John 17

John 17


After JesusI had spoken these words, he looked upII to heavenIII

Notes on verse 1a

I “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
II “looked up” = epairo + ho + ophthalmos + autos. Literally, “lifted up his eyes.” Epairo is 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to lift up or raise in a literal or figurative sense. Figuratively, it could mean to exalt oneself. Ophthalmos is from optanomai (to appear, be seen by); from horao (become, seem, appear). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
III “heaven” = ouranos. Related to “looked up” in v1. May be related to oros (mountain, hill); probably related to airo (see note II above). This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

and said, “Father,IV the hourV has come;VI glorifyVII your SonVIII so that the Son may glorify you, 

Notes on verse 1b

IV “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.
V “hour” = hora. This is a set time or period, an hour, instant, or season. This is where the word “hour” comes from.
VI “come” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
VII “glorify” = doxazo. From doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate. This is ascribing weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence.
VIII “Son” = Huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.

since you have givenIX him authorityX over allXI people,XII 

Notes on verse 2a

IX “given” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
X “authority” = exousia. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (to be, exist)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
XI “all” = pas. This is all or every.
XII “people” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).

to give eternalXIII lifeXIV to all whom you have given him. And this isXV eternal life, that they may knowXVI you, the onlyXVII

Notes on verses 2b-3a

XIII “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time); from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
XIV “life” = zoe. From zao (to live, be alive). This is life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.
XV “is” = eimi. Related to “authority” in v2. See note X above.
XVI “know” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
XVII “only” = monos. Perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate.

trueXVIII God,XIX and Jesus Christ,XX whom you have sent.XXI 

Notes on verse 3b

XVIII “true” = alethinos. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to the test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic); {from a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares)}. This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
XIX “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XX “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
XXI “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.

I glorified you on earthXXII by finishingXXIII the workXXIV that you gave me to do.XXV 

Notes on verse 4

XXII “earth” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.
XXIII “finishing” = teleioo. From teleios (going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one; reaching an end and so being complete or “perfect”; also full grown or mature); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax).  This is finish, accomplish, bring to an end, complete, reach a goal, finish a race, to consummate. It refers to completing stages or phases to get to an ultimate conclusion. It can also mean consecrate or fulfill.
XXIV “work” = ergon. From ergo (to work, accomplish, do). This is work, task, deed, labor, effort.
XXV “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.

So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the gloryXXVI that I hadXXVII in your presence before the worldXXVIII existed.XXIX

Notes on verse 5

XXVI “glory” = doxa. Related to “glorify” in v1. See note VII above.
XXVII “had” = echo. This is have, hold, possess.
XXVIII “world” = kosmos. Perhaps from the base of komizo (to carry, convey, recover); from komeo (to take care of). This is order, the world, the universe, including its inhabitants. Literally, this is something that is ordered so it can refer to all creation. It can also refer to decoration in the sense that something is better ordered and, thus, made more beautiful. This is where “cosmos” and “cosmetics” come from.
XXIX “existed” = eimi. Same as “is” in v3. See note XV above.

“I have made your nameXXX knownXXXI to thoseXXXII whom you gave me from the world.

Notes on verse 6a

XXX “name” = onoma. Related to “know” in v3. May be from ginosko (see note XVI above). This is a name, authority, cause, character, fame, reputation. The name was thought to include something of the essence of the person so it was not thought to be separate from the person.
XXXI “made…known” = phaneroo. From phaneros (visible, apparent, clear, shining); from phos (light, a source of light, fire, or radiance; light with specific reference to what it reveals; luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative); from phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to make visible or clear, to make known. Properly, it is to illumine and so to make apparent or bring into open view.
XXXII “those” = anthropos. Related to “looked up” in v1. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (see note II above)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.

They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have keptXXXIII your word.XXXIV Now they know that everythingXXXV you have given me is from you, 

Notes on verses 6b-7

XXXIII “kept” = tereo. From teros (a guard or a watch that guards keep); perhaps related to theoreo (gazing, beholding, experiencing, discerning; looking at something to analyze it and concentrate on what it means; the root of the word “theatre” in that people concentrate on the action of the play to understand its meaning); from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance); from theoros (a spectator or envoy). This is to guard, observe, keep, maintain, or preserve. It can also be used f iguratively for spiritual watchfulness. It is guarding something from being lost or harmed – keeping an eye on it. Contrast the Greek phulasso, which is to guard something so that it doesn’t escape. Also contrast koustodia, which generally denotes a fortress or military presence. This word can mean fulfilling commands, keeping in custody, or maintaining. It can also figuratively mean to remain unmarried.
XXXIV “word” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
XXXV “everything” = pas. Same as “all” in v2. See note XI above.

for the wordsXXXVI that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have receivedXXXVII them and know in truthXXXVIII that I cameXXXIX from you, and they have believedXL that you sent me. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXVI “words” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
XXXVII “received” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
XXXVIII “in truth” = alethos. Related to “true” in v3. 18x in NT. From alethes (see note XVIII above). This is truly, really, surely, truthfully, indeed. Properly, this is saying “in accordance with fact…” – what one is about to say can be proven and is true to reality.
XXXIX “came” = exerchomai. Related to “come” in v1. From ek (from, from out of) + erchomai (see note VI above). This is to go out, depart, escape, proceed from, spread news abroad.
XL “believed” = pisteuo. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.

I am askingXLI 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. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I have been glorified in them. 11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am comingXLII to you. HolyXLIII Father, protectXLIV them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one,XLV as we are one. 

Notes on verses 9-11

XLI “asking” = erotao. Related to “words” in v8. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (see note XXXVI above). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.
XLII “coming” = erchomai. Same as “come” in v1. See note VI above.
XLIII “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
XLIV “protect” = tereo. Same as “kept” in v6. See note XXXIII above.
XLV “one” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.

12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guardedXLVI them, and not one of them was lostXLVII except the one destined to be lost,XLVIII so that the scriptureXLIX might be fulfilled.L 

Notes on verse 12

XLVI “guarded” = phulasso. This is to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly. This is being on guard in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVII “was lost” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
XLVIII “one destined to be lost” = huios + ho + apoleia. Literally, “the son of destruction.” Huios is the same as “Son” in v1. See note VIII above. Apoleia is related to “was lost” in v12. 18x in NT. From apollumi (see note XLVII above). This is destruction, loss, something cut off, ruin, perdition. It can be any kind of loss whether tangible, spiritual, or eternal.
XLIX “scripture” = graphe. From grapho (to write). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
L “fulfilled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full, complete. Properly, this is filling something to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.

13 But now I am comingLI to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joyLII made completeLIII in themselves. 

Notes on verse 13

LI “coming” = erchomai. Same as “come” in v1. See note VI above.
LII “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
LIII “made complete” = pleroo. Same as “fulfilled” in v12. See note L above.

14 I have given them your word,LIV and the world has hatedLV them because they do not belongLVI to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 

Notes on verse 14

LIV “word” = logos. Same as “word” in v6. See note XXXIV above.
LV “hated” = miseo. From misos (hatred). This word is used in two ways in the New Testament. One has to do with how we prioritize. In order to prioritize something the highest, it means we have to rank other things lower. We cannot have 10 number one priorities. So, the nine that are not number 1, we love less or we value them lower. We make a moral choice the springs from our values about where we put our time, efforts, energy, etc. The other way is detesting or hatred as we normally think of it. This sense has a particular affinity with persecuting the one we hate.
LVI “belong” = eimi. Same as “is” in v3. See note XV above.

15 I am not asking you to takeLVII them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.LVIII 16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 SanctifyLIX them

Notes on verses 15-17a

LVII “take” = airo. Related to “looked up” and “heaven” in v1. See note II above.
LVIII “evil one” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
LIX “sanctify” = hagiazo. Related to “Holy” in v11. From hagios (see note XLIII above). This is to make holy, consecrate, sanctify, set apart as holy, purify, venerate.

in the truth;LX your wordLXI is truth.LXII 18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.LXIII

Notes on verses 17b-19

LX “truth” = aletheia. Related to “true” in v3 & “in truth” in v8. From alethes (see note XVIII above). Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.
LXI “word” = logos. Same as “word” in v6. See note XXXIV above.
LXII “truth” = aletheia. Same as “truth” in v17. See note LX above.
LXIII “truth” = aletheia. Same as “truth” in v17. See note LX above.

20 “I ask not onlyLXIV on behalf of these but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word,LXV 21 that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one,LXVI so that the world may know that you have sent me and have lovedLXVII them even as you have loved me. 

Notes on verses 20-23

LXIV “only” = monon. Related to “only” in v3. From monos (see note XVII above). This is merely, only, simply, sole. It can also imply alone.
LXV “word” = logos. Same as “word” in v6. See note XXXIV above.
LXVI “completely one” = teleioo + en + heis. Literally, “perfected in unity.” Teleioo is the same as “finishing” in v4. See note XXIII above. Heis is the same as “one” in v11. See note XLV above.
LXVII “loved” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.

24 Father, I desireLXVIII that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to seeLXIX my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundationLXX of the world.

Notes on verse 24

LXVIII “desire” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
LXIX “see” = theoreo. Related to “kept” in v6. See note XXXIII above.
LXX “foundation” = katabole. 11x in NT. From kataballo (to cast down, lay prostate, set a foundation); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a foundation or a plan for one – setting the foundation according to the plans. Figuratively, it can be the beginning of something, sowing, or conception.

25 “RighteousLXXI Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made your name knownLXXII to them, and I will make it known, so that the loveLXXIII with which you have loved me may be in them and I in them.”

Notes on verses 25-26

LXXI “Righteous” = dikaios. From dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known). This is correct, righteous, just, or a righteous person. It implies innocent or conforming to God’s standard of justice.
LXXII “made…known” = gnorizo. Related to “know” in v3 & “name” in v6. From ginosko (see note XVI above). This is to declare, know, discover, make known.
LXXIII “love” = agape. Related to “loved” in v23. From agapao (see note LXVII above). This is love, goodwill, benevolence. It is God’s divine love or human love that mirrors God’s love.

Image credit: “Poland_4122 Tolerance” by Dennis Jarvis, 2009.

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