Reflect: This entire chapter in John 17 is one prayer that Jesus prayed. If you have time, it would be best to read the prayer in its entirety each day over the next three days. The prayer is broken down into three segments: Jesus praying for Himself (vs. 1-5); Jesus praying for His followers (vs. 6-19); Jesus praying for us (vs. 20-26). First, note that when Jesus prays, He begins by addressing God as “Father.” Even though we are used to hearing God referred to as Father, this was revolutionary in the first-century. The word, “Father” in Greek is “Pater” and in Aramaic it is, “Abba” which is translated as, “daddy, da-da or papa.” Jesus began His prayer by addressing God with the most intimate word for a father there is. He was calling out to Him, “Daddy.”
Usually, a child’s first word is “da-da” then, eventually, daddy. In Aramaic it’s “ab-ab” and matures into the word “Abba.” Jesus is going to God in His final time here on earth by calling out to Him, “da-da, daddy, pa-pa” like a 15-month old toddler. Think about little ones in need and the way they look up as they call out to their fathers, exclaiming, “daddy” with their little hands raised high to be lifted up. This is the intimacy, dependency and love that Jesus had towards His Heavenly Daddy. He is reaching out to Him asking for what He needed at that moment. He asked that His life would be magnified through His death so that His Daddy would be glorified (v1-2). Secondly, He longed for everyone living on earth (present and future) to experience eternal life through believing in Jesus (v.3). Thirdly, Jesus is asking God to place Him back in the position He had before He came to earth, which is at the right hand of God, the Father (v.5).
Jesus had needs while He lived here on earth as a human and went to Abba for everything He needed. He didn’t think God was too busy to ask Him for what He needed, or that His needs were too big or small, and thus, He prayed with confidence. He could have prayed this prayer quietly to Himself, but He prayed out loud to model this to His disciples and to us. He wants us to know that we can go to God as our Abba (papa, daddy) in all our vulnerability, like a small child, because His love for us is impeccable - it’s perfect in every way.