John 17

* Christ's prayer for himself. (1-5) His prayer for his

disciples. (6-10) His prayer. (11-26)

1-5 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.

#6-10. Christ prays for those that are his. Thou gavest them me,

as sheep to the shepherd, to be kept; as a patient to the

physician, to be cured; as children to a tutor, to be taught:

thus he will deliver up his charge. It is a great satisfaction

to us, in our reliance upon Christ, that he, all he is and has,

and all he said and did, all he is doing and will do, are of

God. Christ offered this prayer for his people alone as

believers; not for the world at large. Yet no one who desires to

come to the Father, and is conscious that he is unworthy to come

in his own name, need be discouraged by the Saviour's

declaration, for he is both able and willing to save to the

uttermost, all that come unto God by him. Earnest convictions

and desires, are hopeful tokens of a work already wrought in a

man; they begin to evidence that he has been chosen unto

salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of

the truth. They are thine; wilt thou not provide for thine own?

Wilt thou not secure them? Observe the foundation on which this

plea is grounded, All mine are thine, and thine are mine. This

speaks the Father and Son to be one. All mine are thine. The Son

owns none for his, that are not devoted to the service of the

Father.
11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in

the world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthened

for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of

the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holy

Father, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory,

that they might be united in affection and labours, even

according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not

pray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, that

they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to

do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he

prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being

corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and

from the power and craft of Satan. So that they might pass

through the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done.

They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men

around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation.

The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of

the world.
17-19 Christ next prayed for the disciples, that they might not

only be kept from evil, but made good. It is the prayer of Jesus

for all that are his, that they may be made holy. Even disciples

must pray for sanctifying grace. The means of giving this grace

is, "through thy truth, thy word is truth." Sanctify them, set

them apart for thyself and thy service. Own them in the office;

let thy hand go with them. Jesus entirely devoted himself to his

undertaking, and all the parts of it, especially the offering up

himself without spot unto God, by the eternal Spirit. The real

holiness of all true Christians is the fruit of Christ's death,

by which the gift of the Holy Ghost was purchased; he gave

himself for his church, to sanctify it. If our views have not

this effect on us, they are not Divine truth, or we do not

receive them by a living and a working faith, but as mere

notions.
20-23 Our Lord especially prayed, that all believers might be

as one body under one head, animated by one soul, by their union

with Christ and the Father in him, through the Holy Spirit

dwelling in them. The more they dispute about lesser things, the

more they throw doubts upon Christianity. Let us endeavour to

keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, praying that

all believers may be more and more united in one mind and one

judgment. Thus shall we convince the world of the truth and

excellence of our religion, and find more sweet communion with

God and his saints.
24-26 Christ, as one with the Father, claimed on behalf of all

that had been given to him, and should in due time believe on

him, that they should be brought to heaven; and that there the

whole company of the redeemed might behold his glory as their

beloved Friend and Brother, and therein find happiness. He had

declared and would further declare the name or character of God,

by his doctrine and his Spirit, that, being one with him, the

love of the Father to him might abide with them also. Thus,

being joined to Him by one Spirit, they might be filled with all

the fulness of God, and enjoy a blessedness of which we can form

no right idea in our present state.

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