I recently completed podcast episodes 280 and 281 on John 17. Some years ago when teaching the Gospel of John at Concordia–Chicago, there was occasion for me to spend extra time formatting that chapter of John in order to see more clearly the significance of its content.
For example, what is the focus of Jesus’ prayer? What are the key concepts? What is Jesus concerned about most? You can even see that the short version of the Lord’s Prayer (the one that we know and say each week) is embedded in the “long playing version” of the Lord praying in John 17. Notice Jesus’ emphasis in the middle of His prayer on keeping His disciples in God’s Word–His Word is truth. Cause for remaining in His Word occurs everywhere in the Gospel of John and especially in John 6:63: “The Spirit is the life-maker . . . the words I speak to you are Spirit and they are life,” and John 8:31ff: “If you remain in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.”
God bless us all in His Word and grace, especially as we explore ways of realizing the depth and breadth of what His Word reveals to us and works in us.