John 17 contains the greatest prayer ever prayed on earth and the greatest prayer ever recorded in Scripture (Wiersbe). It’s broken into 3 parts, which point to Him being the Overcomer, and we’re going to study each of them this week.
This week, there is a tiny but powerful word used: if. First, let’s make it clear that God’s love for us is not conditional. He gave an eternal gift willingly through the death and resurrection of Christ. However, it’s important to note that as believers, there is a link between love and obedience. Christ’s love for us drove Him to action. Love cannot exist without action.
The word love – mentioned three times in this single verse – has a powerful root. Love, in this context, translates to agape in the Greek. Agape is unconditional love – it requires nothing in return and abounds in grace (undeserved favor). We could read the verse like this: “As the Father has unconditionally loved Me, so I deeply love you with a love that requires nothing in return. Now dwell richly in My abounding grace.”
So often we try to add to God’s glory through our own efforts. 1 Peter 4:11 says, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”