“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. 8 For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
9 “I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
John 17: 6-11
I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word.
Jesus gives us a very succinct definition of His ministry: He displayed and demonstrated God.
The Bible, especially the Old Testament, used name in a very special way.
And those who know Your name will put their trust
For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
Ps. 9: 10
Those who know God’s name are the people who know what God is really like.
I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
Ps. 22: 22
This is a Messianic prophecy. The Messiah would come and declare to God’s people His true nature.
When Jesus said:
I have manifested Your name
He is saying that He has demonstrated for all the world to see just what God is like.
to the men whom You have given Me out of the world.
Jesus Christ displayed God to the whole world, but only those unconditionally chosen by the Father responded.
Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
Acts 13: 48
Only those whose hearts have been regenerated – born again – by the Holy Spirit recognize that Jesus is the Christ.
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
Matt. 16: 15-17
Only those who have been irresistibly drawn to Christ can come to Him. Receiving Jesus as your Lord and Savior is not a condition to salvation; it is a response made possible by the Holy Spirit.
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6: 44
Not all who hear the Gospel receive Christ. Faith in Christ is a gift given to those who have been predestined.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
Eph. 1: 3-6
The Gospel is foolishness to the non-elect.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
I Cor. 1: 18
They were Yours, You gave them to Me
We were chosen by God before the foundation of the world. The elect have always been God’s Chosen People. Because this was God’s choice according to the good pleasure of His will, it means that human will and human merit had nothing to do with it.
And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Rom. 9: 10-13
Those who the Father has given to Christ have no grounds to claim any credit for their salvation. We have been saved by God’s grace.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Eph. 2: 8-9
Because we have been given to Christ, we are eternally secure. We can never lose the gift of our salvation.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”
John 10: 25-30
We can be absolutely certain we are going to Heaven because the Father has given us into the guardianship of His Son.
Predestination is hidden from human sight; it is manifested in Christ alone.
they have kept Your word.
This is the third step. The first step was God’s unconditional election; the second step was spiritual regeneration, and being drawn into Christ’s care. The Gospel means nothing to the lost; but to the elect, it compels us to obedience.
Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You.
Believers understand that we have been set apart; our treasure awaits us in Heaven.
These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
I Cor. 2: 13-15
An exasperated mother, whose son was always
getting into mischief,
finally asked him
'How do you expect to get into Heaven?'
The boy thought it over and said,
'Well, I'll run in and out and in
and out and keep slamming the door until St. Peter says,
'For Heaven's sake, Dylan, come in or stay out!''
The lost are always seeking another way; Christians know that Christ is the only way.
For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
How do believers know? Jesus told them so. The basis of our spiritual peace of mind is our trust in what Jesus taught. His teaching is different from everyone else’s because He only taught what the Father gave Him to teach. If Jesus didn’t add to God’s Word, neither should we.
Christ’s meaning is clear: He was a faithful witness of God; and as the Holy Spirit enables us, we should be faithful witnesses to what Christ has entrusted to us, the Gospel.
Jesus makes a very interesting transition here. He begins by saying we have known that He came from the Father; then He says we have believed. His point is simply this: Nothing can be known about God but through faith. In that faith, there is certainty that can rightly be called knowledge.
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
Here is a passage that clarifies so many misconceptions about Christianity.
1. The elect are given to Christ by God. The Holy Spirit, not human “free will,” regenerates our sin-dead hearts and draws us to our Savior.
2. Through our faithful obedience, Christ is glorified.
3. A Christian is a saint who has been set apart to do good works for which he was created.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Eph. 2: 10
We believe that Jesus Christ is a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek– made such by an oath– and that he presented himself in our name before his Father, to appease his wrath with full satisfaction by offering himself on the tree of the cross and pouring out his precious blood for the cleansing of our sins, as the prophets had predicted. For it is written that “the chastisement of our peace” was placed on the Son of God and that “we are healed by his wounds.” He was “led to death as a lamb”; he was “numbered among sinners” and condemned as a criminal by Pontius Pilate, though Pilate had declared that he was innocent. So he paid back what he had not stolen, and he suffered– the “just for the unjust,” in both his body and his soul– in such a way that when he senses the horrible punishment required by our sins his sweat became like “big drops of blood falling on the ground.” He cried, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” And he endured all this for the forgiveness of our sins. Therefore we rightly say with Paul that we “know nothing but Jesus and him crucified”; we consider all things as “dung for the excellence of the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” We find all comforts in his wounds and have no need to seek or invent any other means to reconcile ourselves with God than this one and only sacrifice, once made, which renders believers perfect forever. This is also why the angel of God called him Jesus– that is, “Savior”– because he would save his people from their sins.
Did Christ come to save everyone? No
Here He prays for those the Father gave Him. . . not the whole world, but for only those whom the Father chose. Jesus knew who they were.
When we pray, who are we supposed to pray for? Everyone. In this world, we cannot distinguish between the elect and the reprobate. We leave to God’s judgment those whom He knows to be one or the other. We should treat everyone as if they might be one of the elect and we might be God’s chosen instruments to bring the Gospel to them. Paul had to learn this lesson.
When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ 6 But when they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook his garments and said to them, “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” 7 And he departed from there and entered the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.
9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Acts 18: 5-11
Paul was treated very rudely. He didn’t want to preach to these people. But God said, I have many people in this city. . . Paul was to witness to all; pray for all; because God had many people in that city. We never know whom God has in our city, so we must behave as if they all might be.
And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
What Jesus is saying here is: I am not commending anyone to Thee except those whom Thou has given Me.
Jesus prayed to confirm our faith. There is salvation in no one else. We enjoy God’s care only because we are Jesus’.
Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
Even though we do not have Jesus physically present with, He is assuring us that He helping us with all the trials and tribulations we will face as His ambassadors in this world. His ability to help His Disciples when He was with them was limited. Now that He has returned to Heaven, He is our great High Priest whose help knows no limits.
Then Jesus prays for our unity. There doesn’t seem to be much unity in Christ’s Church these days. That is because humans keep adding to what Christ taught and redefining the meaning of His lessons.
· Christ never forbade drinking alcoholic beverages; humans did;
· Christ never forbade dancing; humans did;
· Christ never forbade going to the movies; humans did;
never taught: "I confess that to love Jesus means
to live in faithful, monogamous covenants of love.
Susan Andrews, Moderator of 215th PCUSA General Assembly
This is an example of humans trying to accommodate their culture.
Jesus prayed for our unity because He knew that divisions, exclusiveness, and competition between congregations would hurt the credibility of the Gospel. Even the elect will come to have doubts when Christendom is divided. So Jesus prayed that we might be one as He and the Father are one.
We will know godly unity when our lives and our congregations faithfully reflect Christ, what He taught, what He told us to do, and who He was in this world. We will know division when we try to make the Gospel accommodate the culture in which we find ourselves.
O Thou who has ordered this wondrous creation and knows all things in Heaven and Earth:
So fill our hearts with trust in Thee that at all times and in all places,
we may without fear commit ourselves and those who are dear to us
to Thy never-failing love, for this life and the life to come.
In Jesus’ name we pray,