Prior to his betrayal and arrest, Jesus prays to the Father in what has been described as the holiest chapter in the Bible. The prayer logically divides into three sections:
(1) He prays for the Father to glorify him (17:1-5).
(2) He prays for the disciples (17:6-19).
(3) He prays for believers everywhere (17:20-26).
The purpose of John’s Gospel is that readers might “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing [they] may have life in his name” (20:31). “Life” refers to knowing God and his missionary, Jesus Christ (17:3). It is an intimate relationship with the Father and Son. It is a present possession (3:36). It is a future hope (5:28-29).
An intimate relationship with the Father and the Son is “eternal life”, the one and only way to have eternal life (14:6). Jesus’ prayer to the Father reveals their intimacy and challenges believers everywhere to have the same relationship with the Father and the Son.