John 17:9-11 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
” 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
John 17:20 makes it clear at this stage that, Jesus is only praying for His immediate disciples that God gave Him while He was on earth. In John 17:2, Jesus mentions that, He gives eternal life only to those that God has given Him and in John 17:6, Jesus once more says that, the disciples first belonged to God and God has given them to Him. Now in this verse we are looking at, Jesus says that He is only praying for those disciples that God has given to Him while on earth. Jesus makes it clear here that He is not praying for the world but only them.
I think so far it is now clear that Jesus will not give eternal life to anyone else except to those people that first belonged to God and then given to Him. Jesus is also not praying for anyone else except those that have been given to him by God. Again I draw on John 6:44 where Jesus said no one comes to Him unless drawn by God and on Eph 1:4 which says that God chose us in Jesus before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before Him. This introduces a doctrine of Predestiantion.
Predestiantion simply means that God has chosen people before the foundation of the world, people that will be saved. God did not choose them based on anything that they will do but, simply based on His own purpose. The topic on Predestiantion is huge and we will not be able to go into detail about it in this message but save to say that, these people that God chose before the foundation of the world, some of them are the very same disciples that God has given to Jesus while on earth, and the same disciples that Jesus will give eternal life to and is praying for. We also know that in verse 20, Jesus does refer to other disciples that will beleive as a result of the word that they will hear from these current disciples.
I know at this stage some may ask but, how do I know if I am chosen by God. Simple answer is that, because you are worried about wether you are chosen or not, you are most probably chosen because if you were not chosen, you would not care. Another question is how do I know which persons are chosen so that I can preach to them? The answer again is that, you don’t know, that is why we must preach to everyone and those that have been chosen, will hear the word and will accept it. Jesus said in John 10 that, He is the Good Shephered and His sheep knows His voice and they will follow Him and only Him.
Therefore coming back to our current verse, Jesus is only praying for the current disciples whom God has given him and not for the world. In other words, Jesus is only praying currently for beleivers who beleived at the time He was on earth. Jesus is not praying for sinners.
10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
In John 16:15, Jesus did indicate that all that God has, is his. In this verse, once more Jesus confirms this. All that God has is His and all that He has, belongs to God. Although one may say in this context, Jesus is only reffering to the disciples that belonged to God and now belongs to Him, based on John 16:15, I think it is much bigger than that.
Jesus then said that He is glorified in His disciples. Now, how do the disciples glorify Jesus? In John 17:21, Jesus said that the unity of the disciples will make the world beleive that Jesus was sent by God. This will give glory to Jesus. This is the reason why it is very important that the church be united as one. After all, we have one Head who is Jesus. Our unity, gives glory to Jesus. Not only this but, I beleive that our testimonies and our sharing of the gospel in Jesus’s name also glorifies him. The love that we share for one another also glorifies Jesus. This is how the disciples will and continue and must continue to glorify Jesus.
11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.”
The word “keep” is from a Greek word “tereo” which also means to guard someone by keeping an eye on them. The word “name” in the New Testament context implies authority and power of the person behind the name. See Mark 21:9, Luke 10:17. Therefore Jesus prays to God that since He is now not going to be in the world anymore in a physical sense, He is asking God to keep an eye on us and guard us by His power and authority, so that we may be one as they are one. Jesus prays that the same unity that exists between Him and God may be the same unity that exists between His disciples.