The High Priestly Prayer

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In the last four chapters of John that we have studied (chapters 13-16), Jesus has been talking to the disciples about the Father, but now in chapter 17 he switches gears and talks instead to the Father about the disciples. Both activities are critically important. As Christians, we should follow Jesus’ example in talking often to the people in our lives about God, and to God about those people. No one is fully formed as a winner and maker of disciples who does one but not the other.

The Bible often tells us that Jesus prayed, but very rarely are the actual words that he prayed recorded for us. In John 17, however, John is allowed to listen in on the words Jesus speaks to the Father on behalf of His church before going to the cross. The prayer is noteworthy for a whole host of reasons, and we could spend a lot of time dissecting all of its various parts and emphases. However, this Sunday we will be taking in the big picture view of Jesus’ high priestly prayer to see what formed the basis of Jesus’ appeals to the Father and to ask how this should inform how we pray for one another.