Jesus Praying for His Apostles Part 1 An Exposition of John 17:6-10 -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 08:1 (Summer 1999)
Article: Jesus Praying for His Apostles Part 1 An Exposition of John 17:6-10
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.


Jesus Praying for His Apostles
Part 1
An Exposition of John 17:6-10

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.*

Introduction

The high-priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus, the true “Lord’s Prayer,” is like three concentric circles around a common center, or like three circles drawn around a common center with a dime, a nickel, and a quarter. The smallest circle, the one within the other two, represents our Lord’s prayer for Himself (cf. John 17:1–5). The second, or middle, circle represents the prayer of the Lord for the apostles (John 17:6–19). The largest circle represents our Lord’s prayer for the whole family of God, the body of believers in Him (John 17:20–26). This analysis of the structure of the prayer is a helpful aid to the understanding of this important part of Holy Scripture.

The great theme of the opening five verses, containing the prayer for Himself, is glory. The Lord asks, first, that He may receive His mediatorial and Messianic glory, that is, that He may be enabled by the Father to triumph over sin and Satan in His cross by the completion of the work of redemption of the people of God, the given ones. This, of course, He asks in order that the Father may be glorified in His return to the right hand of the Father as the Eternal Son of the Eternal Trinity. By the side of and in the bosom of the Father (cf. v. 5; 1:18)

* Bible teacher Lewis Johnson has been associated for many years with Believer’s Chapel in Dallas, Texas. He is Professor Emeritus of New Testament Exegesis at Dallas Theological Seminary and also served as Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. This is the fifteenth in a series of expositions on The Upper Room Discourse.

in the enjoyment of the essential glory of deity He may resume the enjoyment of the communion that He had with the Father, before the world was. It is that that John referred to in his opening words of his prologue, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (in intimate communion), and the Word was God” (John 1:18).

The theme of glory in the opening section passes to the themes of safety and sanctity in the next section, and it is to these sacred subjects that we now turn. Great eternal and abiding thoughts are in our Lord’s mind as He prays, and it is our privilege to listen in. For example, one sees the unity of the Father and the Son ...

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