Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1991.
“IV. Jesus’ Self-Disclosure in His Cross and Exaltation (13:1-20:31)” “D. The Prayer of Jesus (17:1-26)” pp. 550-571.
Commenting on John 17, Carson notes the surprise inherent in God the Son praying to God the Father (Carson 1991, 551). The relationship of Father and Son, of believers to one another, and Christians to the Christ is at the center of this prayer. The prayer in John 17 does not have the agony of the garden prayers in the Synoptic Gospels. However, Carson notes that Jesus is portrayed in John as quite aware of the pain to come (Carson 1991, 552).
In verses 1-5, as Jesus sees his hour coming, he is moved to prayer rather than resignation (Carson 1991, 553). Jesus prays that he will be glorified - a return to glory with the Father (Carson 1991, 554). The result of this is bringing glory to the Father. The glory of the Father is that people may know him as the true God (Carson 1991, 556).
In verses 6-19 Jesus prays specifically for his followers. They have been given to the Son and have received a revelation of God (Carson 1991, 558). Though the disciples’ understanding and obedience is imperfect before the resurrection, Carson thinks John is making a comparison to the rest of the world (Carson 1991, 559). This strong distinction appears in verse 9 (Carson 1991, 560). Jesus prays especially for divine protection for his disciples. The desire is that the disciples may be one, kept in God’s name (Carson 1991, 562). Jesus does make a disclaimer. Judas is lost, though the others are preserved (Carson 1991, 563). The disciples have been chosen out of the world. They are guarded by Jesus but hated by the world (Carson 1991, 564). As Jesus has been sanctified in vv. 17-19 he prays his disciples will be sanctified.
In verses 20-26 Jesus prays for future believers and that all believers will see Jesus’ glory (Carson 1991, 568). All are to be one. Their unity is to come through the specific message of the Gospel. The unity of Christians is intended to bring glory to the Father. The love of God for the world is seen in the unity of Christians (Carson 1991, 570).