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John 17:1-11                                                

 

1)The "Farewell Discourse" between Jesus and the disciples closes with a prayer. Called the "high priestly prayer" since the 16th c., scholars, while conceding the intercessory quality of the prayer, argue that it "minimizes the intrinsic connections between this prayer and the preceding discourse."

2) theological apex? The Fourth Evangelist positions Jesus’ prayer as the theological climax of his gospel. The prayer contains seeds of what has emerged throughout Jesus’ ministry-the authority to grant life (17:2 w/ 1:12); not belonging to the world (17:16 / 15:19); echoes of the prologue (17:2 w/1:12; 17:5 w/ 1:1-2). What a way to review one’s story!

3) the "hour" - The opening five verses concern Jesus’ departure by death, resurrection, and ascension. Jesus recognizes that the "hour" of his death has come (12:23, 13:1).

4) "glorify" - concerns the revelation of the power and presence of God (2:11) through Jesus’ words and works/signs (12:45; 14:9-10) in his ministry (17:4-5) as the one sent from God (1:18; 3:14-17, 31-36).

 

1) warren carter - God brings the community into being as a distinct entity. We are not our own masters. We have responded to and been empowered by God’s love to embody God’s saving purposes.

2) not an orphan - The Evangelist leaves no one in doubt: the church is not an orphan in the world, an accident of history, a thing dislodged, the frightened child of huddled rumors and superstitions. The pedigree of truth is established and unbroken: from God, to Christ, to the apostles, to the church.

 

Three themes from Jesus's prayer:

 

1) Jesus speaks to God on behalf of the faith community. Throughout the Farewell Discourse, Jesus has made promises to the disciples-and the reader-about the future; in this prayer, Jesus entrusts that future to God. Instead of entrusting the community’s future to their own devices, Jesus entrusts it to God. We’re not orphaned, but entrusted to God.

2) We overhear the intimacy of Jesus’ relationship with God. There is an unmistakable tone of intimacy around which the prayer is built. Notice how Jesus prays: intimately, but also boldly: "You have given, you have sent, you have loved . . . now keep, sanctify, let them be one." This prayer enables the faith community to hear how Jesus and God love each other and work together for the future of the community in the world.

3) This prayer is a reminder of the possibility of life with God. The prayer points us toward a future in which God’s governance and care of them is complete. Such a vision makes day to day life possible. God is responsible for the nurture of the future.
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1) New Interpreter’s Bible IX (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995), page 787.
2) New Proclamation (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002), page 70.
3) Ibid, page 72.
4) Preaching the New Common Lectionary (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1986), page 234.
5) Quoted directly from NIB IX, pp. 797-798.