The Meaning of John 17:11 Explained

John 17:11

KJV: And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

YLT: and no more am I in the world, and these are in the world, and I come unto Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, whom Thou hast given to me, that they may be one as we;

Darby: And I am no longer in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one as we.

ASV: And I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are .

What does John 17:11 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The title "Holy Father" appears only here in the fourth Gospel and is a reminder of both aspects of God"s nature. It balances ideas of ultimate purity with intimate paternity and so prepares for what lies ahead, namely, the need for loving sanctification ( John 17:17-19). The Father"s holiness serves as a model for the holiness of disciples (cf. Leviticus 11:44; Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 1:16). The reason Jesus and disciples can be holy is that the Father is holy.
Jesus asked His Father to keep these disciples "in your name" (Gr. en to onomati sou). The NIV interpreted this phrase to mean "by the power of your name" (cf. Psalm 20:1; Psalm 54:1; Proverbs 18:10). [1] However the preposition en may be locative instead of instrumental in mood. In that case the idea would be "keep them in your name," meaning keep them loyal to you. [2] Some commentators argued that both ideas were in Jesus" mind. [3] The context favors the second view. Loyalty seems to be the objective of the keeping and the dominant idea, not the means to it, namely, the Father"s power. The name that the Father had given to the Son probably refers to the revelation of God"s character that Jesus had manifested ( John 17:6-8; cf. John 1:18; John 14:9).
The ultimate end of God keeping these disciples loyal to the revelation that Jesus had given them was that they might experience unity. They would be one with one another as well as one with the Son and the Father if they remained loyal to Jesus" revelations. Projecting this idea further we can see that the Scriptures are the basis for the unity of believers with one another and with God.

Context Summary

John 17:11-17 - In The World But Not Of The World
What is the world? The inspired definition is given in 1 John 2:16. Enumerating her three offsprings, the Apostle goes on to say, "All that is in the world"¦ is not of the Father," that is, does not originate or proceed from Him. We might reverse the proposition and say, "All that does not emanate from the Father, and which is inconsistent with perfect love and purity and truth, is of the world."
The spirit of the world permeates society. All its plans, aims, and activities belong to the present passing show. "Under the sun" is the suggestion of Ecclesiastes. The world has always been in collision with Christ, because His teaching reverses everything that the world prizes. In its beatitudes, its methods of pleasure and acquisition, its view and use of power, and its attitude toward God, the difference is wide as the poles. But its hatred is welcome to the followers of Christ, as proving that they are on the Master's track, and in His fellowship they are abundantly compensated. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 17

1  Jesus prays to his Father

Greek Commentary for John 17:11

And these [και ουτοι]
Note adversative use of και — kai (= but these). I come Futuristic present, “I am coming.” Cf. John 13:3; John 14:12; John 17:13. Christ will no longer be visibly present to the world, but he will be with the believers through the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:20). Holy Father Only here in the N.T., but see 1 John 2:20; Luke 1:49 for the holiness of God, a thoroughly Jewish conception. See John 6:69 where Peter calls Jesus ο αγιος του τεου — ho hagios tou theou For the word applied to saints see Acts 9:13. See John 17:25 for πατηρ δικαιε — patēr dikaie (Righteous Father). Keep them First aorist (constative) active imperative of τηρεω — tēreō as now specially needing the Father‘s care with Jesus gone (urgency of the aorist tense in prayer). Which Locative case of the neuter relative singular, attracted from the accusative ο — ho to the case of the antecedent ονοματι — onomati (name). That they may be one Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the present active subjunctive of ειμι — eimi (that they may keep on being). Oneness of will and spirit This is Christ‘s prayer for all believers, for unity, not for organic union of which we hear so much. The disciples had union, but lacked unity or oneness of spirit as was shown this very evening at the supper (Luke 22:24; John 13:4-15). Jesus offers the unity in the Trinity (three persons, but one God) as the model for believers. The witness of the disciples will fail without harmony (John 17:21). [source]
I come [ἔρχομαι]
I am coming. Spoken of His departure to the Father. [source]
Holy [ἅγιε]
See on saints, Acts 26:10; also see on 1 Peter 1:15. Compare 1 John 2:20, and righteous Father ( δίκαιε ), John 17:25. 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. [source]
Those whom [οὓς]
The correct reading is ᾧ , referring to name. Thy name which Thou hast given me. So in John 17:12. Compare Philemon 2:9, Philemon 2:10; Revelation 2:17; Revelation 19:12; Revelation 22:4. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 17:11

John 10:30 One [εν]
Neuter, not masculine Not one person (cf. εις — heis in Galatians 3:28), but one essence or nature. By the plural συμυς — sumus (separate persons) Sabellius is refuted, by υνυμ — unum Arius. So Bengel rightly argues, though Jesus is not referring, of course, to either Sabellius or Arius. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of making himself equal with God as his own special Father (John 5:18). Jesus then admitted and proved this claim (John 5:19-30). Now he states it tersely in this great saying repeated later (John 17:11, John 17:21). Note εν — hen used in 1 Corinthians 3:3 of the oneness in work of the planter and the waterer and in John 17:11, John 17:23 of the hoped for unity of Christ‘s disciples. This crisp statement is the climax of Christ‘s claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger. [source]
John 17:25 O righteous Father [Πατηρ δικαιε]
Nominative form with πατηρ — patēr used as vocative (cf. John 20:28), but vocative form δικαιε — dikaie Then the righteousness of God is appealed to like God‘s holiness in John 17:11. The world The translations usually slur over the και — kai as untranslatable in English. Westcott suggests “while” as a sort of correlative. It is quite possible that here και — kai is almost concessive like “though” and δε — de = yet: “though the world did not know thee, yet I knew thee, and these knew thee.” See Robertson, Grammar, p. 1182 for καιδεκαι — kai -και — de -kai and various other uses of kai in John‘s Gospel. [source]
John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name [πατερ δοχασον σου το ονομα]
First aorist (note of urgency) active imperative of πνευμα — doxazō and in the sense of his death already in John 12:16, John 12:23 and again in John 13:31; John 17:5. This is the prayer of the πσυχη — pneuma (or σαρχ — psuchē) as opposed to that of the ονομα — sarx (flesh) in John 12:27. The “name” (πωνη εκ του ουρανου — onoma) of God expresses the character of God (John 1:12; John 5:43; John 17:11). Cf. Matthew 6:9. A voice out of heaven (και εδοχασα και παλιν δοχασω — phōnē ek tou ouranou). This was the Father‘s answer to the prayer of Jesus for help. See note on the Father‘s voice at the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1:11) and on the Father‘s voice at the transfiguration (Mark 9:7). The rabbis called the audible voice of God εδοχασα — bath -δοχασω — qol (the daughter of a voice). I have both glorified it and will glorify it again (kai edoxasa kai palin doxasō). This definite assurance from the Father will nerve the soul of Jesus for the coming ordeal. Cf. John 11:40 for edoxasa and John 13:31; John 17:5 for doxasō f0). [source]
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover [προ δε της εορτης του πασχα]
Just before, John means, not twenty-four hours before, that is our Thursday evening (beginning of 15th of Nisan, sunset to sunset Jewish day), since Jesus was crucified on Friday 15th of Nisan. Hence Jesus ate the regular passover meal at the usual time. The whole feast, including the feast of unleavened bread, lasted eight days. For a discussion of the objections to this interpretation of John in connexion with the Synoptic Gospels one may consult my Harmony of the Gospels, pp. 279-84, and David Smith‘s In the Days of His Flesh, Appendix VIII. The passover feast began on the 15th Nisan at sunset, the passover lamb being slain the afternoon of 14th Nisan. There seems no real doubt that this meal in John 13:1-30 is the real passover meal described by the Synoptics also (Mark 14:18-21; Matthew 26:21-25; Luke 22:21-23), followed by the institution of the Lord‘s Supper. Thus understood John 13:1 here serves as an introduction to the great esoteric teaching of Christ to the apostles (John 13:2-17:26), called by Barnas Sears The Heart of Christ. This phrase goes with the principal verb ηγαπησεν — ēgapēsen (loved). Knowing Second perfect active participle, emphasizing the full consciousness of Christ. He was not stumbling into the dark as he faced “his hour” See John 18:4; John 19:28 for other examples of the insight and foresight (Bernard) of Jesus concerning his death. See on John 12:23 for use before by Jesus. That he should depart Sub-final use of ινα — hina with second aorist active subjunctive of μεταβαινω — metabainō old word, to go from one place to another, here (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14) to go from this world (John 8:23) back to the Father from whom he had come (John 14:12, John 14:28; John 16:10, John 16:28; John 17:5). His own which were in the world His own disciples (John 17:6, John 17:9, John 17:11), those left in the world when he goes to the Father, not the Jews as in John 1:11. See Acts 4:23; 1 Timothy 5:8 for the idiom. John pictures here the outgoing of Christ‘s very heart‘s love (chs. John 13-17) towards these men whom he had chosen and whom he loved “unto the end” (εις τελος — eis telos) as in Matthew 10:22; Luke 18:15, but here as in 1 Thessalonians 2:16 rather “to the uttermost.” The culmination of the crisis (“his hour”) naturally drew out the fulness of Christ‘s love for them as is shown in these great chapters (John 13-17). [source]
John 5:43 In my Father‘s name [εν τωι ονοματι του πατρος μου]
Seven times Jesus in John speaks of the “Name” of the Father (John 5:43; John 10:25; John 12:28; John 17:6, John 17:11, John 17:12, John 17:26). See John 1:12 for use of ονομα — onoma (Luke 1:49). And ye receive me not “And yet ye do not receive me,” as in John 5:40, “the Gospel of the Rejection” (John 1:11; John 3:11, John 3:32; John 12:37) often applied to the Fourth Gospel. If another come Condition of third class Note αλλος — allos not ετερος — heteros like αλλον Ιησουν — allon Iēsoun in 2 Corinthians 11:4. Similar prophecies occur in Mark 13:6, Mark 13:22 (Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:24), all general in character like Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12. There is no occasion for a reference to any individual like Barcochba (about a.d. 134) as Pfleiderer and Schmiedel hold. These Messianic upstarts all come “in their own name” and always find a following. Him ye will receive “That one,” whoever he is, as Jesus said. Future active indicative of λαμβανω — lambanō Credulous about the false Messiahs, incredulous about Christ. [source]
John 9:5 When I am in the world [οταν εν τωι κοσμωι ω]
Indefinite relative clause with οταν — hotan and present active subjunctive ω — ō “whenever I am in the world.” The Latin Vulgate renders here οταν — hotan by quamdiu so long as or while as if it were εως — heōs But clearly Jesus here refers to the historic Incarnation (John 17:11) and to any previous visitations in the time of the patriarchs, prophets, etc. Jesus as God‘s Son is always the Light of the World (John 1:4, John 1:10; John 8:12), but here the reference is limited to his manifestation “in the world.” I am the light of the world The absence of the definite article Literally, “I am light to the world, whenever I am in the world.” “The display of the character varies with the occasion” (Westcott). [source]
1 Peter 1:4 Reserved [τετηρημένην]
Lit., which has been reserved, a perfect participle, indicating the inheritance as one reserved through God's care for his own from the beginning down to the present. Laid up and kept is the idea. The verb signifies keeping as the result of guarding. Thus in John 17:11, Christ says, “keep ( τήρησον ) those whom thou hast given me;” in John 17:12, “I kept them” ( ἐτήρουν )i.e., preserved by guarding them. “Those whom thou gavest me I guarded ( ἐφύλαξα ).” So Rev., which preserves the distinction. Similarly, John 14:15, “keep ( τηρήσατε ) my commandments;” preserve them unbroken by careful watching. So Peter was delivered to the soldiers to guard him ( φυλάσσειν ), but he was kept ( ἐτηρεῖτο ) in prison (Acts 12:4, Acts 12:5). Compare Colossians 1:5, where a different word is used: ἀποκειμένην , lit., laid away. [source]
1 Peter 1:4 Incorruptible [απταρτον]
Old compound adjective (alpha privative and πτειρω — phtheirō to corrupt), imperishable. So many inheritances vanish away before they are obtained.Undefiled (αμιαντον — amianton). Old verbal adjective (note alliteration) from alpha privative and μιαινω — miainō to defile, without defect or flaw in the title, in N.T. only here, James 1:27; Hebrews 13:4.That fadeth not away Alliterative and verbal adjective again from alpha privative and μαραινω — marainō (to dry up, to wither, as in James 1:11), late and rare word in several inscriptions on tombs, here only in N.T. These inscriptions will fade away, but not this inheritance in Christ. It will not be like a faded rose.Reserved (τετηρημενην — tetērēmenēn). Perfect passive participle of τηρεω — tēreō old verb, to take care of, to guard. No burglars or bandits can break through where this inheritance is kept (Matthew 6:19.; John 17:11.). Cf. Colossians 1:5, where laid away” (αποκειμενην — apokeimenēn) occurs.For you More graphic than the mere dative. [source]
1 Peter 1:4 That fadeth not away [αμαραντον]
Alliterative and verbal adjective again from alpha privative and μαραινω — marainō (to dry up, to wither, as in James 1:11), late and rare word in several inscriptions on tombs, here only in N.T. These inscriptions will fade away, but not this inheritance in Christ. It will not be like a faded rose.Reserved (τετηρημενην — tetērēmenēn). Perfect passive participle of τηρεω — tēreō old verb, to take care of, to guard. No burglars or bandits can break through where this inheritance is kept (Matthew 6:19.; John 17:11.). Cf. Colossians 1:5, where laid away” (αποκειμενην — apokeimenēn) occurs.For you More graphic than the mere dative. [source]
1 Peter 1:4 Reserved [τετηρημενην]
Perfect passive participle of τηρεω — tēreō old verb, to take care of, to guard. No burglars or bandits can break through where this inheritance is kept (Matthew 6:19.; John 17:11.). Cf. Colossians 1:5, where laid away” (αποκειμενην — apokeimenēn) occurs. [source]
1 John 2:16 All that [παν το]
Collective use of the neuter singular as in 1 John 5:4, like παν ο — pān ho in John 6:37, John 6:39. Three examples, not necessarily covering all sins, are given in the nominative in apposition with παν το — pān to “The lust of the flesh” David Smith thinks that, as in the case of Eve (Genesis 3:1-6) and the temptations of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), these three sins include all possible sins. But they are all “of the world” The problem for the believer is always how to be in the world and yet not of it (John 17:11, John 17:14.). [source]
Jude 1:1 In Jesus Christ [Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ]
The simple dative without preposition. Thereforefor Jesus Christ; by the Father to whom Christ committed them (John 17:11). Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Philemon 1:6, Philemon 1:10. [source]

What do the individual words in John 17:11 mean?

And no longer I am in the world and yet themselves they are and I to You am coming Father Holy keep them the name of You which You have given Me that they may be one as we [are]
καὶ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ αὐτοὶ εἰσίν κἀγὼ πρὸς σὲ ἔρχομαι Πάτερ ἅγιε τήρησον αὐτοὺς τῷ ὀνόματί σου δέδωκάς μοι ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν καθὼς ἡμεῖς

οὐκέτι  no  longer 
Parse: Adverb
Root: οὐκέτι  
Sense: no longer, no more, no further.
εἰμὶ  I  am 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
κόσμῳ  world 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: κόσμος  
Sense: an apt and harmonious arrangement or constitution, order, government.
καὶ  and  yet 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
αὐτοὶ  themselves 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Nominative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
εἰσίν  they  are 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
κἀγὼ  and  I 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Nominative 1st Person Singular
Root: κἀγώ  
Sense: and I.
ἔρχομαι  am  coming 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.
Πάτερ  Father 
Parse: Noun, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: προπάτωρ 
Sense: generator or male ancestor.
ἅγιε  Holy 
Parse: Adjective, Vocative Masculine Singular
Root: ἅγιος  
Sense: most holy thing, a saint.
τήρησον  keep 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: τηρέω  
Sense: to attend to carefully, take care of.
ὀνόματί  name 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: ὄνομα  
Sense: name: univ.
σου  of  You 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive 2nd Person Singular
Root: σύ  
Sense: you.
δέδωκάς  You  have  given 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 2nd Person Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
μοι  Me 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative 1st Person Singular
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.
ἵνα  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
ὦσιν  they  may  be 
Parse: Verb, Present Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ἓν  one 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: εἷς  
Sense: one.
ἡμεῖς  we  [are] 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Nominative 1st Person Plural
Root: ἐγώ  
Sense: I, me, my.