“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.” (verses 6-10)
There’s an awful lot of giving and receiving going on in this passage.
I was struck earlier in John 16 when Jesus spoke about the Spirit as “taking from what is mine and making it known to you.” He then interjected, seemingly out of the blue, “All that belongs to the Father is mine” (John 16:14-15).
Jesus was speaking out of a keen awareness of the Father’s own possessions, understanding that the Father had freely shared those possessions with him. All of them. That’s a vast store, for “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it” (Psalm 24:1).
Here in John 17 the giving and receiving continue. If we are in Jesus, we find we ourselves are part of the treasure store specifically given as a gift to the Son by the Father. We are no longer counted as part of the “world”, here referring to those who live in opposition to God. Rather, with joy we hear the Father has chosen us out of the world, fully embracing us, counting us as his own possession. But it doesn’t stop there. He has given us directly into the hands of Jesus.
So, when Jesus says to the Father, “All I have is yours, and all you have is mine”, we are included in that mix. Phenomenal! We belong to the Father. We have been given as a gift to the Son. What value and purpose.
But the giving and receiving extend further. The very words Jesus speaks have been given him by the Father. Earlier, Jesus said the same: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me” (John 7:16). This gift, given by the Father to the Son, is then passed on to the Twelve – and, by extension, to us. Those initial disciples received the gift, becoming obedient to its teaching. They believed the Son had been sent from the Father. Their example compels us: Accept Jesus’ teaching. Receive it gladly from the Son, for he received it from his Father. Believe. Let obedience be the proof.
Tracing all of this back, the Father is the source. The Son receives glory through the gift he has been given. We are that gift. But we, too, have also been gifted, having received the very words of Jesus, words that come directly from the Father. We enter into the gift by believing and obeying.
We are caught up in this wonderful mix of giving and receiving, flowing from the Father to the Son to us. Give thanks. Receive. Enter in.
Father, praise you that every good and perfect gift comes from you. Indeed, you have so loved that you gave your only Son. Indeed, you have so loved that you have given us as a gift into Jesus’ hands.
Lord Jesus, praise you for your responsiveness to the Father, receiving all he has given, passing on the blessing by holding us in your care and giving us your word.
Father and Son, praise be your name.
Reflect: Take one of the aspects of giving or receiving in Jesus’ prayer. Pause several times during the day to reflect. Turn reflection into thanksgiving or praise or petition.