The Prayer of Jesus

Notes for Sept. 30, 2018
John 17:1-19 

Biblical Background

  • Prayer Posture: “He lifted up his eyes to heaven,” - this posture in prayer is spoken of in other Jewish literature, especially in the intertestamental books of the Apocrypha. Our physical posture does play a role in our prayers and may vary on the situation. In the Bible we find people praying standing up, with arms raised, prostrate on the ground, and in other positions of prayer as well.

  • Jesus’ Relationship with the Father: Jesus is unique and receives glory from and gives glory to the Father. The Father has also given Jesus all authority to grant eternal life. These are clearly signs of Jesus’ deity and position in the Trinity.

  • Glory: The Old Testament states in Isaiah 42:8 and 48:11 that God does not give His glory to another. Jesus’ claim to share in the Father’s glory is a clear statement about His deity.

  • Manifested the Name of God: In the Old Testament, the name of God, “I am,” which is the essence of being is holy and displayed through His character and actions. Jesus through his word and deed displays God – reveals God – manifests God.

  • Jesus’ Prayer for His Disciples: this prayer describes the battle Jesus’ disciples will be in against the world. The Qumran community that was the source of the “Dead Sea Scrolls” wrote of the battle between the children of God (light) and the children of darkness. This spiritual idea is given more meaning through Jesus’ prayer.

  • “Son of destruction”: The expression “son of …” is an idiom that associates a person with a particular quality or trait. Thus the “son of destruction,” in v. 12 may be a reference to Judas, also seen in a reference in John 13:18. This may also be an allusion to Psalm 41:9 which dealt with apostates.

  • Being Sanctified: This word means to be “set apart,” for righteousness. The children of Israel had been set apart from the other nations for God and now Jesus is asking that His disciples be set apart or sanctified as they are identified in contrast to the people of darkness in the world.

Discussion Questions

  1. What posture was Jesus in when he prayed in this passage? Why is this important?

  2. What postures do you use when you pray? Describe why you pray in various postures.

  3. What is the relationship between Jesus and the Father? Describe

  4. What kind of authority does Jesus have? Why is this important to know? How does this impact the way you live your life? Do you view Jesus more as a friend or a person with the ultimate authority?

  5. What does it mean to glorify someone? How do Jesus and the Father glorify one another?

  6. How do you glorify your Heavenly Father? Describe

  7. Who gave the disciples to Jesus? What are the implications for us in understanding this idea?

  8. Who is Jesus praying for? Knowing that you are a disciple of Jesus, what do you think Jesus is doing now for you? How does this impact the way you live your life?

  9. What is Jesus’ prayer for His disciples? You?

  10. What does it mean to be in the world?

  11. How can we be protected by Jesus from the world? Describe

  12. What does it mean to be “sanctified”?

  13. How can we be “sanctified” and what does it look like?

  14. How can you join Jesus in praying for His disciples today?

  15. Take time to pray for everyone in your group using the prayer of Jesus.