Introduction: Do you wish you had someone to watch over you? Someone
who really cared about your problems and your future? Do you show
this kind of care and love for others? This week we see God’s
unselfish compassion for us as we continue our study of Jesus’ last
hours on earth. Last week we studied Jesus’ words of comfort to His
disciples before He was taken from them. This week we look at His
prayer for His disciples. Let’s dive in!
- Take Heart!
- Put yourself in the place of one of the disciples at the
Last Supper (Jesus last meal before being crucified).
Compare your dreams of the future versus what we now know
happened? (They were dreaming of being earthly rulers.
( Acts 1:6) Instead, Jesus was crucified and their dreams
of earthly authority were shattered.)
- Read John 16:32-33. When our world turns upside down,
what is Jesus’ desire for us? (To give us peace and
- Is having trouble just a normal part of living
on earth? (Verse 33 suggests just that.)
- What do you think is the most important of
Jesus’ statements in verse 33? (Jesus has
overcome the world! Whatever problem or trouble
you have, He has already overcome it!)
- Do you agree? Are there any problems in
life that Jesus has not overcome? (This
week I met a man whose two (and only)
children and were killed in the same
automobile accident with his parents.
That problem makes most of our “problems”
pale. Jesus in the next chapters is
poised to overcome the ultimate problem:
- Glory to the Son
- Read John 17:1. Jesus was about to be brutalized and
cruelly murdered. How can Jesus pray for glory? Was there
glory in what happened to Jesus?
- Read John 12:23-24. Explain to me what Jesus is
saying about glory in wheat dying?
- Should we apply this principle to our life? If so,
- Jesus says that He is bringing glory to His Father.
We can now understand how he was bringing glory to us
by the wheat comparison, but how was He bringing
glory to His Father in Heaven?
- Read John 17:2-4. How does verse 4 say that Jesus was
bringing glory to His Father? (It is the Father’s work to
cure the sin problem and bring us back into harmony with
Him. It is also God’s work to reveal His heart for us.)
- Look at the logical sequence in verses 2 and 3. Jesus
first tells us that His Father gave Him authority
over us to give us eternal life. Then He tells us how
to obtain eternal life under His authority. How do we
do that? (Verse 3 says by knowing the Father and
- Read John 17:5. What does this verse say to those who
believe that Jesus was simply a good man? (He is either
God or He is liar. He clearly states in this verse that He
had a glorious pre-existence in heaven before the world
- Read John 17:6-7. What link do you find between verse 4
and verse 6? (Jesus now clearly says His work is to reveal
- Does it glorify Jesus to say that everything He has
came from the Father? Doesn’t this undercut Jesus’
- If it glorifies Jesus to say this, are you
glorified by attributing your success in life to
- We started out (v.1)talking about how
Jesus’ crucifixion and death was about to
bring glory to Him. Can your failures and
problems bring glory to God? If so, how?
- John 17:6-8 indirectly says something about Jesus’
disciples (and us). What was Jesus hoping to accomplish
in His disciples? (They would see a revelation of God
through Jesus, would believe that Jesus was God, sent from
the Father. Would hear, accept(v.8)and obey(v.6)God’s
- Is this also God’s goal for you?
- Prayer for the Disciples
- Read John 17:9-11. Jesus says that He is praying for His
disciples and not the world. (Later, in John 17:20 we
find Jesus praying for future believers.) Jesus refers to
obtaining glory from His disciples. How can He get glory
from them? (This goes back to the John 12:24 idea that we
discussed earlier. By producing more “seeds” (followers)
through self-sacrifice, the disciples would bring glory to
- Are you bringing glory to Jesus today?
- In verse 11 Jesus asks for protection by the power of
God’s name. This idea of invoking God’s name is
common in the Bible. (For example 1 Samuel 12:22:
“for the sake of his great name the Lord will not
reject his people.”) What does it mean to claim
protection through the power of God’s name?
- I have children in boarding school. Could my
name protect them? How about you, can your name
protect your children? (If you knew and liked
the parent, you would be kind to the child. If
you feared the parent, you would be careful with
- Do you think this is what Jesus meant when
He said protect them through the power of
- Can your children affect your name and
reputation? (Sure. If your children are
unusually smart, someone may be fooled into
thinking you had something to do with that!)
- When my brother and I were young, my
father would say, “Remember, you are Don
Cameron’s sons!” He wanted us to behave
for the sake of his name. Does this idea
(children affecting the parent’s
reputation) apply here when Jesus says to
His Father, protect the disciples by the
power of Your name? (I think that is the
principal point Jesus in making. That God
has a great interest in this entire
operation. Therefore, Jesus asks that He
bless and protect the disciples in their
work because it affects the Father’s
- What does verse 11 suggest is the goal of protecting
the disciples? (That they may be one.)
- What does it mean to be one with Jesus? (While
on earth having common goals and walk. Being
together in heaven.)
- Is there a “oneness” with our fellow
disciples that should also be our aim?
(Let’s skip ahead and read John 17:23.
This shows that unity with fellow
disciples is important to show that we are
followers of Jesus.)
- Read John 17:12. Jesus seems to be using the “name
protection” idea in a different way here. How do you
understand Jesus to be able to protect the disciples in
the name of the Father? (It is hard to escape the
conclusion that there is spiritual power in calling on the
name of the Father for protection. Calling on His name can
provide a type of shield.)
- Read John 17:13. Do you want joy in your life? If so, how
does Jesus say He is giving joy to His disciples? (The
disciples can have joy in knowing that even though Jesus
will be physically gone, they have the protection of the
- Quickly review 2 Corinthians 11:24-26. Paul adds in
subsequent texts that he has been cold, hungry,
thirsty, sleepy and pressured with worries about his
churches. Is this protection? Is there a “legal
loophole” in this promise because Paul was not one of
the twelve disciples? (Think again of what Jesus was
about to suffer. If you look at John 17:12-13
carefully, Jesus says none of the disciples were
“lost” except Judas. The ultimate protection of God’s
name is the promise to give us eternal life. That
- Read John 17:14-16. Does verse 14 explain why we
- What would it mean to take the disciples out of the
world? Was that an option? An option the disciples
would have liked? (Elijah was taken out of the world.
2 Kings 2:11-12. I feel confident they would have
- What does it mean that you are still in the world?
What is Jesus’ solution (v. 15) to us still being in
the world? (To protect us from Satan.)
- Does this mean protection from physical pain?
(Again, Jesus seems to be focused on a mental
attitude and eternal life.)
- Read John 17:17. Want to be a saint? How do we learn the
truth that sanctifies us? (Through the study of the word
- Do you realize you are being sanctified right now?
- Prayer for Others
- Read John 17:20-23. Explain God’s process for giving the
message to the world? (The Father sent Jesus into the
world(17:18)so that the disciples would believe. Jesus
then sent His disciples into the world (Id.)that others
may believe. Then those others who believe reveal to the
world (17:23) the love of God. This unity of love is proof
that Jesus came from God.)
- Where are you in this proof chain? Are you in it at
- What is key to the success of the revelation of this
last group to the world? (Unity! It is our love for
each other that brings the unity that the world will
notice and take as evidence this has Godly origins.)
- Is there unity in your church? How about
Christian churches in general?
- If not, why not?
- Some Christians feel compelled to attack fellow
Christians out of a concern about their theology
or a fear they will spark religious persecution
in the future. Is this appropriate?
- Read John 17:24-26. How does the cross make known to us
the Father’s love?
- Friend, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to give us eternal
life reveals the unbelievable depth of God’s love for us.
Given His love for you, will you give Him your heart?
More than that, will you reflect His love in your dealings
with others – especially fellow Christians?
- Next week: Prayers for the Church: Paul