World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

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9I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 10All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 14I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 16They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word,

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9-14. I pray for them—not as individuals merely, but as representatives of all such in every succeeding age (see on Joh 17:20).

not for the world—for they had been given Him "out of the world" (Joh 17:6), and had been already transformed into the very opposite of it. The things sought for them, indeed, are applicable only to such.

10. all mine are thine, and thine are mine—literally, "All My things are Thine and Thy things are Mine." (On this use of the neuter gender, see on Joh 6:37-40). Absolute COMMUNITY OF PROPERTY between the Father and the Son is here expressed as nakedly as words can do it. (See on Joh 17:5).

11. I am no more in the world—(See on Joh 17:4).

but these are in the world—that is, Though My struggles are at an end, theirs are not; though I have gotten beyond the scene of strife, I cannot sever Myself in spirit from them, left behind and only just entering on their great conflict.

Holy Father—an expression He nowhere else uses. "Father" is His wonted appellation, but "Holy" is here prefixed, because His appeal was to that perfection of the Father's nature, to "keep" or preserve them from being tainted by the unholy atmosphere of "the world" they were still in.

keep through thine own name—rather, "in thy name"; in the exercise of that gracious and holy character for which He was known.

that they may be one—(See on Joh 17:21).

12. I kept—guarded.

them in thy name—acting as Thy Representative on earth.

none of them is lost, but the son of perdition—It is not implied here that the son of perdition was one of those whom the Father had given to the Son, but rather the contrary (Joh 13:18) [Webster and Wilkinson]. It is just as in Lu 4:26, 27, where we are not to suppose that the woman of Sarepta (in Sidon) was one of the widows of Israel, nor Naaman the Syrian one of the lepers in Israel, though the language—the same as here—might seem to express it.

son of perdition—doomed to it (2Th 2:3; Mr 14:21).

13. I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves—that is, Such a strain befits rather the upper sanctuary than the scene of conflict; but I speak so "in the world," that My joy, the joy I experience in knowing that such intercessions are to be made for them by their absent Lord, may be tasted by those who now hear them, and by all who shall hereafter read the record of them,

15-19. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world—for that, though it would secure their own safety, would leave the world unblessed by their testimony.

but … keep them from the evil—all evil in and of the world.

16. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world—(See Joh 15:18, 19). This is reiterated here, to pave the way for the prayer which follows.

17. Sanctify them—As the former prayer, "Keep them," was "negative," asking protection for them from the poisonous element which surrounded and pressed upon their renewed nature, so this prayer, "Sanctify them," is positive, asking the advancement and completion of their begun sanctification.


thy truth—God's revealed truth, as the medium or element of sanctification; a statement this of immense importance.

thy word is truth—(Compare Joh 15:3; Col 1:5; Eph 1:13).

18. As thou hast sent—sentest.

me into the world, even so have I also sent them—sent I also them.

into the world—As their mission was to carry into effect the purposes of their Master's mission, so our Lord speaks of the authority in both cases as co-ordinate.

19. And for their sakes I sanctify—consecrate.

myself that they also might—may.

be sanctified—consecrated. The only difference between the application of the same term to Christ and the disciples is, as applied to Christ, that it means only to "consecrate"; whereas, in application to the disciples, it means to consecrate with the additional idea of previous sanctification, since nothing but what is holy can be presented as an offering. The whole self-sacrificing work of the disciples appears here as a mere result of the offering of Christ [Olshausen].


the truth—Though the article is wanting in the original here, we are not to translate, as in the Margin, "truly sanctified"; for the reference seems plainly to be "the truth" mentioned in Joh 17:17. (See on Joh 17:17).

20-23. Neither pray I for these alone—This very important explanation, uttered in condescension to the hearers and readers of this prayer in all time, is meant not merely of what follows, but of the whole prayer.

them also which shall believe—The majority of the best manuscripts read "which believe," all future time being viewed as present, while the present is viewed as past and gone.