Wednesday, 18 March 2015

John 17:1-13

This chapter marks the end of the Last Supper/Farewell Discourse, and takes the form of an extended prayer by Jesus, first the disciples, and then for the world.

The text

The New Advent page has the Greek, Latin and Knox translation.  You can listen to the Latin here and the Greek here. Here is the Latin:

Hæc locutus est Jesus: et sublevatis oculis in cælum, dixit: Pater, venit hora: clarifica Filium tuum, ut Filius tuus clarificet te: 2 sicut dedisti ei potestatem omnis carnis, ut omne, quod dedisti ei, det eis vitam æternam. 3 Hæc est autem vita æterna: ut cognoscant te, solum Deum verum, et quem misisti Jesum Christum. 4 Ego te clarificavi super terram: opus consummavi, quod dedisti mihi ut faciam: 5 et nunc clarifica me tu, Pater, apud temetipsum, claritate quam habui, priusquam mundus esset, apud te. 6 Manifestavi nomen tuum hominibus, quos dedisti mihi de mundo: tui erant, et mihi eos dedisti: et sermonem tuum servaverunt. 7 Nunc cognoverunt quia omnia quæ dedisti mihi, abs te sunt: 8 quia verba quæ dedisti mihi, dedi eis: et ipsi acceperunt, et cognoverunt vere quia a te exivi, et crediderunt quia tu me misisti. 9 Ego pro eis rogo; non pro mundo rogo, sed pro his quos dedisti mihi: quia tui sunt: 10 et mea omnia tua sunt, et tua mea sunt: et clarificatus sum in eis.11 Et jam non sum in mundo, et hi in mundo sunt, et ego ad te venio. Pater sancte, serva eos in nomine tuo, quos dedisti mihi: ut sint unum, sicut et nos. 12 Cum essem cum eis, ego servabam eos in nomine tuo. Quos dedisti mihi, custodivi: et nemo ex eis periit, nisi filius perditionis, ut Scriptura impleatur. 13 Nunc autem ad te venio: et hæc loquor in mundo, ut habeant gaudium meum impletum in semetipsis.


These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said: Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son may glorify thee. [2] As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he may give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. [3] Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. [4] I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [5] And now glorify thou me, O Father, with thyself, with the glory which I had, before the world was, with thee.[6] I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou hast given me out of the world. Thine they were, and to me thou gavest them; and they have kept thy word. [7] Now they have known, that all things which thou hast given me, are from thee: [8] Because the words which thou gavest me, I have given to them; and they have received them, and have known in very deed that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. [9] I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me: because they are thine: [10] And all my things are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. [11] And now I am not in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are. [12] While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled. [13] And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.


In these verses the Fathers point out in the anthology of commentaries included in the  Catena Aurea Jesus teaches us how to pray:

CHRYS. After having said, In the world you shall have tribulation, our Lord turns from admonition to prayer; thus teaching us in our tribulations to abandon all other things, and flee to God.

BEDE. These things spoke Jesus, those things that He had said at the supper, partly sitting as far as the words, Arise, let us go hence; and thence standing, up to the end of the hymn which now commences, And lifted up His eyes and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Your Son.

CHRYS. He lifted up His eyes to heaven to teach us intentness in our prayers: that we should stand with uplifted eyes, not of the body only, but of the mind.

AUG. Our Lord, in the form of a servant, could have prayed in silence had He pleased; but He remembered that He had not only to pray, but to teach. For not only His discourse, but His prayer also, was for His disciples' edification, yes and for ours who read the same. Father, the hour is come, shows that all time, and every thing that He did or suffered to be done, was at His disposing, Who is not subject to time. Not that we must suppose that this hour came by any fatal necessity, but rather by God's ordering. Away with the notion, that the stars could doom to death the Creator of the stars.

 He summarises his mission on earth:

CHRYS. Having said, I have finished My work, He shows what kind of work it was, viz. that He should make known the name of God: I have manifested your name unto the men which You gave Me out of the world.

AUG. If He speaks of the disciples only with whom He supped, this has nothing to do with that glorifying of which He spoke above, wherewith the Son glorified the Father; for what glory is it to be known to twelve or eleven men? But if by the men which were given to Him out of the world, He means all those who should believe in Him afterwards, this is without doubt the glory wherewith the Son glorifies the Father; and, I have manifested your name, is the same as what He said before, I have glorified You; the past being put for the future both there and here.

But what follows shows that He is speaking here of those who were already His disciples, not of all who should afterwards believe on Him. At the beginning of His prayer then our Lord is speaking of all believers, all to whom He should make known the Father, thereby glorifying Him: for after saying, that your Son also may glorify You, in strewing how that was to be done, He says, As You have given Him power over all flesh. Now let us hear what He says to the disciples: I have manifested your name to the men which You gave Me out of the world.

Had they not known the name of God then, when they were Jews? We read in the Psalms, In Jewry is God known; His name is great in Israel. I have manifested your name, then must be understood not of the name of God, but of the Father's name, which name could not be manifested without the manifestation of the Son. For God's name, as the God of the whole creation, could not have been entirely unknown to any nation. As the Maker then of the world, He was known among all nations even before the spread of the Gospel.

In Jewry He was known as a God, Who was not to be worshipped with the false gods: but as the Father of that Christ, by whom He took away the sins of the world, His name was unknown; which name Christ now manifests to those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. But how did He manifest it, when the hour had not come of which He said above, The hour comes, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs. We must understand the past to be put for the future.

CHRYS. That He was the Son of the Father, Christ had already manifested to them by words and deeds.

He prays first specifically for the disciples, reminding us to care first for the Christian community:

CHRYS. As the disciples were still sad in spite of all our Lord's consolations, henceforth He addresses Himself to the Father to show the love which He had for them; I pray for them; He not only gives them what He has of His own, but entreats another for them, as a still further proof of His love.

AUG. When He adds, I pray not for the world, by the world He means those who live according to the lust of the world, and have not the lot to be chosen by grace out of the world, as those had for whom He prayed: But for them which you have given Me. It was because the Father had given Him them, that they did not belong to the world. Nor yet had the Father, in giving them to the Son, lost what He had given: For they are Yours.

CHRYS. He often repeats, you have given Me, to impress on them that it was all according to the Father's will, and that He did not come to rob another, but to take unto Him His own. Then to show them that this power had not been lately received from the Father, He adds, And all Yours, and Yours are Mine: as if to say, Let no one, hearing Me say, Them which You have given Me, suppose that they are separated from the Father; for Mine are His: nor because I said, They are Yours, suppose that they are separate from Me: for whatever is His is Mine.

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