We can learn so much from Jesus. In John 17, we see Him praying to His Heavenly Father. He prays first for Himself, then for His disciples, then for all who will believe in Him through the centuries. That last part includes us – in the first century, on a hill in Jerusalem, Jesus prayed for you!
To read John 17, CLICK HERE. Otherwise, grab your Bible and read along in John 17 as you think about and/or discuss with a group the thoughts and questions below.
“Father, glorify Your Son”
In verses 1-5, Jesus asks the Father to glorify the Son so that the Son would glorify the Father. Jesus knew that His death for our sins would change lives forever! To glorify the Son means to make much of Jesus, to brag on Him, to talk about how vital His death and resurrection are to us having eternal life, and to talk about the eternal life that He gives us.
- According to verses 1-5, why is Jesus worthy of receiving glory?
- What is eternal life, according to verse 3?
- What is one way that you can glorify Jesus in your life today?
“Father, protect your children”
One of the things that fathers want to do the most is to protect their children. They want their children to be physically, emotionally, and mentally strong. Fathers who love Christ also want their children to be spiritually strong. In verses 6-19, you notice that Jesus doesn’t ask the Heavenly Father to remove His followers from the world, but He asks the Heavenly Father to remove the worldliness from His followers. He says that the Word of God, the truth, will protect them.
- How does God protect His children, according to verses 6-19?
- Whom does He protect them from?
- Why do you think that God doesn’t just take all Christians out of the world’s environment (either by taking them immediately to heaven when they get saved, or by sending them to a remote monastery somewhere), but rather He leaves us in the world? (see verses 15-19)
“Father, unify your children”
God the Father and God the Son are always in perfect unity. They never disagree. And that is the goal of Christ-followers, to be in unity with one another. We achieve this unity with each other as we stay focused on Christ and His mission for the world, and as we submit our will to His will. That’s easier said than done. God will help you do that.
- As you read verses 20-22, what do you notice most about the unity that God the Father and God the Son have?
- Why does Jesus want us to have this kind of unity?
- How do we maintain unity among believers?
“Father, show them your love”
In the final four verses of John 17, many themes are addressed. One of them is love. When you think of how Jesus most displayed the characteristics of God the Father while He was on the earth, there is no doubt that everywhere He went He displayed God’s love.
- In verses 23-26, what does Jesus say about the love He has with God the Father?
- According to these verses, how does a person come to know God and His love?
- When a person knows God’s love lives in them, how does that change their life?