Jesus’ Teaching on the Way to the Garden, 26:31-35
As the group walked from the upper room toward the Garden of Gethsemane at the foot of the Mount of Olives, Jesus delivered His final teachings to His disciples, recorded mostly in the gospel of John (13-17). Matthew records Jesus’ prediction in 26:31 that all the disciples would forsake Him on that fateful night; “Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” The word translated “shall be offended” is a Greek word from which we get the word scandal, with the meaning here of causing one to stumble.
The events of the evening were to be too much for all the disciples, and Matthew records in 26:56 that they all “forsook him, and fled.” Jesus called their being offended a fulfillment of prophecy, as recorded in Zechariah 13:7, “Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.”
Jesus, however, also had anticipated His resurrection (Mt 26:32) and that they would meet again in Galilee. Actually, of course, Jesus met His scattered disciples first in Jerusalem before they all went to Galilee. Peter had been previously informed, according to John 13:38, that he would deny Jesus, but apparently Peter could not believe it, and here again, Matthew 26:33 records Peter’s renewed conversation with Jesus on this point and with the same warning from Jesus in verse 34 that Peter would deny Him before morning. The other disciples joined in their profession of faithfulness to Jesus even unto death (v. 35).
Matthew 26:31-35 Breakdown
The Prediction of Peter’s Denial 31Then Jesus said to them, “This night you will all fall away because of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Zechariah 13:7 predicted that Jesus would be struck and the disciples would all run away.
“For it is written” should be translated as “the tanakh says” - More on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_Bible
32But after I am raised, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
Jesus predicted that He would be raised from the dead. Afterwards, He would meet the disciples in Galilee.
33Peter said to him, “If they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away!”
Peter boasted that he would not run away.
34Jesus said to him, “I tell you the truth, on this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
Peter was the most courageous disciple, but Jesus predicted that even Peter would run away and deny Him three times.
35Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will never deny you.” And all the disciples said the same thing.
Peter told Jesus that He was wrong. The disciples all told Jesus that He was wrong. They did not think that they would be able to betray their Messiah.
John 17 Breakdown
17:1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you –
After Jesus finished telling His disciples that He had “overcome the world,” He looked up to heaven and prayed what many theologians call “the high priestly prayer.” Whenever Jesus prayed, He always addressed God as “Father.” Notice that the atonement of Christ glorifies both Christ and the Father. It was established at an appointed time, even before the foundations of the world were created. God is in control of history. The Bible is God’s book to the world.
17:2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him.
God the Father gave authority over all men to the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father gives the elect to Jesus. Jesus gives eternal life to the elect.
17:3 Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.
Jesus gave a definition of eternal life. The Greek word for “know” is γινώσκω (ginosko), a present active subjunctive participle, meaning an intimate and personal relationship. Eternal life is an intimate and personal relationship between the believer and the one true God.
17:4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
God the Father assigned a task to Jesus. Jesus was to die on the cross for the atonement of all sins. Jesus was in the final stage of fulfilling His mission. The outcome was already determined, so the atonement was considered as a completed action of the past.
17:5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.
Jesus was the Second Person of the Trinity. He lived on earth in the form of a man for about 33 years. After His death, resurrection, and ascension, He returned back to the heavens to sit at the right hand of the Father.
Jesus Prays for the Disciples 17:6 “I have revealed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have obeyed your word.
God the Father gave the elect to Jesus as a gift. Jesus revealed the character of God the Father to the elect. They listened to the Word of God through Jesus and made themselves submissive to his Word.
17:7 Now they understand that everything you have given me comes from you,
The elect understands that everything that Jesus possesses has been given to Him by God the Father.
17:8 because I have given them the words you have given me. They accepted them and really understand that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.
The Father gave a message to Jesus. Jesus gave the message to the elect. The elect accepted the message. The message was that Jesus came from God the Father. The elect believed that Jesus was sent by God the Father.
17:9 I am praying on behalf of them. I am not praying on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those you have given me, because they belong to you.
Jesus was not praying on behalf of the satanic world system. He prayed a specific prayer for the eleven disciples who were given to Him.
17:10 Everything I have belongs to you, and everything you have belongs to me, and I have been glorified by them.
God the Father and God the Son are sovereign, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent over all things. God the Father and God the Son are equal in all of these attributes of deity.
17:11 I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them safe in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are one.
Before Jesus was taken out of the world, He asked God the Father to keep the eleven disciples safe so that they could be one with God the Father and God the Son. A believer is made one with Christ by spirit baptism at the moment of belief.
17:12 When I was with them I kept them safe and watched over them in your name that you have given me. Not one of them was lost except the one destined for destruction, so that the scripture could be fulfilled.
The disciples were given to Jesus as a gift from God the Father. While Jesus was in the world, He protected the disciples. None of them were lost, except for Judas. Judas was not one of the elect. He would use his free human will to reject Christ. He was destined for destruction. His only hope was to believe in Christ, which the natural man cannot do without the awakening of his dead spirit by the Spirit of God. Psalm 41:9 prophesied that the Messiah would be betrayed by one of His best friends.
17:13 But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world, so they may experience my joy completed in themselves.
The disciples were sad and downcast. However, after the resurrection they remembered these words. These words brought great joy to them. They knew that Jesus conquered the world. They knew that whatever persecutions that they received were all part of God’s sovereign plan. They knew that they would be successful in expanding the gospel to all nations.
17:14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
The disciples were valuable because Jesus gave them the Word of God. They possessed the truth, which made them an enemy of the satanic world system. They did not belong to the satanic world system. They were not welcome in the satanic world system. The satanic world system will send demonic powers against them in order to hinder their message.
17:15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but that you keep them safe from the evil one.
Jesus did not want to remove the disciples from the danger of battle. He wanted to preserve them in the angelic conflict and make them victorious. He wanted to defeat Satan with fisherman, tax collectors, and common laborers.
According to Philippians 3:8, the values of the world are nothing but a trashcan of dung. The believer tells the satanic world system that it stinks and needs to be purged out of heaven. Therefore, the satanic world system hates being exposed in this matter.
17:16 They do not belong to the world just as I do not belong to the world.
Just as Jesus did not belong to the satanic world system, neither did the disciples. Believers are citizens of the Kingdom of God, but ambassadors in the satanic world system.
17:17 Set them apart in the truth; your word is truth.
Truth was communicated to the disciples by direct revelation from Jesus Himself. Truth was communicated to the early church through apostles and prophets. Truth is communicated to the modern church through gifted pastor teachers who interpret the written Word of God.
17:18 Just as you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.
Jesus was not of this world, but He was sent into this world to perform a mission. His mission was to atone for the sins of mankind. Believers are not of this world, but they were sent into this world to perform a mission. The mission of the believer is to teach and make disciples of all nations.
17:19 And I set myself apart on their behalf, so that they too may be truly set apart.
Jesus asked God the Father to sanctify the believers. He asked God the Father to set apart the disciples to perform a special mission for the Kingdom of God.
Jesus Prays for Believers Everywhere 17:20 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony,
Jesus next directed His prayer to future believers. In the Church Age, all believers have come to Christ either directly or indirectly through the ministry of these disciples. Jesus knew that the disciples would be successful, so He directed His prayers to the future church.
17:21 that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
Those of the ecumenical movement will misuse this verse to teach that there should be one universal church on the earth. Satan desires one universal church because he can easily control the doctrine which comes out of the church. The Catholic Church denied people the Word of God for years.