Empty Cross Ministries
The Word of God is the Only Truth
John Chapter 17
John 17:14 “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
In chapter 15 we have just studied that the world hated Jesus, so it was only natural that it would hate His followers. We have spoken before how this world is not the home of those who believe in Jesus. We are in the world, but we are not of the world.
The believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are a separated people, because they have been given the Word in its fullest sense. The Christians of all ages have looked for their heavenly home.
John 17:15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.”
The reference here refers to protection from Satan and all the wicked forces following him (Matt. 6:13; 1 John 2:13-14; 3:12; 5:18-19). Though Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the defeat of Satan, he is still loose and orchestrating his evil system against believers. He seeks to destroy believers (1 Peter 5:8), as with Job and Peter (Luke 22:31-32), and in general (Eph. 6:12), but God is their strong protector.
The Lord will keep some Christians in the world to minister the Word of God as long as there is a possibility that even one more person will be saved.
(In 2 Peter), we read how God has even delayed Jesus’ second coming, so that a few more can be saved.
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
God will build a hedge around His people and leave them in the world to win others to Christ.
John 17:16 “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
This is a wonderful statement here. No Christian wants to be of the world. Just as Jesus was in the world to carry out a mission, His followers are in the world to carry on the work that Jesus began. We will be here until the Lord calls us home to heaven to be with Him.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
This verb also occurs in John’s gospel (at verse 19; 10:36). The idea of sanctification is the setting apart of something for a particular use. Accordingly, believers are set apart for God and His purposes alone so that the believer does only what God wants and hates all the God hates (Lev. 11:44-45; 1 Peter 1:16).
Sanctification is accomplished by means of the truth, which is the revelation that the Son gave regarding all that the Father commanded Him to communicate and is now contained in the Scriptures left by the apostles.
Sanctify means to set apart for sacred use; consecrate, to make holy; purify. The Bible (Word of God), keeps the Christian straight. You must feed upon His Word to have the truth. Jesus Christ (our leader), has set us aside from the world. The Word of God is the only truth.
John 17:18 “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.”
Sent me … sent them: means the mission of the church, corresponding to that of Christ. Their tasks are alike, in fact, in purpose and in results, as this prayer shows.
The great commission Jesus had given all Christians is: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (from Mark 16:15).
Just as Jesus was sent, Jesus sent His followers to work in the world until He comes (Luke 19:13), says to Jesus’ servants, occupy until He comes.
John 17:19 “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
“I sanctify myself” meaning only that He was totally set apart for the Father’s will. He did that in order that believers might be set apart to God by the truth He brought.
Jesus made sacrifices for His own. Our holiness is because of His. The righteousness of the Christians’, actually is Jesus’. The truth makes us holy.
John 17:20 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;”
John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
This and (verse 20 above), are speaking of those who either hear or read the Word of God and believe just from hearing or reading the Word.
Jesus prayed for all believers in Christ, even in our time. This prayer includes us.
John 17:21 “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
They … may be one conveys spiritual unity, not organizational unity.
The basis of this unity centers in adherence to the revelation the Father mediated to His first disciples through His Son. Believers are also to be united in the common belief of the truth that was received in the Word of God (Phil. 2:2). This is not still a wish, but it became a reality when the Spirit came. It is not experiential unity, but the unity of common eternal life shared by all who believe the truth and it results in the one body of Christ all sharing His life.
Here again, this is speaking of the spirit and not the flesh. We will see this as near as it has ever been, in the Book of Acts, when we read that they were continuing with one accord in prayer and supplication. This is what Jesus was speaking of. They had one common goal. They were all one in Christ Jesus.
The problem with different denominations of Christians fighting is that the world is looking on and wondering: is Christ divided? Perhaps we should answer that we are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ when someone asks what we are.
John 17:22 “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:”
This refers to the believer’s participation in all the attributes and essence of God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (verse 10; Col. 1:27; 2 Peter 1:4; as in verse 23 makes clear), “I in them”.
Jesus will taste death for every man. Anyone who believes and follows Jesus, will be sons and daughters of the Father; adopted into the family of God. Our Savior will have paid the penalty for our sin and won for us the glorious inheritance of eternal life. We will be joint-heirs with Jesus.
Romans 8:17 “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
You can read (Romans 8:14-17), to get the whole picture.
John 17:23 “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.”
The idea here is that they may be brought together in the same spiritual life around the truth that saves. That prayer was answered by the reality of (1 Corinthians 12:12-13 and Eph. 2:14-22).
Again here, we can turn to (chapter 8 of Romans), to fully understand what this is saying. The world looking at a Christian need to not see that person, but Christ in that person. The flesh is nothing. If you are a Christian, the Spirit is within us all.
Romans 8:9-10: “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.”
Here again, you should go ahead and read (Romans chapter 8:1-16).
John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
This will be in heaven, where one can see the full glory that is His (verse 5). Someday believers will not only see His glory, but share it (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2). Until then, we participate in it spiritually (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jesus has purchased His bride with His own blood. These believers are His bride. The church is the body of Christ of which He is the head. When the Father says everything is ready, the groom (Jesus), will go and blow the trumpet in the sky, and we will go to meet Him. We will be with Him forever.
Read (1 Thessalonians 14:13 verse, you can, also read in (Rev. 7:9), about this bride (the Christians), who stood before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white. Brides wear white. These belong to the Son whom the Father has given Him.
John 17:25 “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou has sent me.”
This and (verse 26), summarizes the prayer of this chapter and promises the continuing indwelling Christ and His love (Romans 5:5).
Righteousness (all true righteousness), stems from God. There is no earthly righteousness that can compare. God is a holy God and cannot look on sin.
This holy, righteous God is unapproachable by sinful man. No person can look upon the face of God and live. Jesus (God the Word), was in heaven with Him before He came to earth, and He had seen Him.
The work that Jesus did while He was on the earth showed the personality of the Father. These disciples and all followers of Jesus Christ know that Jesus is from the Father, and of the Father. Jesus had no earthly father.
John 17:26 “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.”
Jesus has shown the Father to these disciples and to all believers in the Bible, but He will now show them His resurrection power. This love Jesus has for these disciples, and for all believers, is magnified in the fact that He will rise from the tomb. And in so doing, make it possible for us to rise again also.
Colossians 2:12 “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
John Chapter 17 (part 2) Questions
- Why does the world hate them?
- What does Jesus pray the believers will be kept from?
- Why is it necessary to keep Christians in the world?
- In 2 Peter 3:9, we read why Jesus’ return has been delayed. What is it?
- Why are Christians not of the world?
- How are we sanctified?
- “…thy word is _______________.”
- Jesus was sent into the world and then sent who?
- What was the great commission Jesus gave believers?
- What one word tells us what we are to do until Jesus comes back?
- Our holiness is because of what?
- In verse 20, we find that this prayer is for whom?
- Why did Thomas believe, in John 20:29?
- Who is more blessed than Thomas?
- What does verse 21 say that Jesus wants all believers to be?
- What helps the world to believe?
- What is wrong with various denominations of believers fighting?
- In verse 22, who gave Jesus His glory?
- All who believe will be what relation to Jesus?
- Romans 9:17, says we will be what with Jesus?
- How can they be made perfect?
- What does Romans 8:9 tell us?
- How long had the Father loved Jesus?
- What did Jesus buy His bride with?
- Who are the white robed people who stand around the throne?
- What adjective was the Father called by in verse 25?
- Whose name did Jesus declare to us?
- What is the most dramatic power Jesus will show them?