony and pattern to show us the kind of personal and effectual intercession Jesus continues to bear before the Father on our behalf. Hebrews 7.25: Consequently, He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
  • Not least, this prayer is also a wonderful example of what we, as believers, should pray for if we should pray ‘in Jesus’ Name.’ If this is what He prayed for, then we should pray for the same things. If this is what He prays for us, then we should make it our life’s purpose, passion, aim, and goal to strive for and live out these desires of Jesus daily.  

9 / You understand all I can do in these notes is give you some broad and brief ‘talking points’ as I always do … we will add more connections and comments during our class time and lesson. Even then, at the best, all we will be able to do is give you some summary doctrinal and practical points which I pray will pique your interest and ignite your passion to delve deeper into the heart and words of Our LORD’s Prayer for yourself…

II / vv 1-8 / “I glorified You on earth, having accomplished the work that You gave Me to do.”

1 / When Jesus had spoken these words… refers to the previous words of the Farewell Discourse which He began in ch 13. Now, He wants to seal what they have heard to their hearts and lives. …He lifted up His eyes to Heaven and prays to His Father to receive His life’s ministry as an offering of obedience and service to Him … to do His will.

2 / Father, the hour has come… This ‘hour’ was the final and complete accomplishment of our eternal redemption by the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Remember how Jesus had reminded His mother, Mary, in ch 2.4, ‘My hour has not yet come.’ You can continue to ‘count down’ Jesus’ journey to this ‘hour’ and climaxing moment and final fulfillment of His mission in chs 7.30; 8.20; 12.23, 27; 13.1; 16.32.

3 / THE STORY OF GLORY. Glory’ and ‘glorify’ is one of the main theme-threads that tie and hold this prayer together. It is also one of the primary and most prominent theme-threads of the whole Gospel of John. It goes all the way back to ch 1.14. We have spoken of Glory often as we have made our way through this Gospel. Just remember that Glory is God Himself. God Himself is the GLORY. And when Jesus reveals Himself as God, He is revealing the Glory He is, and the Glory He shared with the Father, and the Glory from whence He came, and the Glory the Father is. Jesus came to reveal the Father, and He did that. That’s how He glorified the Father. He also glorified the Father by obeying Him and fulfilling the mission the Father had sent Him to accomplish. He is committing Himself to finish the work in this prayer. Jesus also prays that the Father will glorify Your Son which the Father will do by receiving His sacrificial death for our redemption, raising Him again from death, and bringing Him back to Glory in His ascension. See Philippians 2.5-11; 1 Peter 1.20-21; et. al.  

4 / God the Father had entrusted to Jesus, God the Son, all authority and dominion over all humanity. See, for example, ch 5.19-29.

5 / And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. What is this ‘eternal life’ but the Father new-birthing in us the Glory of Himself and Jesus Christ? Our new birth and eternal life is the very light of the Glory of Christ, who is the image of God / 2 Corinthians 4.4.

6 / …to all whom You have given Him. This phrase is repeated no fewer than seven times. Jesus also made this same expression in ch 6.37. The Father chooses whom He will save through the substitutionary offering of Jesus Christ, and then gives them [us] to the Son to redeem [see also ch 15.16]. You will also find God’s choosing us in Christ for salvation in Ephesians 1.3-6; 1 Peter 1.1-2.

7 / For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. Jesus came to earth with one primary aim: to reveal the Father / see ch 1.18. That’s what He means when He says in v 6, ‘I have manifested Your Name to the people whom You gave me out of the world… God’s Name is Himself: who He is, His heart, His desires, His character, His attributes, His love, His redemptive purposes for His people. Jesus revealed the Father’s Name by giving to us the Father’s words which the Father had given Him to give to us. These words are the words which Jesus spoke, and which are recorded in the Holy Scriptures, and which reveal to us the very mind of God.

III / vv 9-19 / “I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.”

1 / There is a sense in which God loves the whole world which He has created. See ch 3.16. But there is also a more personal, distinctive, redemptive, and exclusive sense in which His salvation love is given to His people whom He chose and gave to Jesus Christ to save. This is what Jesus means by this opening statement in this second movement of this prayer. He came to save His people from their sins … those whom the Father had given to Him to save. Again, Ephesians 1.4-6 will bring this into focus: …even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. This is the purpose for which Christ came and the mission He accomplished.

2 / Now, as Jesus directs His prayer toward us and as He begins asking the Father on our behalf, we want to begin highlighting at least four specific requests Jesus prays the Father will give us: [1] keep us; [2] sanctify us; [3] unify us; [4] bring us to be with Him and the Father forever.

3 / Holy Father, keep them in Your Name, which You have given Me… This request to ‘keep’ us will come up repeatedly as we continue in His prayer / vv 11, 12,15. To ‘keep’ means ‘to secure, preserve, protect, guard.’ This alone is the grounds of the security of our salvation. We do not keep ourselves saved … God keeps us saved. See ch 10.27-30; 1 Peter 1.3-5; et. al.

4 / v 12 / When Judas Iscariot is named here as the only one who was not ‘kept,’ it doesn’t mean that Jesus ‘lost’ him or couldn’t ‘keep’ him – it means only that Judas was an unbeliever, an imposter, a hypocrite, even ‘a devil’ from the beginning / see ch 6.70-71. Jesus knew that when He chose Judas as one of the Twelve. But the Scriptures had prophesied that a wicked ‘friend’ would betray the Messiah / Pss 41.9; 109.8; also Jn 13.18.

5 / Jesus Christ gives us His words so we may His joy in ourselves! The only way we will ever have joy in our lives, in this world, is by believing, receiving, keeping, and living by His words! We must be in His Word every day! We must learn to think by His words, speak by His words, study His words, hear and learn from His words, and depend upon and trust His words to be true – regardless of the circumstances and experiences we will encounter in our daily lives!

6 / I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. The world will hate us. We must anticipate that hatred, opposition, and antagonism. The reason the world system / society / culture will hate us is because we are different and distinct from them. We are ‘in the world’ as where we must live and bear witness to Jesus Christ. But, we have been born again. We are children of God. We belong to a different family, a different culture. We have different values. We define right and wrong the ways God does. We define sin and righteousness by Christ’s standards, and not by the shifting trends by which the world in which we live defines them. But regardless of the world’s hating us, canceling us, shunning us, rejecting us, persecuting us, and maybe even killing us, Jesus prays to the Father that He will keep us in His love and care. And He will!

7 / Jesus does not pray that the Father will take us out of the world, but that He will keep us from the evil that is in the world around us…in which we must live. It would be much easier for us just to be immediately snatched and transported to Heaven out of the world the moment we are saved. But we would miss two graces and privileges: [1] We are left here in the world to bear witness to the transforming power of the Gospel and to the Grace of God in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ; and [2] We are left here in the world so the Grace of God and the transforming power of the Gospel can continue to work in our lives through sanctification…

8 / And that brings us to the second prominent request Jesus asks the Father to give us and do in us. ‘Sanctify them in the Truth; Your Word is Truth.’ Here again, Jesus brings us back to The Word, the words, the Father had given Him to speak and give to us. We have this Word in the Gospel and in the entirety of the Holy Scriptures – The Bible.

9 / To sanctify means: ‘to set apart from the other things around them for a Godly purpose and use.’ We are sanctified, or set apart to be God’s and to belong to Him when we are saved [1 Corinthians 6.11]. But also, that sanctification begins to work in us, step by step, work by work, being carried on by the Holy Spirit, to conform us more and more into the very image and likeness of Jesus Christ. We are not justified [made right with God through the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ] to be ‘put on hold’ or ‘put on ice,’ as it were, until we die and go to be with Christ. We are saved to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – to become more and more like Him in every grace. This, too, is part of our witness to His transforming Gospel. Sanctification glorifies Christ!

IV / vv 20-26 / “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word…”

1 / We now come to the third general division and movement of Our LORD’s Prayer. He has prayed about Himself and the successful accomplishment of the mission the Father had given Him; He has prayed for the Twelve who were there with Him and hearing Him pray; and now He prays for US! I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word…

2 / The Eleven [excluding Judas Iscariot] would continue to bear witness to Christ and proclaim His Gospel. Many others whom the Father had given to the Son would believe – and they, in turn, will continue to bear witness to Christ and many others would believe … and on and on until Jesus returns.

3 / Now, here is the third specific request Jesus prays the Father will give us: ‘that they may all be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.’ All believers in Jesus Christ are bound together in the unity of the Holy Spirit, the new birth, and faith in Christ. We must seek in every way to preserve that unity. But that unity of Christ can be maintained only by our mutual conformity to the Word He has given us. See Ephesians 4.1-16. Light cannot be in unity with darkness. Good cannot be in unity with evil. Truth cannot be in unity with lies, falsehoods, errors, and heresies. Holiness cannot be in unity with sin.

4 / And now, Jesus concludes His prayer to His Father with this fourth specific request: that we may be with Him where He and the Father are – in their GLORY – forever! Verse 24: Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. We just have to say: “And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior’s blood? Died He for me who caused His pain? For me who Him to death pursued? Amazing love, how can it be – that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” [Charles Wesley].

5 / But this is the Glory that God, the Father, has chosen us for! This is the Glory that Jesus Christ has died to redeem us to! And this is the Glory that He will come again to receive us into!


This entry was posted in Bible Studies, JOHN, Lesson Notes, Sunday School lessons and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s