The Petition of Christ
In John 17, Christ intercedes earnestly and powerfully for His disciples. His prayer has come to be known as the High Priestly Prayer even though nowhere in this prayer do we find the words “high priest.” Yet, Christ clearly shows His priestly role in the very form and substance of this prayer. What was Christ’s role as the Great High Priest? As question and answer 31 of the Heidelberg Catechism says of Christ, He is “our only high priest, who by the one sacrifice of His body has redeemed us, and ever liveth to make intercession for us with the Father.” These priestly roles (especially intercession) are on display throughout this section of the prayer (John 17:19–26). Jesus, the Great High Priest, intercedes for the sake of His disciples, and indeed for the whole church. He prays for His own, those whom the Father has given Him.