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!

  1. Take Heart!

    1. 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.)

      1. Read John 16:32-33. When our world turns upside down,
        what is Jesus’ desire for us? (To give us peace and

        1. Is having trouble just a normal part of living
          on earth? (Verse 33 suggests just that.)

        2. 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!)

          1. 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:

  2. Glory to the Son

    1. 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?

      1. Read John 12:23-24. Explain to me what Jesus is
        saying about glory in wheat dying?

      2. Should we apply this principle to our life? If so,

      3. 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?

    2. 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.)

      1. 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

    3. 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

    4. 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

      1. Does it glorify Jesus to say that everything He has
        came from the Father? Doesn’t this undercut Jesus’

        1. If it glorifies Jesus to say this, are you
          glorified by attributing your success in life to

          1. 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?

    5. 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

      1. Is this also God’s goal for you?

  3. Prayer for the Disciples

    1. 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

      1. Are you bringing glory to Jesus today?

      2. 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?

        1. 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
          the child.)

          1. Do you think this is what Jesus meant when
            He said protect them through the power of
            Your name?

        2. 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!)

          1. 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

      3. What does verse 11 suggest is the goal of protecting
        the disciples? (That they may be one.)

        1. What does it mean to be one with Jesus? (While
          on earth having common goals and walk. Being
          together in heaven.)

          1. 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.)

    2. 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.)

    3. 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

      1. 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
        brings joy!)

    4. Read John 17:14-16. Does verse 14 explain why we
      sometimes suffer?

      1. 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
        liked that!)

      2. 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.)

        1. Does this mean protection from physical pain?
          (Again, Jesus seems to be focused on a mental
          attitude and eternal life.)

    5. Read John 17:17. Want to be a saint? How do we learn the
      truth that sanctifies us? (Through the study of the word
      of God!)

      1. Do you realize you are being sanctified right now?

  4. Prayer for Others

    1. 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.)

      1. Where are you in this proof chain? Are you in it at

      2. 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.)

        1. Is there unity in your church? How about
          Christian churches in general?

          1. If not, why not?

        2. 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?

    2. Read John 17:24-26. How does the cross make known to us
      the Father’s love?

    1. 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?

  1. Next week: Prayers for the Church: Paul