John 17: 20-26

Date: May 29, 2022/Speaker: The Reverend David Aber

John 17: 20-26

A simple way to read and understand Scripture:

Content (what does the passage mean)

Context (what does the passage mean to those who first heard it

Conviction (what does the passage mean to me, or to us)


I want to look more closely at the phrase in v. 23 which NRSV translates “that they may be completely one.”

The verb teleioo is usually used in reference to Jesus “completing” or “finishing” the work God has given him to do (4:34; 5:36; 17:40). A related word teleo is the last word Jesus utters from the cross in John, “It has been finished!” (19:30).

Literally, teleioo means “to make teleios’ — that is, “to make perfect, to make complete, to make whole (i.e., unblemished).”

Seeing Jesus’ glory is presented as a past event — not necessarily something in the future. Could it be that the place to see Jesus’ glory now is among his disciples? Those to whom Jesus has given his divine glory? Perhaps Jesus’ wish that we might see his glory is related to the glory that would be revealed in the unity of his disciples to whom he has given his glory for that purpose (v. 22).

Jesus’ glorification was based on seeking God’s glory rather than his own and so it is to be with us (5:41, 44; 7:18; 8:50, 54; 12:43).

The word used in v. 24 for “seeing” is theoreo which can also mean “to come to understand” and possibly “to experience”. Could Jesus’ wish be that we come to understand his glory by seeing that it came through his serving and suffering in obedience to his Father’s will? As Jesus did and was glorified by God, so we are to do — and we will see/understand/experience the same glory.

The gift of glory to Jesus came as a result of God’s love for him.


The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims God’s handiwork. Day-to-day pours out speech and night-to-night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, there are no words, whose voice is not heard. (Ps 19: 1-3)

Jesus is praying.

Jesus is praying for unity (unpack this idea of unity)

How do we feel when someone prays for us?  Uncomfortable. Grateful? Story of the plumber who came to the church, a lay minister, who prayed for me.

Jesus prays so the those who follow (and those who don”t?) may be drawn into the life of the Holy Trinity. The Father sends the son precisely so that the son may draw all humanity into the relationship that exists between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Nothing less than the complete unity, the reconciliation of all things. The goal, his life’s work, is that ‘the world’ may believe that God sent Jesus, and such believing is life, real life, in his name.

When the risen Lord meets Mary Magdalene in the garden the morning of the resurrection, He says “Do not touch me for I have not yet ascended. But go to my brothers (the disciples) and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.


4/25/22 John 20: 19 – 31 Blessed are those who believe and have not seen.

5/1 John 21: 1 – 19 Simoen son of John, Do you love me? Feed my sheep. Tend my flock.

5/8/22 John 10: 22 – 30 Tell us plainly, are you the Messiah? The father and I are one.

5/15 Rev 21: 1 – 6 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth

5/22 John 5: 1 – 17 The lame man and the Bethesda Pool where the waters are disturbed by an angel.

5/29/22 John 17: 20-29 I in them and You I me, that they may become perfectly (completely, absolutely) one

The season of Easter… which concludes for us this year with this portion of the lengthy prayer in John’s Gospel.

Heaven begins 18 inches above your head.  You can reach up and almost grab it!

May 14th, 2022 Buffalo, NY  –  10 died in a mass shooting in a grocery store. 18-year-old Payton Grendon

May 24th, Ulvade TX – 21 died in a mass shooting in an elementary school. 19-year-old Salvator Ramos

How do we resist evil with good? 

Weapons of war do not belong in any society, not at war. Period!

Remember that there is a God whose love is real and whose glory is revealed in humility and mercy (sometimes called grace). I have known a few people, church people, mothers whose adult children died violent deaths. They were loving and kind and gracious. They found ways to resist evil with their goodness. Many of us live life from the outside in rather than from the inside out. Does the life that I lead reflect my innermost truth, that I am the focus of intense divine loving?

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