Lectionary Year B
June 1, 2003
John 17:6-19

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) "The theological 'center of gravity' in this passage" is God, whose Word Jesus has given to those prayed for to enable them to remain belonging to God, as does Jesus, to keep God's Word, remain both one with the Divine and safe from the Evil One and fulfilled in joy. The second most significant part of this pericope is the image of the world and the idea that there are those who no longer belong to the world, as does Jesus not belong to it. The next most important aspect seems to be the sanctification requested by Jesus for those prayed for. These observations leave as minor matters to include God's giving to Jesus those prayed for, their keeping God's Word, the truth of God's Word, (can you believe, to be secondary?), Jesus' being glorified in them (can you believe, to be secondary?), Jesus' no longer being in this world, the one destined to be lost and the Evil One, the scripture's being fulfilled (can you . . ?), their being hated for not belonging to the world, Jesus' sending them into the world and His self-sanctification (believable or not?). More in this passage is of greater significance than of lesser import.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 6 I have made known Your name to those whom You gave me from the world. They have been Yours and You have given them to me and the they have kept/observed/obeyed Your Word. 7 Now they have known that all which You have given Me comes from You, 8 that the sayings which You gave Me I have given/entrusted to them, and they received them and they know truly that I came from You, and they believe that You sent me. 9 I ask concerning them, not concerning the world do I ask but concerning those whom You have given me, that to You they belong, 10 and all that is mine is Yours and all that is Yours is mine, and I have been honored/praised/glorified in them. 11 And no more am I in the world, yet they are in the world, and also I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, those whom You have given me, in order that they might be one just as we are (one). 12 When I was with them I kept them in Your name which You have given me, and I guarded them, and no one from them was killed/lost/destroyed except the son of the destruction/hell, in order that the Scripture might/would be fulfilled. 13 But now to You I am coming and these things I speak in the world so that they might/could have the joy/gladness that (is) mine to be fulfilled in them. 14 I have given them Your Word and the world hated them because they are not of this world just as I am not of this world. 15 I do not ask that You take them from this world, but that You guard/keep them from the Evil One. 16 They are not of this world just as I am not of this world. 17 Consecrate/Make holy them in the truth; Your Word is truth. 18 According as You sent me into this world, also I send them into the world; 19 and for them I sanctify/consecrate/make holy myself, so that they also might be consecrated in truth.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Commentators seem to think "the son of destruction" is Judas and "the evil" is Satan and those for whom Jesus prays are the disciples only, or, at most the few followers of Jesus to date, the date of the prayer. This opinion seems uncharacteristically myopic of Jesus, is it? Is it of the author/writer of this account? If we read merely one more verse beyond the limits of this lection, verse 20 of John 17, we read Jesus' praying for all who will (eventually, in the future) believe as a result of those He sends out with God's Word. Do we err, or even exaggerate, in expanding that "all who will believe" into all of every place and time? The Gospel seems to expect such extent. Aren't we getting on toward a oneness for the many, unity among admitted and accepted diversity?

| Return to Gospel text listings | Return to Epistle text listings |
| Return to Old Testament listings | Return to Psalm listings |
| User response form |