John 17:11
And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
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(11) And now I am no more in the world.—The immediate future is still regarded as present. The words have a special reference to the interval between His death and the day of Pentecost, which would be for the disciples a time of darkness and danger, when they would have special need of the Father’s care.

Holy Father.—Comp. John 17:1; John 17:24-25. There is a special fitness in the word “Holy” here, as in opposition to the world. The disciples were left in the world, but they were not of the world (John 17:14). These were spiritually God’s children, separated from the world (John 17:6), and He commits them to the Holy Father, that He may keep them from the evil of the world.

Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.—The reading is slightly doubtful, but if we take what would certainly seem to be the true text, the rendering should be, Keep them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me. (Comp. John 17:12.) The Authorised version renders the same words by “through Thy name” in this verse, and by “in Thy name” in John 17:12. The thought appears to be that the revelation of the nature of God by Christ to the world (John 17:6), was that which He Himself received from the Father. “I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me a commandment what I should say and what I should speak.” (Comp. Note on John 12:49.)

That they may be one, as we are.—This clause depends upon the words, “Keep them in Thy name.” They had so far realised the revelation of God that they had known Christ’s whole life to be the utterance of God to their spirits (John 17:6-8). He prays that they may be kept in this knowledge in order that they may so know the Father through Him, as to become themselves one with the Father.

John 17:11-12. And now I am no more in the world — Having finished the work thou gavest me to do in it; but these — My apostles; are in the world — Exposed to various hardships and dangers; and I come to thee — Whom I have chosen and served, and whom my soul thirsteth after; to thee, the Fountain of light and life, the Crown and Centre of bliss and joy; now my longing shall be satisfied, my hopes accomplished, my happiness completed. Holy Father, keep through thine own name — Thy mercy, wisdom, and power; those whom thou hast given me — To be my messengers to mankind; that they may be one — One with us, and with each other; one body, separate from the world; as we are — By resemblance to us, though not equality. While I was with them, &c., I kept them in thy name — In the firm faith and steadfast practice of my religion, so far as I revealed it unto them. Or, as the clause may be read, through thy name, as in the preceding verse, through thy power and grace; those that thou gavest me — I say, the twelve persons whom thou gavest me for apostles: I have thus kept, and none of them is lost — None of them has apostatized; but the son of perdition — That wicked person who deserves perdition; that the Scriptures might be fulfilled — That is, whereby the Scripture is fulfilled. See note on John 12:40. As if he had said, His apostacy, has happened, not through any defect in my care, but in consequence of its being permitted, for the wisest reasons; and therefore long ago predicted in the Scriptures, particularly Psalm 109:8. The son of perdition, signifies one that deservedly perishes: as, a son of death, 2 Samuel 12:5; children of hell, Matthew 23:15; and children of wrath, Ephesians 2:3; signify persons justly obnoxious to death, hell, wrath.

17:11-16 Christ does not pray that they might be rich and great in the world, but that they might be kept from sin, strengthened for their duty, and brought safe to heaven. The prosperity of the soul is the best prosperity. He pleaded with his holy Father, that he would keep them by his power and for his glory, that they might be united in affection and labours, even according to the union of the Father and the Son. He did not pray that his disciples should be removed out of the world, that they might escape the rage of men, for they had a great work to do for the glory of God, and the benefit of mankind. But he prayed that the Father would keep them from the evil, from being corrupted by the world, the remains of sin in their hearts, and from the power and craft of Satan. So that they might pass through the world as through an enemy's country, as he had done. They are not left here to pursue the same objects as the men around them, but to glorify God, and to serve their generation. The Spirit of God in true Christians is opposed to the spirit of the world.I am no more in the world - I have finished my work among men, and am about to leave the world. See John 17:4.

These are in the world - They will be among wicked men and malignant foes. They will be subject to trials and persecutions. They will need the same protection which I could give them if I were with them.

Keep - Preserve, defend, sustain them in trials, and save them from apostasy.

Through thine own name - Our translators seem to have understood this expression as meaning "keep by thy power," but this probably is not its meaning. It is literally "keep in thy name." And if the term name be taken to denote God himself and his perfections (see the note at John 17:6), it means "keep in the knowledge of thyself. Preserve them in obedience to thee and to thy cause. Suffer them not to fall away from thee and to become apostates."

That they may be one - That they may be united.

As we are - This refers not to a union of nature, but of feeling, plan, purpose. Any other union between Christians is impossible; but a union of affection is what the Saviour sought, and this he desired might be so strong as to be an illustration of the unchanging love between the Father and the Son. See John 17:21-23.

11. I am no more in the world—(See on [1881]Joh 17:4).

but these are in the world—that is, Though My struggles are at an end, theirs are not; though I have gotten beyond the scene of strife, I cannot sever Myself in spirit from them, left behind and only just entering on their great conflict.

Holy Father—an expression He nowhere else uses. "Father" is His wonted appellation, but "Holy" is here prefixed, because His appeal was to that perfection of the Father's nature, to "keep" or preserve them from being tainted by the unholy atmosphere of "the world" they were still in.

keep through thine own name—rather, "in thy name"; in the exercise of that gracious and holy character for which He was known.

that they may be one—(See on [1882]Joh 17:21).

The term world in this verse signifies not the men of the world, nor any particular party of them, (as it often signifies), but the habitable part of the earth. Our Saviour saith he is

no more in the world, because he was to continue on the earth but a very small time; but (saith he) these any disciples are like to abide in the world when I have left it; they will stand in need of this help, to be armed against all the temptations they will meet with from the world. I am coming to thee, therefore I commend them to thee, beseeching thee, that thou through thy power wouldst keep those, who, in giving themselves up to me, have also given themselves up to thee; let their owning thy name (which is as a strong tower, Proverbs 18:10) keep them from all the temptations and dangers to which they will be exposed in the world, wherein they are to live and converse; that they may be one, one body, and in one Spirit: that they may own one Lord, one faith, one baptism, &c.; that they may be one in love and affection,

as we are; in some proportion to that union which is between thee and me, though not in an equality. This prayer of our Saviour’s doth both oblige all those who in any sincerity own Christ, to study union both in opinion and affection; and also give us ground of hopes, that there is a time coming, when there shall be greater measure of it than we have seen in those miserably divided times wherein we have lived, and do yet live.

And now I am no more in the world,.... In the earth; which is no contradiction to his resurrection from the dead, and stay with his disciples for a while; nor to his return to judge the world at the last day; nor to his reigning on earth with his saints a thousand years; since it will not be the world as it now is, but it will be a new earth, renewed, purified and refined, and clear of the wicked inhabitants of it; and in which will only dwell righteous persons: besides, Christ was to be, and will be no more in the world, in such circumstances, and doing such work as he then was: the meaning is, that whereas he had been in the world, and had done, or as good as done the work he came about, he was now just going out of it; it was but a very little while he had to stay in it; nor should he continue long with his disciples when he rose from the dead; and whereas his bodily presence had been a guard unto them, a protection of them, and he had bore the heat and burden of the day for them, and had took all reproaches and persecutions upon himself, now he was going from them:

but these are in the world; and will continue for some time, they having much work to do, and be exposed to the evils, snares and temptations of it; where they were hated, and were liable to great hardships, afflictions and persecutions; which shows that Christ was not so intent on his own glory, as to neglect the good of his people, and to be unconcerned for them:

and I come to thee; signifying his death; the deposition of his soul into his Father's hands; his ascension in soul and body to him; his entrance into heaven, and session at the right hand of God; and therefore had nothing to ask for on his own account: but his disciples he was parting with lay near his heart, and therefore he prays;

holy Father, keep, through thine own name, those whom thou hast given me: the person prayed unto is God the Father, the Father of Christ, and of his people; a very proper relation to consider God in and under in prayer to him: since it must give freedom, boldness, and hope of success: the epithet "holy" is exceeding suitable, as it perfectly agrees with him who is essentially so; and since it was holiness and an increase of it Christ prays for; and that there his disciples might be kept from the evil of sin: the persons prayed for are those that were given to Christ in election, and in the covenant, to be kept by him, and therefore he is the more solicitous for their preservation: his request is, that his Father would keep them from the evil of the world; from sinking under temptations and afflictions; faithful to him and to his Gospel, and in unity among themselves; and that "through" or "in" his own name; in it, in the doctrine of the Gospel, and in the worship of God, and profession of him; "through" it, through himself, as a wall of fire about them, and by his power through faith unto salvation:

that they may be one as we are; in nature, will, affection and understanding; which must be understood not of equality, but of likeness; and designs not their union to Christ, but to one another; abiding together, cleaving to each other, standing fast in one Spirit, having the same designs, and the interest of a Redeemer in view, and at heart.

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be {c} one, as we are.

(c) He prays that his people may peaceably agree and be joined together in one, that as the Godhead is one, so they may be of one mind and one consent together.

John 17:11. Before He now gives expression to the special supplication itself (πάτερ ἅγιε, τήρησον, κ.τ.λ.), He first brings forward the peculiar ground of need, connecting in profound emotion its individual members unperiodically by καί.

οὐκέτι εἰμὶ, κ.τ.λ.] Thus He speaks, “nunc quasi provincia sua defunctus,” Calvin.

καὶ οὗτοι, κ.τ.λ.] “hos relinquam in tantis fluctibus,” Grotius.

ἅγιε] As in John 17:25, δίκαιε, so here ἅγιε is added significantly; for to guarantee that which Jesus would now pray (τήρησον, κ.τ.λ.) is in harmony with the holiness of His Father, which has been revealed to Him in entire fulness, a holiness which is the absolute antithesis of the ungodly nature of the profane world.[192] Placed by their calling in this unholy κόσμος, they shall be guarded by the holy God so as to abide faithfully in His name. In harmony with this antithesis of the holiness of God to the nature of the world, stands the petition, “hallowed be Thy name,” at the head of the Lord’s Prayer. Comp. also 1 John 2:20; Hebrews 12:10; 1 Peter 1:16; Revelation 6:10. Thus the Father discharges the obligation lying on Himself, if He keeps the disciples of the Son in His name.

ἐν τῷ ὀνόμ. σ.] Specific sphere, in which they are to remain through being so kept; the name of the Father is made known to them (John 17:6; John 17:26), and with a happy result (John 17:6-8); thus are they to persevere in His living acquaintance and believing confession, not to depart out of this holy element of their life.

ᾧ δέδωκ. μοι] by attraction, instead of , which, however, does not stand instead of οὕς (Bengel, comp. Ewald and Godet, who would read , see the critical notes), but: God has given His name to Christ, and that not in the sense of the divine nature entering into manifestation, as Hengstenberg here drags in from Exodus 23:21, but rather in the sense of John 17:6, for revelation to the disciples; He has for such a purpose delivered His name to Him as the object of a holy commission. In conformity with this, the Lord prays that God would keep them in this His name, in order that they, in virtue of the one common faith and confession resting on the name of God, may be one (in the spiritual fellowship, of like mind and love, comp. John 17:22-23), in conformity with the archetype[193] of the ethical unity of the Father and the Son (comp. the Pauline εἷς θεὸς κ. πατὴρ πάντων, κ.τ.λ., Ephesians 4:6). Hence ἵνα expresses the object of τήρησον, κ.τ.λ., not of δέδωκ. μοι.

[192] According to Diestel in the Jahrb. f. Deutsche Theol. 1859, p. 45, God is here conceived of as ἅγιος τοῦ Χριστοῦ, which is the completion of the N. T. ἅγιος τοῦ ʼΙσραήλ. But of this there is neither any indication in the context, nor do we find generally the idea of God as of the ἅγιος τοῦ Χριστοῦ expressed. Hengstenberg refers too exclusively to the power of the holy God.

[193] Bengel: “Illa unitas est ex natura, haec ex gratia; igitur illi haec similis est, non aequalis.”

John 17:11. καὶ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ. The circumstances necessitating the prayer are now stated. Jesus is no longer in the world, already He has bid farewell to it, but the disciples remain in it, exposed without His accustomed counsel and defence, πάτερ ἅγιε, “Holy Father”; this unique designation is suggested by the Divine attribute which would naturally assert itself in defending from the world’s corruptions those who were exposed to them. τήρησον αὐτοὺς ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σον ῷ δέδωκάς μοι, “preserve them in [the knowledge of] Thy name, which Thou gavest me”. is attracted into dative by ὀνόματι. This was the fundamental petition. The retention of the knowledge which Christ had imparted to them of the Father would effect ἵνα ὦσιν ἕν καθὼς ἡμεῖς. Without harmony among themselves, so that they should exist as a manifest unity differentiated from the world, their witness would fail; John 15:8; John 15:12. καθὼς ἡμεῖς is explained by John 15:9-10.

11. but these] Rather, and these. The coupling of the sentences is solemnly simple; ‘And now … and these … and I.’

Holy Father] The expression occurs nowhere else; but comp. Revelation 6:10; 1 John 2:20; and ‘Righteous Father,’ John 17:25. The epithet agrees with the prayer that God would preserve the disciples from the unholiness of the world (John 17:15) in the holiness which Christ had revealed to them and prays the Father to give them (John 17:17).

keep … given] The true reading gives us, keep them in Thy name which Thou hast given Me. In any case the Greek here rendered ‘through Thy name,’ and in John 17:12in Thy name,’ is the same, and should be translated in the same manner in both verses. Comp. Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12; Revelation 22:4. God has given His name to Christ to reveal to the disciples; and Christ prays that they may be kept true to that revelation. On the meaning of ‘name’ see on John 1:12.

may be one] They had just received a new bond of union. For long there had been oneness of belief. Now they had been made one by union with Jesus; they were one bread and one body, for they had all partaken of the one Bread (1 Corinthians 10:17).

as we are] Or, even as we are (comp. John 17:2): in perfect spiritual union conforming to the essential union between the Father and the Son.

11–16. In John 17:6-8 the disciples’ acceptance of Christ is given as the basis of intercession for them: here another reason is added,—their need of help during Christ’s absence. This plea is first stated in all simplicity, and then repeated at intervals in the petition.

John 17:11. Εἰσί, are) and that too, attended with danger. Therefore there follows τήρησον, keep.—τρός σε ἔρχομαι, I come to Thee) with the access that belongs to “the great High Priest” John 17:19, “I sanctify (consecrate) Myself” [Hebrews 4:14].—Πάτερ ἅγιε, Holy Father) A most apposite appellation, Jude John 17:1. note.[371] God’s sanctity as the Father, and His holy Paternity, made the approach to Him both delightful to Christ and sure to believers, John 17:17; John 17:19, and closed against the world, whilst it remains in its evil state. He addresses the Father by the title, Righteous Father, John 17:25.—ἐν τῷ ὁνόματί σου, through or in Thine own name) that they may still continue Thine, and still answer to the name of those given by Thee to Me.—οὓς, whom) The Cantabr. MS. with others reads .[372] yields a most admirable sense: αὐτοὺς ὃ is said in the same way as πᾶναὐτοῖς, John 17:2, where see the note, and the ἓν, “one body,” or ‘thing, a unity, presently after accords with this. Owing to their not understanding this phrase, some have changed into οὓς, the sense not being much different; others have changed it into , as if or were to be referred to ὀνόματι as the antecedent. In like manner in John 17:24, , not οὓς, is found in the Cantabr. MS. ([373]) and the Copt. (Memp[374]). and Goth. Versions: and in John 17:12, , not οὓς, is the reading of some, unless it too crept in instead of .[375]—ἛΝ,) Jesus does not ask, that He Himself may be ‘one’ with the Father; what He asks is that believers may be ‘one.’ The former unity is so by nature; the latter by grace: Therefore the latter is like the former, not equal to it. Comp. the ΚΑΘῶς, even as, John 17:16; John 17:18, and with respect to the same thing, John 17:21 [in all which passages the even as expresses similarity, not identity or equality].—ἡμεῖς, we) So also He speaks in John 17:21-22. The Son is ὁμοούσιος, of the same essence with the Father. Moses could not have said, in speaking of God and of himself either to God or to the people, we. Yet it does not appear that on account of this very ὁμοουσία, consubstantiality, it is fitting, that believers should say, in praying to the Father and the Son, Ye: a mode of expression however, which some practical theologians use.

[371] Beng. here seems to refer to a note which is not to be found in the Gnomon, on Judges 1:1, but which he had intended to write on the reading of the Rec. Text there. “to them that are sanctified by God the Father.” But in the note on Judges 1:1, he reads with AB Vulg. Syr. Memph. Theb. ἠγαπημένοις, instead of the received ἡγιασμένοις, which has no very old authority for it.—E. and T.

[372] ABCLΔ read , referring to ὀνόματι as its antecedent. D corrected and X have : so also d and Cod. Fuld. of Vulg. But the other MSS., including the oldest, Amiatinus have quos, thus supporting the οὓς of the Rec. Text, which is not favoured by any other of the oldest authorities.—E. and T.

[373] Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.

[374] emph the Memphitic, or Coptic Version from Egypt: third cent.: publ. by Wilkins at Oxford, 1716.

[375] In ver. 24, οὓς is the reading of Aabc, Cypr. 235, 321, Hilar. 164, 1017, 1033, and several MSS. of Vulg.; and so Rec. Text and Lachm. But in BDd Memph. and some MSS. of Vulg: so Tisch. In ver. 12, οὓς is the reading of ADabcd, Hil. 1062, Vulg.: and so Lachm. and Rec. Text. But in BC corrected, L, Memph.; and so Tisch. Lachm. quotes C as reading .—E. and T.

Verse 11. - And I am no more (no longer) in the world (cf. John 16:28). The earthly ministry is over; for a while he must leave them in the pitiless storm, bereft of his care and counsel, exposed to infinite peril and temptation. Headless, scattered, tempted to believe that all he had said to them was one huge delusion. And these are in the world, without me, without visible sight of the mirror in which thy glory has been reflected, and I come - I return - to thee. These are the conditions on their part and on mine, which justify this prayer for them; and my prayer is, Holy Father, keep - or, guard - them. This grand title stands here in solitary grandeur (though let Ver. 25, πάτερ δίκαιε, be noticed, and the fact that Revelation 6:10 speaks of "the Holy and True," and 1 John 2:20 of "the Holy One"). The very holiness of the Father is appealed to as the surest basis of the petition. They have already been taught to pray, "Hallowed [made holy] be thy Name." The eternal holiness and righteousness of God is involved in the saving and sanctification of the believer in Jesus. "Keep them, holy Father" (says our Lord), in and by thy Name, those whom thou hast given me. Οὕς δέδωκάς μοι is the reading of the T.R., on the very feeble authority from the codices, simply D2, 69, and some versions. It is also thus quoted by Epiphanius twice; but the reading of all the best uncial manuscripts, א, A, B, C, L, Y, Γ, Δ, Π, etc., numerous versions and quotations, is ῷ δέδωκάς κοι. Some very unimportant manuscripts read ο{, which Godet prefers as practically equivalent to ου{ς, regarded as a unity, "that which," and as calculated to explain the of the uncials, and the reading οὕς. Lachmann, Tischendorf (8th edit.), Tregelles, Meyer, Westcott and Herr, and R.T. all read , which is thrown by attraction to ὀνόματί into the dative, and requires the translation, Keep them (in or by) in the power of thy Name which thou hast given me. And since ο{ is a resolution of the attraction, it is quite as likely that it is a correction of as that the reverse process should have taken place. The expression is very peculiar, but not inexplicable. Philippians 2:9 is the best illustration of the clause. It reads, according to the true text, "He hath bestowed on him the Name (τὸ ὄνομα) which is above every name," i.e. the eternal Name, the incommunicable Name (cf. Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12) of Jehovah. Meyer objects to this that the Father's Name was simply given him as an ambassador or for purposes of revelation and manifestation. This may be a partial limitation of the thought. He has already said, "I have manifested thy Name, thy fatherhood to the men," etc. And now he adds, "Keep them in the power and grace of this glorious Name, of which my Person and message have been the full expression." That they may be one, united, formed into a unity of being, even as we are, not losing their personality, but blending and interchanging their interests and their affections after the Divine pattern of the Father and Son. The relations between Christians, which constitute the essential unity of their corporate being, are of the same kind as those which pertain to Christ and God, and prevail between them, therefore lying far behind the shifting phases of organization and human order, in the essence and substance of spiritual life. Some writers have found in this analogy between the union of believers and the hypostatic union of the Persons of the Godhead, either a species of tritheism in the Godhead, or a minimizing of the entire conception to what is called moral union between the Father-God and his Son Jesus Christ. But the effect of the utterance is rather to lift the idea of the unity of the body of Christ to a superlative height, and to interpret still further the nature of its oneness with the Father and Son (see Ver. 23). John 17:11I come (ἔρχομαι)

I am coming. Spoken of His departure to the Father.

Holy (ἅγιε)

See on saints, Acts 26:10; also see on 1 Peter 1:15. Compare 1 John 2:20, and righteous Father (δίκαιε), John 17:25. This epithet, now first applied to the Father, contemplates God, the holy One, as the agent of that which Christ desires for His disciples - holiness of heart and life; being kept from this evil world.

Those whom (οὓς)

The correct reading is ᾧ, referring to name. Thy name which Thou hast given me. So in John 17:12. Compare Philippians 2:9, Philippians 2:10; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12; Revelation 22:4.

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