The high priest asked about the disciples (v.19) either so he could arrest them too, or to embarrass the Lord to ack-nowledge they had forsaken Him. He asked about His doctrine (v.19) even though we know he knew it, for he’d try to kill Him many times for it. He was just gathering evi-dence against Him, as the leaders did earlier (Lu.11:53,54). This means after 3 years of listening to Him, now that they had Him on trial—they had nothing to charge Him with!
He may have asked about the disciples knowing they’d be easier to trip up in their words, which they would have been till the Spirit gave them words to speak at Pentecost (Luke 12:11,12; 21:15 cf. Acts 6:5-10). But as we rightly divide the Word, we know the Spirit speaks today only through His Word, so we must know it to let Him speak through us.
When asked about His doctrine, the Lord told the high priest he should know it for He “spoke openly” (v.20). But if He only spoke to Jews (Mt.15:24) why did He say He spoke “to the world” (Jo.18:20)? When He taught in the temple He spoke to the world, for it was a house of prayer for “all nations” (Mark 11:17). He spoke nothing “in secret” (Jo.18:20) just like His Father (Isa.45:19), who also spoke openly to reach the world (v.22). The Lord may also have been answering an implied charge that He taught “secretly” because He had something to hide (Deu.13:6-9).
The high priest asked about the disciples, but the Lord said nothing. If he asked about them to embarrass Him that they had fled, He resists the temptation to agree they weren’t worth much (v.21). If you can’t disagree when someone is running down saints, do what the Lord did and say nothing!
John 18:22 combined with Matthew 26:67 fulfills Isaiah 50:6. But if the Lord was supposed to be silent (Isa.53:7) why does He speak (John 18:23)? Ah, He was silent when charged with our sins, for on the Cross He became guilty of them. But here He is charged with speaking ill of His nation’s leader, which would have been His sin (Ex.22:28; Eccl.10:20). If arrested, you can ask the charge, as He did.
Peter denied Him again (v.25), this time “with an oath” (Mt.26:70-72) because He heard the high priest was gunning for him, and his Galilean accent (Mark 14:70) was betraying him (Mt.26:73). Does your speech betray the fact that you are a Christian?
These denials didn’t take place in the heat of a moment, there was an hour between (Luke 22:58-60), so Peter had time to think about them. And now he wasn’t just being charged with associating with the Lord, he was being charged with assaulting an officer of the court (Jo.18:26), a crime and a sin.
In Peter’s third denial (John 18:27) he now adds cursing and swearing to the oath he took in his second denial (Mt.26:74). What you’re seeing here is the natural progression of the intensity sin of any kind.
When Peter vowed he’d never deny the Lord, he probably pictured standing next to Him in a grand trial under the lights. But Satan knew he’d probably do well in such a trial, so sifted him in this little test in the corner of the palace. You and I are the same. He tests us in the little trials of life. The chance we pass on to be honest in a business deal. The opportunity we let slip to name His name to an unbeliever. Passing by the chance to share the mystery with a believer. Life is made of little trials like this
Peter’s warming by the devil’s campfire shows the danger of hobnobbing with the lost, and shows Proverbs 29:25 is true. It also shows the danger of not putting on the most neglected piece of our armor (Eph.6:18). Remember, Peter couldn’t pray with the Lord (Mt.26:40,41) and so fell.
Just because nothing happened to Peter doesn’t mean he got away scot-free. The Lord gave him a look (Lu.22:60-62) that caused him to weep, breaking his heart.
God recorded his fall so we wouldn’t believe those that make him the first of the infallible popes, and to let us know that He is not looking for men who never fall, but for those who repent and serve Him, as Peter did.
When the Lord met Peter, He told him to “follow” Him (Mt.4:18,19). People had to follow the Lord to be saved under the kingdom program (Mt.19:16-21), and be willing to follow to the death (Luke 9:22-26).
Peter thought he could handle that (John 13:37), and while it is true he “followed Jesus” (John 18:15) to the high priest after His arrest, he followed “afar off” to “see the end” (Mt.26:58). I doubt that’s what the Lord had in mind when He said they had to follow Him to be saved!
Following “afar off” made Peter a type of “lukewarm” Tribulation Jews. If Peter continued following like that, he’d be spued out! Of course, we don’t have to keep following Him to be saved, or even keep believing (IITim.2:13). But we should follow Him “therefore” (Eph. 5:1) out of gratitude for all He’s done for us (Eph.1:1-4:32).
“Another disciple” followed the Lord to the palace (John 18:15). Most people think this was John, but he always called himself by a certain name (Jo.13:23; 20:2; 21:7,20). This disciple was “known unto the high priest” (18:15) and John wasn’t (Acts 4:6,13). The high priest probably knew few humble Galilean fishermen like John. This disciple walked the high priest’s palace without fear (John 18:16).
Peter standing “at the door without” is a type of the man in Luke 13:23-25. “When once the master rose” is a type of Christ’s resurrection, after which the door to salvation would close at the Second Coming (James 5:8,9).
This other disciple brought Peter face to face with an accuser (John 18:17), making me think it was Judas. Who else wouldn’t fear arrest by the high priest who knew him?
Notice it is not a soldier but a maid accusing Peter. His violent reaction is the response of a guilty conscience in general (Pr.28:1), but Peter is specifically a type of Tribulation Jews who broke God’s covenant and so fled when not pursued (Lev.26:15-17).
A moment ago Peter tried to kill for the Lord (John 18:10), now he denies Him. What happened? Ah, he hadn’t listened when the Lord said He had to die, so he thought He was giving up when the Lord told him to put up his sword (18:11). When you don’t know what God is doing, it makes you afraid of questions, because you don’t know the answers. Learning to rightly divide the Word fixes this!
It was “cold” that night (John 18:18) yet the Lord sweat blood (Lu.22:44). But Peter was symbolically cold, for he was “afar off” from the Lord, a chill we’ll all feel if we forsake Him, forcing us to seek the warmth of the world’s fellowship as Peter did.
First Judas stood with the Lord’s foes (John 18:5) then Peter (18:18). God warns about standing with His foes (Ps.1:1; IICor.6:17) because He knows it is contagious!
The “fire of coals” should remind you of the burnt offering (Lev.16:2). Coal is black (Lam.4:8) and the animal was symbolically judged with the blackness of hell fire. The Lord was about to become a burnt offering, and Peter’s place was beside Him, not at the devil’s fire.
The coals that Peter warmed at were symbolic of those as-sociated with idolatry (Isa.44:9-16), making this fire associ-ated with Antichrist, the “idol shepherd” (Zech.11:17). He’s also associated with whoredom (Rev.17:1-5), the fires of which will burn a man (Pr.6:26-28).
As a Jew, Peter was supposed to be a king and a priest (Ex.19:6), and if priests messed with strange fire, God judged them with fire (Lev.10:1,2). Antichrist was called “a stranger” (John 10:5), and Tribulation Jews that warm themselves at his strange fire will taste the fire of the Second Coming (IITh.1:7,8).
Peter should have been dining on the coals of the Lord’s fire (John 21:4-15). When the Lord told Peter to feed His lambs while standing at coals of fire, it must have reminded Peter how blessed he was to be able to be used of the Lord despite his failings. That’s true of us as well!
They could put Paul in prison, but since he could still write epistles he said that “the word of God is not bound” (IITim.2:9). Well, Christ was the living Word (Jo.1:1), but He allowed Himself to be bound (18:12). In this we see the fulfillment of Genesis 22:9 and Judges 16:21.
In his arrest and binding it appeared to men that He was a sinful criminal, which He didn’t like, but He knew He had to fulfill Isaiah 53:12. Of any ordinary man we read, “he shall be holden with the cords of his sins” (Pr.5:22), but the sinless Savior was bound by our sins. There was only one kind of rope that could bind Him that day, the ropes of His love for us, just as it wasn’t nails that kept Him on the cross
What gave the soldiers the courage to arrest Him after He’d just knocked them over (Jo.18:6)? They heard the Lord tell Peter to put away the sword (v.11).
The Lord didn’t resist them because they were carrying out God’s will, but that doesn’t mean God won’t punish them. God used Nebuchadnezzar to punish Judah, then vowed to punish him (Jer.25:12) because he didn’t mean to serve the Lord in chastening His people, any more than the Assyrian did (Isa.10:5-7). But just because God knows how to capitalize on the wickedness of men doesn’t mean men won’t have to pay for their wickedness! God vowed to curse those that curse Abraham’s seed (Gen.12:3), so Nebuchadnezzar had to be cursed, and the Assyrian as well (Isa.10:12). And the same was true for these men who came to arrest the Lord. God used them to chasten the Lord (Isa.53:5), but God will someday punish them for it.
And the same is true if the government persecutes you. Paul says you have to submit to them (Rom.13:1-8), but they will be punished (IIThes.1:6). But it is your job to submit, knowing we are accounted as sheep for slaughter (Rom.8:35-37). You can resist and maybe conquer the ones who come for you, or you can submit and be more than a conqueror in God’s eyes. It gets hard when they come for your family, but that’s when you have to remember Romans 12:19. God won’t let them go unpunished, and what He has in mind is worse than anything you dish out.
You can run and hide from the government as David did, but he felt guilty just cutting Saul’s robe to prove that he could have cut his throat (ISam.24:4-7), and killed the man he thought killed Saul. It is never right to rebel (Pr.24:21).
They “led” the Lord to the high priest (Jo.18:13) as a lamb is “led” to the slaughter (Acts 8:32). All lambs were led to a priest (Lev.17:5). He had to be led out of the Garden of Gethsemane because Adam was driven out of the Garden of Paradise (Gen.3:24). This is symbolic of how He allow-ed Himself to be led out of Heaven so that we might enter back into Paradise. Gethsemane was east of Jerusalem, so to get to His trial they had to lead Him through “the sheep gate”(Neh.3:1) the gate all sacrificial lambs entered the city
Annas and Caiphas were both high priests (Jo.18:13 cf. Lu.3:2). There was only supposed to be one high priest. Annas was the New Testament spelling of Hannaniah (Jer.28:2-15), a false prophet, making him a type of Revelation 19:20. “Caiaphas” means comely, making him a type of the Antichrist, who will be what Christ wasn’t (Isa.53:2). There’s coming a day when the Lord will conquer the Beast and the False Prophet, but here He must submit to them because they are the leaders in Israel. The high priest was supposed to execute Him in faith, not crucify Him in unbelief (Ps.118:27). That’s how God will be able to rightly punish him for not doing that.
When Caiaphas said He “should die for the people” (18:14) it was his evil way of saying they should kill Him rather than let the Romans kill them out of jealousy if the Lord got too popular (11:47-50). There was no way He would get a fair trial from a man already determined He should die! John adds that being a high priest, the Spirit meant something different by his evil words (Jo.11:51). Being a prophet he didn’t know what he was saying about the sufferings of Christ (IPe.1:10-12), but they knew what to say for they spoke by the Spirit (IIPe.1:21). Caiaphas meant it for evil, but God meant it for good (cf. Gen.50:20).
What’s Peter doing with a sword (18:10)? Aren’t Christians supposed to be non-violent? He was obeying the Lord (Lu.22:36)! Swords are only used to take human life in self-defense, as are handguns, so you know it is okay to own either one, even just to defend your property (Lu.11:21), as the Law said (Ex.22:2). If you find a stranger in your home at night, you don’t know if he is is there to just rob you or harm the family you are sworn to protect (cf.Eph.5:25). Even if he just robs you, he robs you of your abilty to obey I Timothy 5:8.
“What about thou shalt not kill”? Well, the same Bible says murderers must be killed (Ex.21:12), so the Bible sees a difference between cold-blooded murder and the orderly execution of cold-blooded murderers. So “thou shalt not kill” must be taken in context, and the same is true for Matthew 26:52. He couldn’t have meant that it is never good to use a sword, for that would contradict when He told them to buy one. He just didn’t want a sword used to resist His arrest, as we know from what He went on to say (Mt.26:53,54). He was rather telling Peter that those who had come to arrest Him with swords (Mt.26:47) would eventually die by His sword (Rev.19:11-15). Knowing this will give Tribulation Jews the patience to endure the Antichrist’s sword (Rev.13:10).
“Malchus” (John 18:10) means king, making him a type of the kings that will rise up against the Lord (Ps.2:2-5), the kings the Lord will strike through at His coming (Ps.110:5). After that, the birds will feast on these kings (Rev. 19:17,18).
But here in John 18, it is time for the Lord to die, not conquer with the sword, so He tells Peter to sheath his sword (John 18:11). The commentaries jump on Peter here, but for the wrong reason. They say Peter should have known our weapons aren’t carnal (IICor.10:4), that we don’t battle flesh and blood (Eph.6:12), and that the only sword a Christian should use is the sword of the Spirit (Eph.6:17). But those things are only true of believers in this dispensation. Peter’s mistake was a dispensational one, but not how the commentaries think! When the beast gathers against the Lord (Rev.19:19), the saints will take up swords to protect Him (Ps.149:1-9).
Luke tells us that the Lord healed Malchus’ ear (22:50,51). This shows how the Lord felt about the government. He not only didn’t resist arrest, He healed the agent who got hurt arresting Him! Christians who plan to use violence to overthrow the government that sponsors abortion and promotes gay marriage mean well, but Peter meant well when he resisted the government violently. Both are wrong. It wasn’t time for the Lord to resist, and it isn’t time to fix the government. That time will come in the kingdom of heaven on earth.
The “cup” (John 18:11) was a figure of speech for death. Though the Romans killed Him, He called it His Father’s cup because they were doing the Father’s will. The Father was righteously punishing Him for our sins just as He righteously punished the Jews for their sins with Nebuchadnezzar, a punishment God called a cup (Jer.25: 15). Because they were being justly punished for their sins, they were told not to resist the cup, and because He was being justly punished for our sins, He didn’t resist the cup either.
John says the Lord agreed to drink the cup (v.11) but Hebrews 5:5-7 says He asked to be saved from death and was heard. God answered—just not the way He prayed for. The Father promised to save the Lord from death the way He saved the Jews in Hos.13:14, by raising them from death. The Lord said that was “enough” for Him (Mark 14:35-41). Is it “sufficient” for you when God answers your prayer by telling you He’ll answer them in the resurrection? It was enough for Paul (IICor.12:7-9). The Lord asked that the cup might pass three times (Mark 14:41) and Paul asked three times (IICor.12:8). It sufficed Moses to ask once (Deut.3:24-26). Just remember, when you “cry Abba” (Ro.8:15), you are praying “Abba…not what I will, but what Thou wilt” (Mark 14:36).
The power of naming Himself the “I am” of Exodus 3:14 (18:6) saved the woman at the well (Jo. 4:25-29) but hard-ened these men, an example of IICorinthians 2:15,16. Re-member, “I am” was the gospel they had to believe to be saved (John 20:31). How hard were their hearts? After His name knocked them down, they still wanted to arrest Him (18:7), calling Him Jesus “of Nazareth,” the name of that despised city (John 1:45,46). That tell you anything about the hardness of men’s hearts if they don’t want to believe?
If not, consider that despite what the Roman soldiers saw at the Lord’s resurrection (Mt.28:2-4), they still took a bribe and forget it ever happened (Mt.28:11-15). If that doesn’t tell you anything about the hardness of the Christ-rejecter’s heart, consider that in the Tribulation they will know that God is sending the judgments, yet they will still refuse to submit to Him (Rev.16:9). The point? If you are vexing yourself because a friend or loved one won’t believe, keep trying, but don’t let it rob you of joy in life. Some men will just refuse to believe, no matter what you do or say.
Is John 18:8 a picture of the doctrine of substitution? The Lord was willing to let Himself be arrested and killed so sinners like the disciples (and us) can go free. On the surface it appears not, since the ransom was paid to these arresting officers, not to God to satisfy the righteous demands of His holiness. But the soldiers were following the orders of a God-ordained government, and the Lord believed in obeying the government.
At the cross, the Lord was being rightly “chastised” (Isa.53: 5), which is what you do to children when they are bad (Heb. 12:6-8). It’s what God said He’d do to Israel when they were bad (Lev.26:28). Of course, God chastened Christ be-cause we were bad. When Israel was bad, God chastened them (Jer.30:14) by letting Nebuchadnezzar conquer them. God called him “My servant” for doing this (Jer.25:9), and called the Assyrian “the rod of Mine anger” (Isa.10:5). They were nothing more than chastening tools in God’s hands—and so were the men who came to arrest the Lord. God chastised Him on the cross through them. So the Lord chose not to rebel against them, just as Israel was told to submit to chastening. They were told to “go forth” to it (Jer.38:2) just as the Lord did (John 18:4).
What the Lord was doing was setting an example for the Jews who were heading into the Tribulation that would have come if the dispensation of grace hadn’t interrupted God’s prophetic program (I Peter 2:13-15). The Jews did evil and earned the Tribulation, and so were told not to resist it, as the Lord didn’t resist His (I Pet.2:21-23).
He committed Himself “to Him that judgeth righteously” (v.23). The Father righteously judged Him for our sins. When Judas came with the mob to arrest the Lord, they were carrying out the righteous judgment of God, so He didn’t resist. When Antichrist shows up to persecute the saints, he’ll be carrying out the righteous judgment of God on Israel’s sins, so they are told not to resist.
If you’re thinking, “Tribulation Jews didn’t earn the chastening,” remember the Lord was going to hold His generation responsible for all past sins (Mt.23:35,36) because they had more light on God than any previous generation. Well, that will be true of Tribulation Jews! They’ll have the completed Bible, so God will hold them responsible, and they’d better not resist the chastening.
But it wasn’t time for the disciples to be chastened, it was time for the Lord’s chastening, so He begged their release. They couldn’t follow Him in death (John 13:36,37) at that time for He was dying for their sins, something He as their high priest had to do alone (Lev.16:17). Later in the Tribulation they can die with Him (Mt.20:23 cf. Lu.12:50).
He begged their release to deliver them eternally (John 18:9). If they were arrested at that time they might have denied Him. This is a picture of how true, saved believers will be spared persecution in the Tribulation (Rev.3:10; IIPe.2:9). The Lord taught them to pray to be delivered from the temptation to quit on the Lord (Mt.6:13; 26:41) to pray in accord with the revealed will of God.
The name “Cedron” (18:1) meant dark waters, suggesting that this brook was dark because it carried away the city’s sewage. That might explain why idols were tossed into it (IIKi.23:12;IIChr.30:14), to show contempt for these idols. This doesn’t sound like a brook you’d want to drink from, but the Lord may have drunk from it (Ps.110:1,7). If so, this was symbolic of the dark waters He’d have to drink from at the cross, a cup filled with the sins and idolatries of men.
The “garden” was Gethsemane (John 18:1). The Lord went here because in the past when His enemies tried to kill Him they feared the people who loved Him (Mt.21:46), so when He was ready to die, He left the people and made it easy for His enemies to arrest Him without fear of the people. “Gethsemane” means oil press, a reference to the press used to squeeze the life out of the olives that grew in this garden. As the Lord labored in prayer in this garden, the life was being squeezed out of Him (Lu.22:44 cf. Lev.17:11)
When David crossed this brook (IISam.15:22,23) he learned that a trusted friend had betrayed him (v.31), and at this same brook Judas, who had betrayed the Lord, came with his mob to arrest Him (Jo.18:2). The Lord knew that Judas knew He “ofttimes resorted thither” but didn’t avoid coming to the place, for He was ready to die. A Roman “band” (Jo.18:3) may have been six hundred men. All we know for sure is that it was “a great multitude” (Mt.26:47). He’d escaped them before (Jo.8:59; 12:36) and they were taking no chances that He might escape again. They came with torches (Jo.18:3) to find “the light of the world” (Jo.8:12).
The Lord knew “all things that should come upon Him” (Jo.18:4 cf. Mt.20:18,19, Luke 24:44; Ps.22:1-17), and not just about the physical pain (Isaiah 53:10). Yet not only did He not shy away from it, He “went forth” to meet Judas and the band (Jo.18:4). Adam hid himself in his garden, but if the Lord didn’t go forth to meet Judas, even 600 men couldn’t have taken Him (Jo.10:17,18). He didn’t shy away from wearing the crown of thorns, even though earlier He refused the crown of gold (John 6:15). He knew that Satan was the rightful king of the world, and so He couldn’t wear the crown of gold till He had paid for the right to rule the world.
When He asked who they were looking for, they didn’t say “you.” You see, they didn’t recognize the Lord even with torches, even with Judas as a guide. This is a picture of how men by nature can’t see the Lord without the gospel (IICor.4:3,4), for Judas didn’t believe the gospel.
This is similar to how in the Old Testament tabernacle, which had no windows, the presence of God in the ark could not be illuminated by natural light, but only by the light of the candlestick, a type of the Spirit.
“I am He” (Jo.18:5) was the Lord’s way of saying He was Jehovah (Ex.3:14; Deut.32:39; Isaiah 48:12). The power of this name drove His enemies backward (Jo.18:6). Any Jew seeing this would think of Psalm 35:4, a reference to Christ (v.11-19 cf. Mt.26:60; John 15:25). They would also think of Psalm 40:14, another reference to Christ (7-9), and Psalm 70:2,3, and would realize that He was their Christ. And don’t think the Jews didn’t hear about this incident. A “great multitude” of men can’t keep a secret!
Jews who saw the Lord’s enemies fall backward would also think of these descriptions of how whenever the nation of Israel sinned they too fell backward (Isaiah 1:4; 28:13; Jeremiah 7:24). This incident with the Lord is a type of Israel’s fall. If only there was some way their fall could have been avoided!
There was! The Lord died on Passover, which is always observed on the full moon. The moon is a type of the Old Testament (II Peter 1:19). If the Jews had sought the Lord by the light of the Old Testament, the light shining in a dark place, they would have found the Lord, for they testified of Him (John 5:39). They would have fallen on their face and worshipped Him. Instead they sought him by the natural light of torches and fell backward.
The Lord took for granted that the 11 would preach the word (17:20), do you? If you’re thinking more people would believe if you could do miracles as they could (Acts 2:41-43), think again (Mt. 11:20).
Our Calvinist friends don’t pray for the “non-elect” since Christ only prayed for believers and future believers (17:20), not for the world (17:9). But He didn’t pray for the world because He knew God’s plan to reach the world was through the Jews, so He prayed for the 11 Jews He was about to send to the world (Mr. 16:15). Paul prayed for the unsaved (Rom. 10:1) and so should we.
“Them also which shall believe on Me through their word” (v. 20) was not us Gentiles, as the commentaries say. You didn’t believe on Christ through the word of the 12, you believed on Christ through the word of Paul, even if you were saved through John 3:16. You have to read Paul’s gospel (I Cor. 15:1-4) into the four gospels, for it isn’t there.
The 11 preached their words at Pentecost, and men believed through their words (Acts 4:4). But Peter was addressing only Jews (Acts 2:14, 22, 36), so they were all Jews! So why did the Lord pray that Jews would be “one” (Jo. 17:21)? The commentaries say that’s the coming together of Jews and Gentiles in the Body (Eph. 2:12-14), but this can’t be, for they were all Jews! But the two houses of Israel were divided, and needed to be made “one stick” (Ezek. 37:15-22), and this is what the Lord prayed for. His prayer was answered when they were made one at Pentecost (Acts 2:41-46). He wanted them made one “that the world may believe” (Jo. 17:21), and someday in the kingdom of heaven on earth they will!
If the 11 were going to be as one as the Father and Son (17:21) they’d need help (Mt. 20:21; Mark 9:33). Seeing this, the Lord gave them the glory the Father gave Him (v. 22), i.e., His glorious word (John 17:8). The Word can do some glorious things, like save a man’s soul and teach him how to cleanse his ways (Ps. 119:9). Our oneness is also based on the Word (I Cor. 1:10), being of “the same mind,” i.e., “the mind of Christ” that we have in the Word (I Cor. 2:16).
When this Word was written on their hearts at Pentecost (Jer. 31:34), it made them one like no other people in history have ever been one, as one as the Father and Son. Since the Lord was in them and the Father was in Him (Jo. 17:23), when they were filled with the Spirit they were filled with the entire Godhead. This made them “perfect in one” (v. 23). Noah was “perfect in his generations” (Gen. 6:9), God is “perfect in knowledge” (Job. 36:4; 37:16), Satan was “perfect in all thy ways” (Ezek. 28:15), but the saints at Pentecost were “perfect in one,” i.e., in unity. When that happened, the Lord said that the world would know “that Thou hast sent Me” (Jo. 17:23 cf. John 13:35).
When the Lord prayed that His disciples would be with Him where He was (Jo. 17:24), we know He didn’t mean in Paradise (Lu. 23:43), for they couldn’t “behold My glory” there (Jo. 17:24). He was praying that they would be with Him in the kingdom prepared for Him “before the foundation of the world” (Jo. 17:24 cf. Mt. 25:34).
The Father promised believers they’d be in that kingdom (Jo. 6:39, 40) and so would be unrighteous if they didn’t make it, so the Lord reminded the Father He was too “righteous” to break His word (Jo. 17:25). He called on God to keep His word, just as Moses called on Him to keep His word to Abraham (Ex. 32:10-14).
Knowing that the Father sent Him (Jo. 17:25) was all they had to believe to be saved (Jo. 17:25). How’d they know it? The Lord “declared” the Father’s name to them (v. 26) by doing all the Father told Him to do, and then ascribing those works to the Father (Jo. 14:10). When the Lord said He would declare His name again (Jo. 17:26), He meant by doing the last thing the Father asked Him to do: die for them, “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them” (Jo. 17:26). It was true of them, and it is true of us! Because the Son was “obedient unto death” (Phil. 2:8), the Father loves us as He loves His own Son! Glory!
The Lord’s “joy” (17:13) was to sit at God’s right hand and He was willing to endure the cross to attain it (Heb.12:2). To “fulfill” His joy in the disciples, He had spoken some things while still in the world within their hearing (17:13). Things like asking the Father to “keep” them eternally safe (v.11), knowing this would strengthen them to endure what they’d have to endure to sit with Him in the kingdom.
He also gave them God’s word (John 17:14) to strengthen them with the joy of understanding it (Neh.8:12). This caused the world to hate them “because they are not of the world” (17:14). The world hated the Lord because He was not of the world (Pr.29:27), and that’s also why the world hated the disciples (IPe.4:4)-and that’s why they’ll hate you
When a neighborhood hates you, you should pray about leaving, but the Lord prayed that God wouldn’t take the disciples out of the world that hated them (17:13). He needed them to testify for Him—and you too, so don’t pray to leave the world. Moses, Elijah and Jonah did (Num.11:11-15; IKi.19:4; Jonah 4:3) but God said no. You can’t testify for Him when you are dead (Ps.30:9; Isa.38:18,19). If you think you don’t know enough truth to declare it, tell people how God saved you (cf.Luk8:39).
You also need to be here build up the faith and joy of the saved with Paul’s gospel, as Paul did (Phil.1:23-26). And don’t be praying for the Rapture either. The Lord waited for you to get saved, can’t you wait for others?
If the Lord was ministering to members of the Body of Christ, He was praying they wouldn’t be raptured (John 17:15). We know He was rather ministering to Jews (Mt.15:24) whom He planned to “keep…from the evil” of the Tribulation as God kept the Jews from the evil that fell on Pharaoh (Ex.8:20-22; 9:4,26; 10:22). By the way, the Trib judgments will match those that fell in Egypt! No wonder the Lord taught them to pray according to His will “deliver us from evil.” They’d ultimately be delivered from the evil of the Tribulation by praying “thy kingdom come.”
The Lord prayed they be delivered from the evil soon to fall on the world because “they are not of the world” (Jo. 17:16) and prayed that God would “sanctify” them (v.17). “Sanctify” means to set apart to God as belonging to Him (cf.Ex.13:2,12). God sanctified you when He saved you (Heb.10:10), even the carnal Corinthians (ICor.1:30; 6: 11). Your mission is to make your state match your standing.
You can only do that through God’s truth (Jo.17:17). Holiness preachers say you can be sanctified by some mystical filling of the Spirit, and while that happened at Pentecost (Acts 2:4; IJo.3:9) it doesn’t happen today. The Lord is so eager that they sanctify themselves with the truth that He prayed for it, and He’s probably praying the same for you (Rom. 8:34). By the way, if truth sets you apart to God, untruth or error must lead you away from Him, as it did with Eve! All the more reason to preach the truth!
The disciples needed to be sanctified since the Lord was sending them into the world (Jo.17:18), and today you are His “sent ones.” He sanctified Himself “for their sakes” (v.19), to set an example for them. The Father sanctified Him (Jo.10:36) by commissioning Him to come into the world, as He did Jeremiah (Jer.1:4,5). The Lord responded by sanctifying Himself with the truth. If you are saved, you too are sanctified, and should respond the same way!
Why’d the Son need to sanctify Himself? He might have sinned if He hadn’t. We know He didn’t sin (I Pe.2:21,22), but when we read He was tempted like we are but didn’t (Heb.4:14,15), we have to conclude He could have sinned. You can’t be tempted to jump over the moon if it is not possible for you to do so, and the Lord couldn’t be tempted to sin if it weren’t possible for Him to do so. He was God and “God cannot be tempted with evil” (James 1:14), but God can’t get tired, hungry or thirsty—but the Lord could (Jo.4:6; Mt.21:18; Jo.19:28). In other words, after He became a man He could do many things that God couldn’t do beforehand—and sin is one of those things. God can’t die, but how thankful we should be that the Lord could! To keep from sinning, He sanctified Himself for the sake of His followers, to set an example for them—and us!