Key Verse: John 17:26 “I have made You known to them, and will continue to make You known…”
Chapter 17 is known as Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer” for His disciples. It gives special insight into Jesus’ assessment of His own ministry. It also helps us see what He expected of His Father in terms of the ongoing life of the church-to-be.
First, let’s look at Jesus’ self-assessment. What did He do? It shouldn’t surprise us that the number one thing Jesus did was to make the Father glorious on earth. “I have brought You glory…” (v.4). How? By “completing the work You gave Me to do.” In other words, by obedient action.
Then, Jesus revealed the Father “to those whose You gave Me” (v.6). To put it another way, Jesus uncovered God to the disciples (that’s what “revelation” means: “to uncover”). In doing so, He “gave them the words You gave Me” (v.8). The uncovering was consistent with the Word of the Father. It was God’s Word. This is what Jesus did and what Jesus was. He was God’s Word even as He spoke God’s words.
But Jesus also had expectations of His Father. He asks Him to protect them (vss. 11b,15). He asks Him to “sanctify them by the truth…” (v.17) and to bring them “to complete unity” (v.23). He wants them to dwell in God (v.21).
Then Jesus makes a promise. He says He will “continue to make You [the Father] known” to the disciples (v.26). He will continue to uncover God so that the emerging Church will be drenched in an overflowing knowledge of God. Christianity will not be static, but dynamic: ever growing “from faith to faith” and in the “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.” This growth however, will be rooted in the solid soil of the Word of God. The living Word will always be the focus of the written word. The word will reveal the Word, and the Word will reveal the Father.