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THE HIGH-PRIESTLY PRAYER.
"Out of Christ's divinely rich prayer-life there emerge, as from an ocean, the pearls of those single prayers of His that are preserved to us; the prayer given in the sermon on the Mount for the use of His people - Our Father; the ascription of praise to God at the departure from Galilee (Matt. xi. 25); the prayers at the grave of Lazarus, and within the precincts of the temple; our high-priestly prayer; the supplication in Gethsemane, and the prayer-words of the Crucified One - Father, forgive them - Eli, Eli, - and the closing prayer, Father, into thy hands, etc., to which the exultant cry, It is finished, attaches itself, inasmuch as from one point of view, it may be regarded as a word of prayer. Add to these the mentions of the prayings, the thanksgivings, the heavenward sighings of Christ, as also His summonses and encouragements to prayer, and He appears as the Prince of humanity even in the realm of prayer; in the manner, likewise, in which He has concealed His prayer-life, exhibiting it only as there was necessity for its presentment. If we regard His work as a tree that towers into heaven and overshadows the world, His prayer-life is the root of this tree; His overcoming of the world rests upon the infinite depth of His self-presentation before God, His self-devotion to God, His self-immersion in God, His self-certitude and power from God. In His prayer-life the perfect truth of His human nature has also approved itself. The same who, as the Son of God, is complete revelation, is, as the Son of Man, complete religion" (Lange).
In the "Lord's Prayer" (Matthew 6.) Christ sets forth what His disciples should desire for themselves. In this prayer He indicates what He desires for them. It is interesting to study the forms in which the ideas of the Lord's Prayer are reproduced and developed in this.
1. These words (tauta). Literally, these things. So Rev. Said. John nowhere says that Jesus prayed, as the other Evangelists do. Thy Son - thy Son (sou ton uion - o uiov). Properly, thy Son - the Son. The second phrase marks a change from the thought of personal relationship to that of the relation in which Jesus manifests the Father's glory.
2. Power (exousian). Rev., rightly, authority. See on i. 12.
All flesh. A Hebrew phrase, denoting the whole of humanity in its imperfection. See Gen. vi. 12; Ps. lxv. 2; Isa. xl. 5, etc. That He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him (ina pan o dedwkav aujtw, dwsh aujtoiv zwhn aijwnion). Literally, that all that Thou hast given Him, to them He should give eternal life. All (pan), singular number, regards the body of Christian disciples collectively: to them, individually.
That (ina). Expressing the aim.
Might know (ginwskwsi). Might recognize or perceive. This is striking, that eternal life consists in knowledge, or rather the pursuit of knowledge, since the present tense marks a continuance, a progressive perception of God in Christ. That they might learn to know. Compare ver. 23; x. 38; 1 John v. 20; iv. 7, 8.
"I say, the acknowledgment of God in Christ Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee All questions in the earth and out of it, And has so far advanced thee to be wise.
For this I say is death, and the sole death, When a man's loss comes to him from his gain, Darkness from light, from knowledge ignorance, And lack of love from love made manifest." Robert Browning, "A Death in the Desert."
Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. The Rev. brings out better the emphasis of the Greek order: and Him whom Thou didst send, even Jesus Christ. Didst send (apesteilav). The aorist tense, emphasizing the historic fact of Christ's mission.
4. I have glorified - I have finished (edoxasa - eteleiwsa). The best texts read, teleiwsav, having finished; the participle defining the manner in which He had glorified the Father upon earth. So Rev. To do (ina poihsw). Literally, in order that I should do (it).
5. With Thyself (para seautw). In fellowship with Thyself. So with Thee (para soi).
I had. Actually possessed.
8. The words (ta rhmata). Compare thy word (logon), ver. 6. That signified the gospel message in its entirety. This, the message considered in its constituent parts. See on Luke i. 37. Compare v. 38, 47; vi. 60, 63, 68; viii. 43, 47, 51; xii. 47, 48; xv. 3, 7.
9. I pray (erwtw). More strictly, I make request. See on xvi. 23. The I is emphatic, as throughout the prayer.
10. All mine (ta ema panta). All things that are mine. So Rev. 11. I come (ercomai). I am coming. Spoken of His departure to the Father.
Holy (agie). See on saints, Acts xxvi. 10; also on 1 Pet. i. 15. Compare 1 John ii. 20, and righteous Father (dikaie), ver. 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.
12. In the world. Omit.
I kept (ethroun). Imperfect tense. I continued to keep. The I is emphatic: I kept them, now do Thou keep them.
I kept (ethroun). Rev., rightly, I guarded. The A.V. overlooks the distinction between the two words for keeping. The former word means, I preserved them; the latter, I guarded them as a means to their preservation. See on reserved, 1 Pet. i. 4.
The scripture (h grafh). See close of note on v. 47, and on Mark xii. 10.
15. From the evil (tou ponhrou). Or, the evil one. This rendering is according to John's usage. See 1 John ii. 13, 14; iii. 12; v. 18, 19; and compare xii. 31; xiv. 30; xvi. 11. From (ek), literally, out of, means out of the hands of.
17. Sanctify (agiason). Constantly used in the Septuagint to express the entire dedication and consecration of both persons and things to God. See Exod. xxix. 1, 36; xl. 13; Lev. xxii. 2, 3. Rev., in margin, consecrate. See on x. 36.
Thy word (o logov o sov). Properly, the word which is thine. See on xv. 9.
18. Sent (apesteilav - apesteila). On a mission. See on Matthew x. 16.
Sanctify. See on ver. 17.
20. Shall believe (pisteusontwn). The best texts read pisteuontwn, the present participle, that believe. The future body of believers is conceived as actually existing.
On me through their word. The Greek order is, believe through their word on me. "Believe through their word" forms a compound idea.
21. One. Omit.
24. They - whom (ouv). The best texts read o, that which. The construction is similar to that in ver. 2, "that He should give eternal life," etc. Like pan, all, in that passage, that which here refers to the body of believers taken collectively.
I will (qelw). See on Matt. i. 19. 51 My glory. The glory which is mine.