From “Studies in the Lord’s Prayer,” by Pastor K. David Oldfield

John 17:9-10

This is the point at which Jesus’ prayer for us actually begins. All the preceding material has been a very wonderful and blessed introduction. You might say that the Lord has been building the scaffolding upon which to erect this prayer.

There are three major thoughts contained in these two verses: Christ is praying only for those people who are the Lord’s. He is not praying for those who are not the Lord’s people, and He is glorified in those who are His people. These are absolutely fantastic and humbling principles.

“I pray for them….which thou hast given me.”

We might wonder even why the Second Person of the Trinity would need to pray at all. Doesn’t this kind of language prove that He and the Father are not One?

That is what some unbelievers would argue – that this language proves that He is not God. But we need to remember that He is interceding for us as our Messiah. This prayer is from a very special – and very important – point of view.

All of us wear different hats from time to time: Some of you are children and you speak to your parents as if you are their children. And at the same time you are parents yourselves, and you speak to your children with authority. If you are a businessman, you speak to your bosses differently than you do your subordinates, and you talk to your customers differently again. So your different relationships lead you to speak with different people differently.

This is a very weak illustration of the multifaceted relationship Christ Jesus has to God, the Father. In many ways the Word is always with God and the Word always will be God. But then, too, the Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.

In this chapter He is praying as our High Priest, interceding on the behalf of his constituency. And He is even yet today, standing at the right hand of the Father, carrying on a similar ministry. He shed his blood as our sacrifice to redeem us from the penalty of our sins. Then He was buried and rose again and ascended into Heaven with that blood in his hands. And there He appears in the presence of the Father for us.

As long as we are in the world (v.11) we desperately need the Lord Jesus’ intercession. We are in weakness; we are in danger; we are in temptation. We are plagued with unbelief, with ignorance and with sin. If it was not for the continued work of Christ at the Father’s side, we’d be in serious trouble. “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of god, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Heb. 4:14-16

So He came for us; He lived for us, and He died for us. He rose for us, ascended for us, entered into the Holy of Holies for us, and He has presented his blood for us. He is now preparing a place for us, and He caused the scriptures to be written for us. He has sent the comforter for us, and He is coming again for us. These things were not for the world, but for us, His people.

A wise petitioner is not afraid to use good arguments to strengthen his petition, and the Lord is not ashamed to do the same. “Father, look upon me, your co-equal, and remember the glory that we shared in eternity past, before I humbled myself to come into this world. You know that I so emptied myself that I had not even a place of my own where I could lay my head. You know that I came unto my own but my own neither knew me, nor received. You know that not only did I bear the reproach of wicked, but I also made my soul an offering for sin. And you know that I did it specifically for those whom you have given to me out of the world. Thine they were, and thou gavest them me. And now, based upon these things I intercede for them.”

“I pray not for the world . . .”

We notice how that this statement, “I pray not for the world” is a part of a theological sandwich. The Lord Jesus says, “I pray for those people that you have given me; those who have received and believed on us. I pray not for the world, but I pray for the people whom thou has given to me.”

The word “world” may sometimes refer to the world system around us that is basically antichrist. But there is no doubt that in this case the Lord Jesus says that He is not praying for the people of that antichristian system. Father, I am not praying for those people, whom thou hast not given to me.

Notice that this doesn’t define those people as those who refuse to acknowledge or believe on Him. The reason that Jesus doesn’t pray for them is not their rebellion or their unbelief. While this is true, the reason that they don’t believe on Him is because they were not the Lord’s people in the first place. And while I’m not sure whether or not Lord has never prayed for those outside the kingdom of grace, as far as His current ministry of intercession is concerned He says, “I pray not for those people.”

“And all mine are thine, and thine are mine. . .”

It is interesting that in the original Greek, the word “all” is both singular and neuter. In other words this stretches far beyond the souls of the people whom the Father has given the Son. “Everything that is mine is thine, and everything that is thine is mine.” Thy nature, Thy name, Thy perfections, Thy attributes, Thy fullness, Thy authority. Thy kingdom is mine; thy Heavens are mine, Thy throne is mine, Thy Glory is mine. And thy chosen people are mine.

Imagine an archangel using language like this – it is absurd. Imagine some man, like Moses or Abraham, talking like this – that would be blasphemy.

All things that belong to Thee are Mine and all that is Mine is Thine – without exclusion or limitation. They were Thine eternally and electively. They are Mine by creation and by the purchase of my blood. Furthermore, they are mine, for thou gavest them to me…

“And I am glorified in them . . .”

I hope that you are following the Lord’s logic in this prayer. Among other things, He says that He and the Father unitedly possess the people for whom He is praying. And then He says that He is glorified in them – in us. He who is speaking is the Lord of glory, and yet He is glorified in us. He has gone into glory and reigns now in glory, and yet He is glorified in us. He is going to return in the Father’s glory and in His own glory with the Holy angels. And yet He is glorified in us. He is the brightness of the Father’s glory and the express image of his person And yet He is glorified in us.

We might ask, “What is the definition of this word ‘glory?'” One good answer is that it is a display of the fullness of God. In speaking of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “He shall glorify me; for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you” – John 16:14.

Is the Lord saying that we display, or make manifest, the fullness of God? The glory of God was seen in the old temple and tabernacle, and now it is seen in us. Every office and attribute of Christ is glorified in us. His power is glorified in us. His goodness is glorified in us. His mercy is glorified in us.

And now comes the punch-line – He cannot be glorified if we are not blessed. This is a summary of this entire prayer. “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me” – verse24. There is no fear of ever being lost for those whom the Father and Son equally possess. The glory of the Son of God depends upon their glorification

Let me rephrase that: The future glorification of the Son of God depends upon OUR future glorification.

Go to Chapter Eight »