John 17:11 "And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you, Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one". ESV

John 17:10 "All mine are yours, and yours are mine,..". Here we may see a oneness of ownership.

Is verse 11 saying that the Father's name has a special place in this "we are one"?

Are particular aspects of the Father's oneness with the Son being highlighted in "we are one", as it appears in its context here in John 17:11?

If so which are they?

3 Answers 3


Is verse 11 saying that the Father's name has a special place in this "we are one"?

Yes, the two are connected by hina subjunctive.

Berean Study Bible John 17:11

I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to You. Holy Father, protect them by Your name, the name You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one.

so that
ἵνα (hina)
Strong's 2443: In order that, so that. Probably from the same as the former part of heautou; in order that.

they may be
ὦσιν (ōsin)
Verb - Present Subjunctive Active - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

The Father and the Son were one while Jesus was walking on earth. In John 17:11, Jesus was about the leave the disciples. Without the physical leadership of Christ, how were they going to stay united? Have no fear. Jesus would leave them the name of the Father for the (hina subjunctive) purpose of uniting the disciples together just like the Father and the Son were. There is power in the name. The Son was given that power.

Are particular aspects of the Father's oneness with the Son being highlighted in "we are one", as it appears in its context here in John 17:11?

Yes, it is the name/id "Father" itself. Jesus called God "Father" far more frequently than any prophets before him. After Jesus had gone back to heaven, his disciples were united under the banner of Father. This bears out in e.g., Rom 1:7

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What does “we are one” mean in John 17:11?

In fulfillment of John 17:11, even today, Christianity distinguishes itself from other religions because we believe in the Father—and Son. We are one body in the Father and Son.

  • What does it mean that Jesus has been given the name of His Holy Father?
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 21:32
  • There is power in the name. The Son was given that power.
    – user35953
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:10

Yes and no! Through His redemptive work, Christ obtained the right to exercise His power to give eternal life. The Father bestows on the Son the power to save those who believe on Him.

In the prayer Jesus made are six references to being sent by the Father. (verses 3,8,18, 21, 23, and 25). In each reference the word "sent" means "to be commissioned." The Son's requests are the result of His commission to make the Father known and bring eternal life.

That knowledge is revealed by the Son of God alone. Just like at John 14:9 where Jesus says to Philip, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have come not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, "Show us the Father?"

In other words, the Father has no separate manifestation from the Son. The Son is the only manifestation and revelation of the Father. What is known of the Father is revealed through the Son. To see the Son is to see the essence of the Father.

The disciples were the ones through whom the world would hear the gospel. Jesus focused His request on His disciples. He ask that His own be kept, be full of joy, be sanctified, etc.

Jesus' exclusion of the world from this particular prayer is no evidence of lack of love for the unconverted. This specific prayer was for preservation, sanctification, and glorification. Thos who are in the world can also become the object of Jesus' priestly intercession only after they are converted.

So at verse 11 Jesus spoke of His separation from His disciples as though it were already a fact. His request in behalf of His disciples was that they be kept. As I stated, the disciples knew the Father through the Son. Unity is an important aspect of being kept. Christ prayer that the entire group of disciples might maintain the unity of belief in the Father's revelation as He manifested it.

When I said, "Yes and no," Yes, there are particular aspects of the Father's oneness with His Son in unity and complete harmony. Regarding the "no" the main point in Jesus' prayer is the unity of the disciples in their mission to bring the gospel to the world.

Lastly, and as a side note the unity of Jesus and His Father at John 10:30 where Jesus says, "I and the Father, We are one," asserts their unity of essence or nature as identical.

  • Almost UV this, but if, "their unity of essence or nature as identical" how can J have his own independent will which differed from the Father? Aside from what you have read into the text, when J explained 'a oneness' as identical with his Father and the disciples. Are they therefore one essence too!?
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:17
  • 1
    @user48152 I did not read anything into the text. Here's the interlinear on John 17:11, the last part. 1510 [e] ōsin ὦσιν they may be V-PSA-3P 1520 [e] hen ἓν one Adj-NNS 2531 [e] kathōs καθὼς as Adv 1473 [e] hēmeis ἡμεῖς . we [are] PPro-N1P And no, the disciples are not one in essence or nature with Jesus and His Father. Jesus want's them one in purpose. The "We are One" at John 10:30 does mean one in essence and nature. The verses previous to John 10:30 does speak of Jesus and the Father being one in purpose, that goes without saying. So now you can upvote me, Lol!
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:31
  • Happy to UV if you remove the unscriptural bit. "The "We are One" at John 10:30 does mean one in essence" WHY does it? J says that they be one as WE are. It's said it so succinctly! The disciples had their own will just as J did.
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:35
  • 1
    @user48152 Why at John 10:31 & 33 did the Jews want to kill Jesus and accuse Him of blasphemy? Also, why do you think Jesus brought up Psalm 82:6? Do you really thing it was to inform the Jews that He was not God/one in nature and essence with His Father? They did not want to kill Him for being one in purpose because that's not a crime. Jesus was smart and there was a reason why He brought up Psalm 82:6. The Jews said, "You being a man make yourself out God." Why did not Jesus deny the charge and say, "I'm not claiming to be God?" Instead He accelerates the conversation with Psalm 82:6, why?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 22:52
  • 1
    @user48152 I'm sorry you feel that way. Have a nice day or night wherever you are. Remember you did say this: "The "We are One" at John 10:30 does mean one in essence" WHY does it?" I already explained that if it "succinctly" only meant one in purpose there would be no need for the Jews to accuse Jesus of blasphemy leading to His death by stoning. No one that I know of was ever stoned for being one in purpose. In fact, I don't know of anyone that was stoned or even killed for claiming to be the Messiah? Do you know of someone?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 23:39

ἵνα ὦσιν [present active subjunctive 3rd person plural] ἓν καθὼς ἡμεῖς (John 17:11, ESV) -- "that they may be one just as we are [one]."

The hint as to how we are one relates to how people will recognize us as Christ's disciples.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34–35, ESV)

At the last supper Jesus began showing his love.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. (John 13:1, ESV)

It started with washing his disciples feet.

Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:12–15, ESV)

And, Jesus' ultimate display of his love was dying for us.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:12–13, ESV)

Jesus said his kingdom is not of this world.

My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36, ESV)

He also said we must worship in spirit and truth.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23–24, ESV)

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” (John 18:37–38, ESV)

If God has revealed Himself in absolute truth to Christians, why do Christians have so many denominations with different viewpoints? God clearly defined the physical form of worship in the Old Testament (a clear description of the tabernacle and priesthood), but that external form didn’t reach the inner person. The New Testament describes what a church member (the individual) should be, but does not give a clear picture of the structure of the church leadership. The New Testament message emphasizes an internal conversion through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and the Holy Spirit’s residing.

Can we say that God has a purpose for the many Christian denominations today? Given the nature of humanity, a better question is: "If Christianity were a single denomination, would that really accomplish God’s intended purpose of reaching people from the inside out?"

Ephesians 5:1 – 6:9 is an example of how Christians should be one with God.

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