The Central Idea of the Text is that Jesus prays for: 1) the Father to be glorified through Jesus’ obedience and return to heaven (John 17:1-5), 2) the disciples’ walk with the Father, their protection from Satan and his world-system, and their sanctification in truth (John 17:6-19), and 3) for future believers’ unity, and that we will see Jesus’ glory in heaven (John 17:20-26).
Jesus knew His “hour” had come, and though suffering lay ahead, He was concerned about the Father’s glory and the wellbeing of the disciples. Jesus spoke about eternal life, which is forever-life in relationship with God (John 10:28; 17:3). In contrast, eternal-death is forever separation from God in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14-15). Jesus glorified the Father on earth by doing His will (John 17:4), and anticipates returning to His heavenly glory after His ascension (John 17:5). While on earth, Jesus revealed the Father to the disciples, who were given to Jesus as a gift (John 17:6, 9). The disciples accepted, understood and believed Jesus’ teaching that He was from the Father (John 17:7-8). Jesus specifically prayed for the disciples and was glorified in them (John 17:9-10). He asked the Father to keep them in His name, just as He had guided and guarded them (John 17:11-12). He requested they may have joy in a hateful world controlled by Satan (John 17:13-16). He prayed for their sanctification which is related to their divine mission (John 17:17-19), and the mission, unity, and future home of those who would believe in Jesus through their teaching (John 17:20-26).