The glory of the Messiah, 13:1-20:31

1. The farewell discourses, 13:1-17:26

xii] Witnesses to the resurrection


John continues his record of the farewell discourse covering chapters 13:1-17:26. Before leaving the upper room, Jesus offers what is often titled as his high-priestly prayer.


Jesus is one with the Father, a mutual love and in-dwelling shared by believers.


i] Context: See 13:1-17. The use of a prayer in a farewell discourse is common in antiquity cf., Deuteronomy. Although a prayer, this chapter in John's gospel has long been recognized as a teaching discourse as well as a record of Jesus' intercession for himself, his disciples and the church. Because of its character, it is often used as a source text for some of the liturgical elements in the Lord's Supper, eg., one with Christ, standing firm with Christ, love of the brotherhood, evidencing God's glory to the world.... Most commentators still follow Westcott's structure, namely, v1-5, 6-19, 20-26 - Jesus' prayer for himself, his disciples and the church. Of course, numerous other structures have been proposed, eg. Brown, v1-8, 9-19, 20-26. Carson suggests:

Jesus prays for his glorification, v1-5;

Jesus prays for his disciples, v6-19;

Jesus prays for those who will believe, v20-23;

Jesus prays that all believers may be perfected so as to see Jesus, v24-26


ii] Structure: Witnesses to the resurrection

The glorification of both Father and Son, v1-5;

Jesus' prayer for his disciples, v6-19:

Jesus prays for his disciples, not the world, v6-11a.


iii] Interpretation:

Jesus' prayer for his disciples reveals the substance of the relationship between Jesus and his Father, a relationship soon to be shared by all believers. As a prayer for the disciples living within a world of tribulation, it serves as "is a record of Jesus' self-consecration as it lived in the memory of his intimate disciples", Hunter.

The "hour" of Jesus death by crucifixion has come, the supreme moment when God the Father is glorified, v1. As he begins his prayer, Jesus remembers his commission from the Father and the authority given to him to carry it out, namely, "that he might give eternal life to all", v2, a life that entails knowing God, v3. Jesus goes on to pray that he might again be clothed in splendor, and this through the completion of his mission to gather a people unto God through the cross, and in so doing, clothe the Father in splendor, v4-5. In verses 6-19, Jesus prays for the continuation of his mission through his disciples, praying that they be protected and equipped for the task. First, Jesus explains, in v6-11a, why he prays for his disciples rather than all humanity, namely because they belong to God the Father, they represent Jesus in the world, and, whereas Jesus must leave, they must stay (for the time being!).


iv] Synoptics:

In the synoptic gospels, Jesus spends time in prayer at Gethsemane prior to his arrest, but in John's gospel we see Jesus praying prior to his departure for Gethsemane. In the synoptics the prayer reveals Jesus' inner torment as he faces the cross, reaffirming his determination to fully undertake the will of his heavenly Father. John's gospel also provides insight into Jesus' inward reflection on the cross, but without any mention of his distress and inner torment.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 17:1

Witnesses to the resurrection: i] The glorification of both Father and Son, v1-5. Jesus begins his prayer with a request for his own glorification (his being clothed in splendor - his heavenly enthronement through the cross), which glorification glorifies the Father. This glorification is obviously shared by those who are "in" Christ, those who believe Jesus. This link is indicated by the movement of the prayer from Jesus to the disciples in v6.

elalhsen (lalew) aor. "after [Jesus] said [this]" - these things said [jesus]. A temporal expression, with tauta, "these things", referring to the previous discourse and now indicating a change in object from the disciples to the Father. "After Jesus finished talking with the disciples", TH.

eparaV (epairw) aor. pas. "he looked" - [and] having lifted up [the eyes of him into heaven said]. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "said"; "lifted up his eyes ..... and said." Note the typical attitude of prayer.

elhluqen (ercomai) perf. "[the hour] has come" - [father, the hour] has come. The perfect expressing a completed act with ongoing consequences. The "hour" is the moment in time for the Father to glorify the Son. Presumably this refers to Jesus' crucifixion, although Brown thinks it refers to a long period of time encompassing all that facilitated Jesus' return to the Father. "The time has arrived", Barclay.

doxason (doxazw) aor. imp. "glorify [your Son]" - glorify [the son of you]. The aorist indicating a single act, ie., Jesus' crucifixion. "Glorify" could mean just "bring praise to", although such self-adulation is not really Jesus' style. "Clothe in splendor", Carson, is more likely, in the sense of Jesus being restored "to the splendor that he shared with the Father before the world began." Jesus' crucifixion reverses the emptying that occurred at his incarnation. So, Jesus' glorification entails the completion of his mission with the enthronement of the corporate (Christ + believers) Son of Man. "Show forth the glory of your Son", Cassirer.

iJna + subj. "that" - that [the son may glorify you]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose. Jesus prays for his glorification in order that the Father may be glorified. Jesus maintains the unity of the godhead such that the benefit of one member of the trinity benefits the other members as well. So, Jesus acts for the Father's glory as the Father acts for Jesus' glory.


Jesus' commission is to give eternal life to the elect, a people gifted to Jesus by the Father. Of course, the great debate within Christian circles concerns how a person gains membership of this elect people of God. The gospel announces that membership of God's elect people (the kingdom of God) is through repentance and faith. So, membership is more likely determined on the ground of divine grace than divine election, but of course, this debate has a long way to run!!

kaqwV "for" - as = insomuch as. Here causal, introducing a causal clause, as NIV. So, v2 serves as the basis for the request in v1.

autw/ dat. pro. "[you granted] him" = [you gave authority] to him. Dative of indirect object / interest, advantage.

exousian (a) "authority" - authority, power. Accusative direct object of the verb "to give." Obviously, Jesus possesses authority in himself as a coequal member of the godhead, but is given a particular responsibility for "all humanity", namely, the giving of eternal life. On the basis of this responsibility, Jesus asks that the Father "glorify" the Son.

sarkoV (x koV) gen. "over [all] people" - The genitive is adjectival, idiomatic / subordination, "over all flesh." "He being the one to whom you have entrusted power over the whole of mankind", Cassirer.

iJna + subj. "that" - Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that ....... he may give to them eternal life." Brown suggests that here it is epexegetic, "namely that ....." A variant future exists, dwsei, rather than the subjunctive, and is well attested.

pan oJ dedwkaV (didwmi) perf. "you have given [him]" - all which you have given [to him]. The perfect dedwkaV is "denoting the permanence of the gift", Morris. The pendent nominative pan, "all", is neuter which may mean "all things" = "that he will/may give to them all the good things you have given him, namely, eternal life", but most commentators regard the "all" as referring to believers, simply "the whole lot which you have given to him." This approach is supported by the fact that the "whole lot", neut. sing. is picked up by the resumptive pronoun "them", autoiV, dat. mas. pl. (a casus pendens construction), so NIV. The gift of a people, of a kingdom of priests, .... does not of itself require the sovereign appointment of its individual members. It is likely that membership of / inclusion in, God's select people, his chosen called-out people, is by faith, by believing, by asking and receiving, rather than by appointment. Of course, doctrinally this is a contentious . "So that he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge", Peterson.

autoiV dat. pro. "-" - [he may give] to them [eternal life]. Dative of indirect object. The "them" is "all which you have given him." The "all" is a collective singular while "them" is plural; an example of constructio ad sensum, a construction according to sense.


This definition of "eternal life" is interesting. Eternal life involves knowing God, entering into an ongoing personal relationship with the divine in and through Jesus. Yet, why would Jesus need to define eternal life in a prayer to the Father (note also the use of his name "unsuitable and contrary to the style of the prayer as a whole", Schnackenburg - a bit harsh!)? This question has prompted the suggestion that the verse is a parenthesis, an aside by John, cf. Barrett. The verse is bracketed by Moffatt. Of course, this gospel as a whole presents as a homogenous blend of Jesus' words along with inspired Johannine commentary such that it is virtually impossible to distinguish one from another. More than anything, John reveals the mind of Christ more than the words of Christ.

estin (eimi) "[this] is [eternal life]" - The demonstrative pronoun auth, "this", is forward referencing to the epexegetic iJna clause, with the verb to-be taking the sense "consists of / amounts to", is the essence of", Harris; "this is the essence of eternal life, namely that they know you ......."

iJna + pres. subj. "that" - that. Possibly used here to introduce final clause expressing purpose, "in order that they may ...." So, eternal life has, as its purpose, the knowledge of God. A consecutive clause expressing result may also be intended, such that eternal life has as its result the knowledge of God, although knowing God results in eternal life would be a better way to express this truth. None-the-less, it is more likely that iJna here introduces a epexegetic clause specifying "eternal life." "It is eternal life to know you", Barclay; "this is what eternal life is, that they should know you who alone is truly God", Cassirer.

ginwskwsin (ginwskw) subj. "they may know" - they may know [you]. The present tense is durative, probably expressing an ongoing, ever-expanding knowledge. The sense of "knowing" involves having an intimate relationship with someone, "communing with", Schnackenburg. As noted above, Jesus does seem to be saying that knowing God is = amounts to / consists of eternal life, not that it is the way to life, or "the ground of salvation", Barrett. Knowing God the Father, amounts to knowing God the Son, and this amounts to / is the essence of eternal life.

ton monon alhqinon qeon "the only true God" - the only true god. cf. 5:44, 1Jn.5:20. Serving as an affirmation of monotheism. The adjectives, "only true", take an emphatic position before the noun, while the phrase is attributive, describing "you". "The only one who is really God", TH.

Ihsou Criston "Jesus Christ" - Standing in apposition to the relative clause "he whom you sent."

apesteilaV (apostellw) aor. "[whom] you have sent" - [and whom] you sent, [jesus christ]. The aorist indicating punctiliar action and so probably referring to the incarnation, so Morris.


Presumably the cross is the completed work that is in Jesus' mind, so Morris, Brown, although his work up to this point, or the totality of his work on earth ("while I was with them"), so Carson, are other possibilities.

edoxasa (doxazw) aor. "I have brought [you] glory" - [i] i glorified [you]. Constative aorist. Jesus displays the glory of the Father in his work of ministry and particularly in the cross and resurrection. "I have given you glory", NAB.

epi + gen. "on [earth]" - upon [the earth]. Spacial; "upon".

teleiwsaV (teleiow) aor. part. "by completing / by finishing" - [the work] having completed, finished, accomplished [which you have given me]. The participle is more likely original than the variant finite verb. The participle is adverbial, probably instrumental, expressing means, so NIV. Jesus has clothed the Father in splendor by accomplishing the work that was entrusted to him. Causal is possible, "I glorify you because / in that I complete ...." The aorist tense is weighted to punctiliar action rather than past action (Barrett bravely pushes time rather than aspect here, arguing that the "glory" here is different since a "past tense" is adopted in this verse), and so the "have brought" of the NIV (and most other translations) is misleading. "I clothe you with splendor by completing, down to the last detail, all that you have assigned me to do", cf., Peterson.

iJna + subj. "[you gave me to do]" - that [i should do]. Again the iJna construction here is probably epexegetic, specifying "the work", it is a work that must be completed.


Jesus restates his request to be returned to the glory that he shared with the Father before the creation of the world.

kai nun "and now" - and now [you father glorify me]. The conjunction kai + the temporal adverb nun serves to tie this verse to v1 as a restatement of the request made there, ie., introducing a "repetition of a request already made", Laurentin; "so now, ..." Note also, the "you" and "me" takes an emphatic position in the sentence.

para + dat. "in [your presence]" - along with [yourself]. Here expressing association, "with yourself." So also para soi, "with you", both giving the sense "at God's right hand", Brown = "By causing me to return to the position I enjoyed before the creation", Barrett. Jesus "presence in human flesh in this world involved the surrender, for a time, of the joy and full uninterrupted communion [with the Father]", Murray. "With you", CEV.

pro tou + inf. "before" - [which i was having with you] before [the world was]. This preposition + the gen. articular infinitive of the verb to-be forms a temporal clause, antecedent time, although the infinitive is usually aorist and not present as here. "Before the world came into existence", Barclay.


ii] Jesus prays for his disciples, v6-19. The focus of Jesus' prayer now moves to the disciples, establishing first the validity of his request on their behalf (they belong to God and have responded in faith), and the reasons why he prayers for them and not the world (he must go and they must remain), v6-11a.

efanerwsa (fanerow) aor. "I have revealed" - i manifested, revealed, made known, showed. Is Brown right when he says that this is another way of saying "I glorified you", v4? Certainly, Jesus, as the Word of God, serves as the apex of God's self-revelation to mankind.

sou to onoma "you" - the name of you. The "name" = the person; "the revealed character of God", Barrett.

toiV anqrwpoiV (oV) dat. "to those" - to the men. Dative of indirect object.

ou{V pro. "whom [you gave me]" - whom [you gave to me]. Accusative direct object of the verb "to give." Again a collective is surely in mind, namely the elect people of God. The Father has entrusted this community to the Son, a community that has "obeyed your word." Jesus expresses deference here; he recognizes that God's special people rightly belong to the Father and that the Father has kindly given Jesus authority over them. What we have here is the giving to Jesus of those redeemed by grace through faith.

ek + gen. "out of" - from. Expressing separation; "away from = out of."

tou kosmou "the world" - the world. Often an ethically natural idea in the scriptures, although in John's gospel the term usually refers to "humanity opposed to God."

soi dat. pro. "[they were] yours" - [they were] yours [and you gave them to me]. Dative of possession.

tethrhkan (threw) perf. "they have obeyed" - [and the word of you] they have kept. The perfect tense expresses the idea of a past act with ongoing consequences, so they have done and continue to rest on what they have done. "Obeyed" is an unhelpful choice of words to an English ear because it implies an ethical response. The disciples have responded to and acted upon Jesus' message, they have welcomed and received the gospel message proclaimed by Jesus. The divine command is that we believe in Jesus, rest in faith on his promises fulfilled in his death and resurrection on our behalf. So, "they have obeyed your word" = "they have believed in me."

ton logon "[your] word" - the word. Barrett suggests that the singular, as here, means "the divine message of Jesus taken as a whole." When the plural is used it means Jesus' "precepts". One wonders whether the distinction can be made since the plural also seems to carry the idea of "divine message" although probably with the sense of "in its parts".


It seems likely that v7 and 8 explain what Jesus means by "they have kept your word", v6. The disciples have recognized the messianic nature of Jesus' mission and have responded in faith to his testimony / word.

nun adv. "now" - now. Temporal adverb, present / point of time. Barrett suggests not "now at the moment of glory", as in v5, 13, but "now at the end of the ministry." So, a temporal sense, rather than logical. "They know now (at the end of my ministry, TH) beyond a shadow of a doubt", Peterson.

egnwkan (ginwskw) perf. "they know" - they have known. The perfect, expressing an action with consequences into the future, attempts to represent the disciples knowledge. At this stage they think they know everything, but they have yet to experience the full realization of the cross, resurrection, ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. In that day they will know.

oJti "that" - that. Introducing a dependent statement of perception expressing what they know, namely, "that Jesus' mission is divine", Morris.

moi dat. pro. "[everything you have given] me" - [you have given all things whatsoever] to me. Dative of indirect object.

para + gen. "[comes] from [you]" - [are] from [you]. Expressing source / origin. Slightly tautological, but serving to make the point that the Father is the source of everything that Jesus possesses.


In this prayer for his disciples (God's elect people entrusted to Jesus, v6), Jesus makes the point that his disciples know / believe that his words and works are divine (from God the Father), v7. Jesus can say this of his disciples oJti, "because", they have openly recognized the divine origin of Jesus' rJhmata, "sayings / teachings", and have freely received them. "They showed themselves to be truly 'his own people' by believing in him, acknowledging that his teaching come from God and accepting it accordingly", Bruce.

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples know that everything that Jesus offers to humanity is divinely sourced because Jesus has taught them accordingly, and they have understood it and believed it.

autoiV dat. pro. "[I gave] them" - [the words which you gave me i have given] to them. "All that you told me I have told them."

ta rJhmata (a atoV) "the words" - Accusative direct object of the verb "to give." "Sayings / teachings" = the divine revelation from God. "The message", RSV.

elabon (lambanw) aor. "[they] accepted [them]" - they received. The disciples received the divine revelation communicated by Jesus, ie. they put their faith in the gospel, having recognized Jesus' credentials (from God with a word from God).

oJti "[they knew with certainty] that" - [and knew truly] that [you sent me]. Here, as with "[they believed] that", this conjunction introduces a dependent statement of perception.


Jesus now explains why he prays "for them" (his immediate disciples) and not the "world" (humanity against God, either actively or passively against God). Jesus prays for "them" because they belong to God the Father.

erwtw (erwtaw) pres. "I pray" - [concerning them] i ask. Usually of ask a question, but this word is often employed in John's gospel of Jesus praying / making a request to the Father.

peri + gen. "for [them]" - concerning = for. Here possibly expressing reference / respect, "with respect to them", but probably better expressing advantage, as NIV, "on behalf of, for." In v20 Jesus extends his prayer to believers beyond the present band of disciples.

ou peri tou kosmou "[I am] not [praying] for the world" - not concerning the world [i ask]. The position of "not the world" is emphatic. A general concern is expressed by commentators over Jesus' seemingly harsh neglect of the lost. Yet, God's love for the world is not negated by Jesus focus on his disciples. In fact, it is through the disciples' mission that God's love for humanity is further realized in the calling out and saving of the lost. "I pray for them. I am not praying for the world but for those you gave me", Rieu.

alla "but" - but. Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not ....., but ....."

peri + gen. "for [those you have given me]" - concerning [whom you have given to me]. Again this preposition is probably being used instead of uJper = advantage, "for, on behalf of."

oJti "for" - because. Introducing a causal clause explaining why Jesus is praying for his disciples rather than people in general. Jesus is focused in his prayer because "it is the Father's own purpose for mankind which is at stake, and his own chosen agents whose welfare Jesus prayers for", Lindars. "Since they really belong to you", Anchor.

soi pro. "[they are] yours" - [they are] to you. Taken as a pronoun, it serves as a dative of possession, but it is possible a nominative plural possessive adjective, "yours they are." Either way, Jesus prays to the Father on behalf of his disciples because they belong to the Father.


As Lindars notes, v10a presents as a parenthesis explaining how Jesus can say that his disciples belong to the Father. The reason is that everything that belongs to the Father also belongs to Jesus, and everything that belongs to Jesus also belongs to the Father. Verse 10b then picks up again from v9. Jesus wants to pray for his disciples, not just because they belong to the Father, but because their mission is his mission. Just as Jesus' ministry brought glory to the Father, so the ministry of the disciples should bring glory to Jesus.

kai "-" - and. Here probably epexegetic, introducing an explanatory parenthesis, "that is ....."

ta ema panta "all I have [is yours]" - all things of mine [are yours]. Nominative subject of the verb to-be. Again we have a problem with the neuter when Jesus seems to be speaking of God's elect people; "all of my lot are yours", cf. v2, Carson, Ridderbos, ... not so Barrett, Brown, ... who push for a "broadening" possession. "Everything of mine is yours", NAB, seems likely, but possibly "all who are mine are Thine", Berkeley.

kai "and [all you have is mine]" - and [the things yours mine]. Adjunctive, "and also ....." "The reciprocity of ownership", Carson, again underlines the deference shown by each member of the trinity toward the other members. Everything in the created order / redeemed community belongs to each member of the trinity.

dedoxasmai (doxazw) perf. pas. "glory has come" - i have been glorified. The perfect is expressing a completed act with ongoing consequences, so Jesus has been and will be clothed in splendor through the faithfulness of his disciples. Probably best expressed as a present tense, although Morris argues that it is proleptic, "pointing forward to the glory that was yet to come." "They will bring [they bring ???] glory to me", CEV.

en + dat. "through [them]" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means / agency. Note that the pronoun autoiV, "them", can be either masculine or neuter. Neuter is the most natural reading given the neuter panta, "things", at the beginning of the verse, but since this part of the verse is picking up on v9, "those you have given me" (ie., the disciples), then it is obviously intended as masculine.


Jesus gives the final reason for his prayer on behalf of his disciples, namely, that he must go, and they must remain.

ouketi eimi "I will remain [in the world] no longer" - [and] no longer i am. The present tense is possibly used here to express immediacy, "I am no longer, as it were, in the world", TH, although the NIV takes it as futuristic.

en + dat. "in" - in [the world]. A local sense is surely implied, of residing in the world. The disciples will no longer be able to depend on Jesus' "physical presence and protection", Carson. "I am no longer going to be visible in the world", Peterson, is a bit over the top, possibly "my presence in the world is over", Berkeley.

kai "but" - and. Here, the second use of this conjunction in the sentence is adversative, so "but", as NIV.

autoi pro. "they" - they [are in the world]. Emphatic by use and position.

ercomai pres. "I am coming" - [and toward you] am coming. The present tense is often taken here to be futuristic. Usually Jesus speaks of going to be with the Father, but here he is addressing the Father, so "coming" is more appropriate. Note again the present tense, "I am already on my way to you", TH.

proV + acc. "to [you]" - toward. Spacial, expressing movement toward.


John Introduction


TekniaGreek font download


[Pumpkin Cottage]