The glory of the Messiah, 13:1-20:31
1. The farewell discourses, 13:1-17:26
xiii] One with the Father and the SonSynopsis
John continues his record of the farewell discourse covering chapters 13:1-17:26. In the central section of Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, Jesus prays for his disciples, v6-19. In this particular part of the prayer he prays that his followers will be infused with the truth of the gospel and that the powers of darkness will be powerless to undermine their salvation.
God's providential care is ours in Christ for intercedes on our behalf.
i] Context: See 17:1-11a
ii] Structure: One with the Father and the Son:
Jesus prays for his disciples:
"Protect them by the power of your name."
May they have "the full measure of my joy within them."
"Protect them from the evil one."
"Sanctify them in the truth."
Jesus' prayer for his disciples continues. This prayer is not for the world, but for those who believe in Jesus. This does not imply that God the Father doesn't care for his world, he cares so much "that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him shall no perish but have eternal life." Yet, Jesus' prayer here is specifically for his disciples. The prayer presents as four requests:
First, Jesus prays that the Father will protect his disciples, keep them safe so that ultimately they will experience the eternal union, the love, that exists between members of the divine family - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The prayer amounts to a prayer for perseverance, such that unlike the "one doomed to destruction" whose loss was prophesied, the disciples will be kept safe for eternity. Perseverance ultimately depends on one thing, namely, faith in God's providential power; if we hold onto Jesus he will carry us through the trials and tribulations of life.
Second, Jesus prays that the disciples may experience the full measure of his joy within them. It's not quite clear what this joy amounts to, but it seems to relate to the disciples' possession of Jesus' word, ie., the full measure of gospel truth. The communication of this truth will promote a negative reaction from the secular world, but being privileged to continue Jesus' gospel ministry brings with it great joy, a sense of satisfaction in a purpose for life that transcends the ephemeral nature of the here-and-now.
Third, Jesus prays that the disciples will be protected from the evil one. A person who believes in Jesus, who is in Christ, is ultimately no longer a subject of this world and therefore they become a target for Satan and his minions. In the terms of the Lord's Prayer, Jesus prays to the Father to deliver his disciples from Satan's hand. Believers are constantly tempted, and on many occasions succumb to temptation, but in the midst of the temptations of life Jesus prays that the Father will frustrate all attempts to destroy a believer's faith. A believers life in Christ is secure, or as Luther put:
And though the world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim -
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! His doom is sure, -
One little word shall fell him.
Finally, Jesus prays that the disciples will be sanctified, consecrated, set-apart and equipped / made fit for ministry, a ministry grounded in the truth of the gospel. The Father sent Jesus into the world to communicate the gospel to lost and broken humanity, and now Jesus sends his disciples out into the world to perform this same ministry. To this end Jesus has consecrated himself, dedicated himself, set himself on the path to glory (cross, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement) so that his disciples may similarly be equipped, through the Spirit, to dedicate their lives to the Father's "truth".
iv] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.
Text - 17:11b
Jesus continues his prayer for his disciples, v11b-16. i] Perseverance, v11a-12. Jesus first established the ground for his prayer, v1-11a, and now he goes on to pray that "his disciples may be protected", Carson.
pater aJgie voc. "Holy Father" - father holy. Vocative of address. "O Father most holy", other than the word "Father", this is a normal Jewish way of addressing God in prayer. The title conveys both the transcendence and imminence of God.
thrhson (threw) aor. imp. "protect" - keep safe, guard [them]. Used in the sense of: i] watch, observe, ii] keep safe, protect, iii] observe, obey. Possibly "keep safe", by the power of God, from the world's power to deceive and lead a believer from faith. Brown suggests kept from "contamination", but this would imply that the prayer is ineffective in that it is not answered. It may also mean "keep in", identify with God's name, his character, his person and thus, his wondrous words, "the truth." As Jesus received God's name, so he received God's words, which is much the same thing. So, Jesus prays that his disciples are kept in the truth of his divine revelation, kept in the gospel of God's grace in Christ, preserved.
en + dat. "by" - in. Either "marked out / identified in union with God", a local sense expressing incorporative union, or "protected by God", an instrumental sense, or both, Brown. The NEB covers both meanings with "protect by the power of your name" in the text, and in the margin, "keep them in your name" (in the sense of "keep them loyal to / in adherence to Jesus' teachings"). Beasley-Murray suggests a local sense is best, "keep in / identify with."
tw/ onomati (a atoV) dat. "the power of [your] name" - the name [of you]. "The name" = the person, their being, and when used of God it emphasizes his power and authority; "I have kept them in/by the power and authority you have bestowed upon me."
w|/ pro. rel. dat. "the name" - which. Direct object of the verb "to give". Many manuscripts have a masculine plural relative pronoun here meaning that the antecedent is "them", the disciples, eg. NEB. The NIV reading is best, even though this verse and v12 are the only times John says that the divine "name" is given to Jesus. Of course, it makes better sense when we understand that the giving of the name = their being, entails the bestowal of a person's authority and power; "protect them with your personal protection as you did with me", Barclay.
dedwkaV (didwmi) perf. "you gave" - you have given [to me]. Some manuscripts have an aorist here, but the perfect tense is the preferred reading. "The name" was given in the past and is still possessed by Christ.
iJna + subj. verb to-be "so that [they may be one as we are one]" - that [they may be one as we are one]. Normally this construction introduces a purpose clause. A number of important manuscripts omit this phrase. It does seem incongruous with the instrumental sense of "by the power of your name", although it works better with "in your name" is local = "in the truth." The unity then becomes a unity of truth, "one in truth."
eJn "one" - Barrett argues that the neuter here implies that the disciples will be kept as a unity, not units, although one wonders why John didn't use the abstract form of the noun, "unity". As above, it possibly means a "unity of truth."
By keeping his disciples in the truth of the gospel of God's grace ("in the name"), "not one of them perished." The gospel has the power to save all who believe, 3:16.
oJte "while" - Temporal conjunction serving to introduce a temporal clause.
met (meta) gen. "with [them]" - [i was] with [them]. Expressing association / accompaniment.
ethroun (threw) imperf. ind. "[I] protected [them and kept them safe]" - [i] i was keeping [them in the name of you]. The imperfect is probably used to express the idea of ongoing protection for the disciples. The personal pronoun egw, "I" is emphatic by use. "I was keeping them in the name = in/by your power and authority", see v11a. In/by the divine authority which Jesus possesses he is preserving his disciples for the day of salvation.
w|/ "-" - which = those [you have given to me]. Dative by attraction to the dative "the name." The same textual problem exists with this relative pronoun as in v11. As noted above, some manuscripts omit the whole clause.
efulaxa (fulassw) aor. "-" - [and] i kept guard, kept watch. The aorist "sums up the process represented by the imperfect ethroun." As the disciples are "in the name" they are guarded against evil, cf. v15. The evil could be some evil-like temptation, or Satan himself, although this seam unlikely. A guarding that preserves the believer from a loss of their salvation, a guarded unto the day, is better. "I guarded them, and not one of them has been lost", ESV.
ex "[none] of [them]" - [not one] from [them perished]. The preposition here serves as a partitive genitive. ei mh "except" - if not. Establishing an exception.
ei mh "except" - except. Introducing a exceptive clause which establishes a contrast by designating an exception.
thV apwleiaV (a) gen. "[the one] doomed to destruction" - [the child, son] of hell, perdition, destined to perish. The genitive is adjectival, attributive, limiting "child". He is the son of Satan who is destined for destruction. The term is used by Paul in Thessalonians of the antichrist, although John is using it here of Judas. "The son of destruction", Phillips; "the man who for whom there was nothing else but to suffer ruin", TH.
iJna + subj. "so that" - that [the scripture might be fulfilled]. This hina clause may be consecutive, denoting result, or a final clause, denoting purpose. Christ's life necessarily fulfills scripture. The problem here is, what scripture? John quotes Psalm 41:9 in 13:18, but possibly the term "child of hell" is in mind, Proverbs 24:22a. The other major problem concerns how scripture determines the damnation of Judas apart from his own will. If scripture foretells the betrayal, persecution and death of the messiah, does this necessarily impose a divine imperative upon the will of those who play a part?
ii] Joy, v13-14. For Jesus, it is a joyous, fulfilling, satisfying task making known the divine truth of the gospel to the people of Israel. Of course, it comes with its frustrations, and ultimately for Jesus, the cross. The disciples will similarly face the world's hatred, v14, but Jesus prays that they may share in the joy he has experienced in serving the divine purpose of making known the gospel of God's grace toward broken humanity.
nun "now" - [but/and] now [i am coming to you]. Temporal adverb, present time. Jesus is going to the Father and the disciples will no longer have his physical presence, so he prays that they might at least experience the joy of carrying on his mission.
tauta "these things" - [and] these things [i speak]. Possibly the whole farewell discourse, so Carson, or better, the points Jesus has just made, Barrett.
en + dat. "while I am still in [the world]" - in [the world]. Local, expressing space. Jesus has taught these truths while in the world, before leaving the world.
iJna + subj. "so that [they may have]" - that [they may have]. Here introducing a purpose clause; "in order that." Jesus is praying for the disciples in order that they may share (have) his joy to the full. Possibly "that my joy may be yours and your joy may be fulfilled ('complete' is better, "brought to completion", Harris)", Brown.
peplhrwmenhn (plhrow) perf. pas. part. "the full measure" - [the joy of me] having been fulfilled, completed. The participle serves as the accusative complement of the direct object "the joy [the mine = that which is mine]", standing in a double accusative construction. As Kostenberger notes, this is predicated upon remaining / abiding in God's love and obeying, in the sense of believing in, the Son. "So that my followers will have the same complete joy that I do", CEV.
en + dat. "within [them]" - in themselves. Local, expressing space, metaphorical. "But now I am on my way to you, saying these things while still in the world, so that there may be in them, in all its fullness, the joy which is mine", Cassirer.
autoiV dat. pro. "them" - [i have given the word of you] to them. Dative of indirect object. "Them" = the disciples.
sou gen. pro. "your" - of you. The genitive is adjectival, usually viewed as possessive, "your word", but possibly verbal, objective (ablative, source / origin); "the word which has originated from you."
ton logon (oV) "word" - the word. Barrett thinks the singular, as here, means the divine word or revelation (the gospel personified in Christ), while the plural means something like "precepts".
emishsen (misew) aor. "has hated" - [the world] hated [them]. The aorist, of course, is not indicating past time, but punctiliar aspect, here of a state of affairs. The powers of darkness have conspired to take down the Son and will conspire to take down those who follow him."The people of this world hate them", CEV.
oJti "for [they are not of the world]" - because [they are not of the world]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the world of human affairs hates the disciples of Jesus, namely, because they stand apart from the world, refusing to conform to its shibboleths - in the normal state of affairs, aliens are despised. John describes believers as born of God, born from above, and therefore ek called out of the world, 15:19. Not being part of the world prompts distrust and hate, as does the possession of a truth which condemns the world. "Because they do not belong to the world".
kaqwV "any more than [I am]"- just as, as [i am not]. Comparative introducing a comparative clause. The phrase is not found in some of the more important manuscripts. "Just like myself, they do not belong to the world", Rieu.
ek + gen. "of [the world]" - from, out of [the world]. Expressing source / origin. Expressing the general idea that "source / origin determines the character of a person", Novakovic.
iii] Protection, v15-16: Jesus' disciples are to continue his gospel mission, so he doesn't ask the Father to take them out of the world. Rather, Jesus prays that within this foreign environment they are protected / guarded from the Evil One, the usurper, "the ruler of this world", who daily applies his corrupted power. The actual protection envisaged is not stated, but is probably encapsulated in the next element of the prayer, namely that the disciples be consecrated for sacred service in the world. So, a believer's justification and sanctification, their possession of holiness in Christ through faith, and thus their ultimate salvation, is surely the focus of the protection. By being in the world a believer cannot escape Satan's malicious attention; he will tempt us and we may at times fall, but he is powerless to separate us from God's eternal grace in Christ.
ouk erwtw (erwtaw) pres. "my prayer is not" - i do not ask. "Father, I do not ask that you take my followers out of the world", CEV.
iJna + subj. "that" - that. Here serving in the place of an infinitive to introduce an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing the content of Jesus' prayer.
arhV (airw) aor. subj. "you take" - you lift up, take away [them out of the world]. It is not Jesus' intention to remove his disciples from danger or temptation, for they will play a part in the redemption of the world through the proclamation of the gospel. "I do not ask you to remove them from the world", Barclay.
all (alla) "but [that]" - Strong adversative standing in a counterpoint construction; "not ....., but ......"
thrhshV (threw) aor. subj. "you protect [them]" - you keep [them]. See above. In v11, 12, it was "keep them in the name", in v17 it will be consecrate them in truth, here it is "keep them from the evil one"; "keep them safe / protect them from the power of evil", from the power that seeks to overcome a believer's faith and thus, their eternal standing in Christ. The phrase "deliver us from evil" in the Lord's Prayer carries the same thought, better translated "free us from the evil one." - "Let them not be overcome by the powers of darkness such that they lose their eternal standing in the sight of God."
ek + gen. "from" - Expressing separation, "away from."
tou ponhrou (oV) gen. "the evil one" - This can be translated by the abstract nouns: "evil, wicked, malicious,....", such that the masculine "the evil one / the prince of darkness / Satan" may not be intended. None-the-less, "Satan" seems likely. In 1 John the same word is used for "Satan".
Some important manuscripts drop this verse. It is virtually a repeat of v14b. The statement is repeated since it is fundamental to this prayer, a prayer for Jesus' disciples and not the world of human affairs. In a different context we may rightly pray that the nefarious ways of the Prince of Darkness (not a reference to the automobile electronics company Lucas!) be restrained. When it comes to his mismanagement of the secular world, he can only exercise his power within the limits of God's will, cf., Job.1:12, 2:6, 1Cor.10:13, Rev.20:2, 7.
iv] Consecration, v17-19. Jesus prays for the dedication of his disciples for service in gospel ministry.
aJgiason (aJgiazw) aor. imp. "sanctify" - consecrate, sanctify, set apart, dedicate [them]. Literally, "make holy." Bultmann defines the word as "to take out of the sphere of the profane and place in the sphere of the divine." The word involves, on one hand, a separation from the world, and on the other, a dedicated conformity with Christ's commands. John is not using the word morally (of hating what God hates, of doing what God wants), but rather of being set-apart for God's service. Jesus is holy in that "the Father reserved the Son for his own purposes in this mission into the World", Carson. Jesus' disciples are similarly consecrated, set-apart to go into the world, v18. "Let this truth make them completely yours", CEV.
en + dat. "by [the truth]" - in [the truth]. Most translations take the preposition as instrumental, "by the truth", ie. establishing the means of consecration. None-the-less, local, sphere, should not be discounted, "in the truth", NJB, NAB, ESV, "in the sphere of the truth", Schnackenburg. The truth is God's truth, revelation, word, which is a powerful active and personal manifestation of the divine. Jesus prays that the disciples are set apart for mission in the world, "for / in / by", the truth. Schnackenburg and others argue that "kept in your name" and "consecrated in the truth" have much the same meaning as "receiving and living in the revelation of God in Jesus Christ" - living under the gospel of God's grace. "Truth is both the agency of the consecration and the realm into which they are consecrated", Brown.
oJ soV adj. "your [word is truth]" - [the word] the yours [is truth]. The article oJ serves as an adjectivizer turning the possessive adjective soV into an attributive modifier, "the word which is yours" = "your word." "The Word", God's revelation to mankind, the truth, is a truth they need to be preserved in if they are to continue as God's set-apart representatives in the world.
"In like manner" (kaqwV) to the sending of Jesus into the world, "so also" (kagw) the sending of the disciples, ie., the sending of Jesus is a paradigm for the sending of the disciples, both serve as the Father's authoritative representatives. Verse 19 will indicate that representatives must be dedicated (set-apart for service to God), and so to this end Jesus dedicated himself to divine service (the full extent of his ministry) to enable the disciples to similarly dedicate themselves to gospel ministry.
kaqwV ..... kagw "as ......." - just as [you sent me into the world] so also i in like manner [sent them into the world]. Here together forming a comparative construction; "just as ......., so also ......" This comparative clause is tied closely to the preceding verse, such that they are one sentence. Jesus prays that the disciples are set-apart in the truth of the gospel, because as Jesus was sent into the world, so also he sends his disciples.
apesteila (apostellw) aor. ind. "I have sent" - i sent = i will send. Some manuscripts have a present tense, but the aorist is the best attested and is possibly proleptic - future referring, given that John is thinking in post resurrection terms. Jesus doesn't send out the disciples until 20:21. Of course, aspect is again dominant; there is only one commissioning of the apostles to mission. "I am sending them out into the world just as I was sent out into the world."
uJper "for [them]" - [and] on behalf of [them]. The NIV opts for benefit / advantage, "and for their sakes", NRSV, but either representation or substitution are also possible.
egw pro. "I" - Emphatic by position and use. This personal pronoun, serving to emphasize that Jesus does the consecrating, is not found in some manuscripts.
aJgiazw pres. "sanctify [myself]" - i sanctify, dedicate, consecrate [myself]. In 10:36 the Father sanctifies Jesus, here Jesus sanctifies himself. A further example of Jesus possessing the same authority as the Father. It does seem that Jesus is here alluding to his death in particular, and certainly the word "consecrate" has an Old Testament meaning of "sacrifice" Yet, it is likely that the sense here is the same as v17, so the object of the dedication, although broadly "you (the Father)", is probably his "truth", the gospel, divine revelation, cf., Barrett. "For their sake I dedicate myself to you", TEV.
iJna + subj. "that" - Introducing a final clause expressing purpose; "in order that." Although rare, and certainly not found in classical Greek, it can be taken as consecutive denoting result and this well may be the use here. See below.
w\sin .... hJgiasmenoi (aJgiazw) perf. pas. part. "they [too] my be [truly] sanctified" - they [also] may be having been sanctified. A periphrastic perfect construction probably emphasizes durative aspect. Jesus' dedication / consecration involves a "determination to set himself apart for the Father's exclusive service", This has, as its intended purpose, a similar dedication by the disciples. As noted above, the disciples' dedication may be a consequence of Jesus' dedication. Obviously, for the disciple, this consecration is to the truth of the gospel rather than to a sacrifice that leads to death.
en alhqeia/ "truly" - in truth. The preposition en is most likely local, expressing space, metaphorical, "in", but possibly instrumental, expressing means, "by the truth", Moffatt; "through the truth", AV. Unlike v17 there is no definite article. This may mean it is adverbial, of manner, as in the NIV, but it is more likely a similar usage to v17, except that a singular meaning is implied, namely that Jesus has dedicated his life to the Father's intended purpose, as revealed in the truth of the gospel, so that the disciples may similarly dedicate their lives to the Father's "truth". "So that they may belong completely to the truth", CEV.