However, this NIV verse has been significantly mistranslated.* Consider the King James Version:
"And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them." (John 17:10 KJV)The NIV version completely misses the point of what Jesus is saying.
What is Jesus saying here?
Is he saying that everything the Supreme Being has is his?
And/or is Jesus trying to use his disciples ("them") for his own glory? Don't be ridiculous. These are both mistranslations.
Here is the Greek source of the verse:
καὶ τὰ ἐμὰ πάντα σά ἐστιν καὶ τὰ σὰ ἐμά καὶ δεδόξασμαι ἐν αὐτοῖς
Let's break this down:
The first word, καὶ is joining two phrases - "and". This means that this verse is a continuation of the previous statement, where Jesus is discussing his students and the fact that God has given them to Jesus to teach:
"I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those You have given me, for they are Yours." (John 17:9)So this verse (17:10) is connected to 17:9, and should have a comma, then "and"
Let's continue the sentence literally, with a literal translation in parentheses:
(,) καὶ (and) τὰ (the) ἐμὰ (mine) πάντα (all) σά (yours) ἐστιν (are) καὶ (and) τὰ (the) σὰ (yours) ἐμά (mine) καὶ (and) δεδόξασμαι (been given splendor or glory) ἐν (in) αὐτοῖς (them)
Some translators have inserted the word "things" into τὰ (the) as in "the things" but this is not what Jesus said. He is not talking about "things" here at all. As indicated in the previous verse, Jesus is talking about his disciples and the fact that God gave them to Jesus to teach them, as that is what the previous statement (17:9) says, and the word τὰ (the) refers to that which is being spoken of - the subject of the statement.
This would mean that a more appropriate translation would be what we find in the Gospels of Jesus:
"And all I have is Yours – and Yours mine – and I am exalted through them."Notice that "exalted" is being used rather than "glory." The Greek word δοξάζω (doxazō) can mean glory in some contexts, but in other contexts, it can mean "extol, magnify, celebrate" and " render it excellent" according to the lexicon. It is clear that Jesus is not seeking to be glorified.
Jesus is communicating that he is exalted by virtue of his students who are coming to know and love God.
Jesus was not interested in his own glory
If he were, he would not have allowed himself to be whipped and beaten in front of the entire town of Jerusalem. He would have escaped and not allowed himself to be persecuted like a common criminal on a cross.
Jesus was not interested in his own glory. His interest was in serving the Supreme Being. He saw himself as a servant, not someone to be glorified.
Confirming this, Jesus said elsewhere:
"I do not accept glory from human beings" (John 5:41)
"Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him." (John 7:18)
"I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and He is the judge." (John 8:54)
Becoming exalted through them
A loving servant of God feels exalted when they are pleasing to God. They do not seek glory from anyone because they are focused on pleasing the Supreme Being. When a person is self-centered, the word "glory" can be applied because wanting glory for oneself is a self-centered issue. But when a person is working to please God, they automatically become exalted as a result of God being pleased with them or their service.
This is the situation Jesus is speaking of. Jesus knows he is pleasing to God as he has taken these students under his wing and introduced them to God and taught them about love for God. Pleasing God in this exalts Jesus. This would be seen as becoming exalted.
Jesus says " I am exalted through them" because by teaching those whom God delegated to Jesus to teach, Jesus knows God is pleased.
Missing the intimate relationship
You see, the context that is hidden from professional scribes and scholars who have attempted to translate these verses is the intimate loving relationship that exists between Jesus and God.
It is hidden from them because they have no entrance into that loving relationship. Entrance into the loving relationship that exists between Jesus and God is only available to those who have been allowed and guided into such a relationship.
Let's use an example:
Let's say that the President of the U.S. and the First Lady have a certain relationship - but that relationship is hidden from public view. The First Couple might kiss a few times on camera or say a few kind things to each other, but the public really doesn't know their inner relationship. They could be fighting each other all the time in private for all the public knows.
The only way a person can gain entrance into the relationship between the President and the First Lady is if they allow someone access to them during their private times. For example, a friend of the First Lady might be invited to the White House for dinner and a casual sit-down, and if the First Lady and the President trust this friend, they very well could reveal their personal relationship to them.
This can be compared to the relationship between God and Jesus. It is an intimate loving relationship. Those who have access to that love are those who have been granted access - typically guided into that access by someone who is also intimate with the Supreme Being - but that continued access must also be granted by the Supreme Being.
Paying seminary tuition and receiving seminary degrees doesn't grant access to this relationship.
Being elected by a group of deacons to being the official preacher or reverend to a church doesn't grant access.
Being elected even to the position of Pope - a political election by peers - doesn't grant access to the intimate relationship between Jesus and God.
Gaining access requires a personal relationship with one who has a personal relationship with God. One must be pleasing to that person and being pleasing to that person means wanting to be pleasing to the Supreme Being.
Yes, it is a private club, except that anyone can be a member. All we have to do is sincerely ask the Supreme Being to guide us back to our own loving relationship with Him.
This request must be without ulterior motives. After all, that is what sincerity means - wanting something without ulterior motives.
In other words, if we want to have a relationship with God so we can be a big powerful priest or preacher then that is an ulterior motive. If we want to have a relationship with God so that we can be saved from going to hell then that is also an ulterior motive.
Just imagine: We go up to a person and introduce ourselves and ask the person's name - feigning that we want to get to know the person - but really we just want to get some money from the person. Or we just want to have sex with them. How would they feel? Would they really want to have a relationship with us if all we want to do is use them?
It is the same with God. The Supreme Being can see our hearts. We might be able to fake out someone else - pretending that we are interested in them. But we cannot fake out God. He knows whether we want to really be with Him or whether we just want to use Him to get something from Him. (And this is why most of us cannot see God - because we are not sincerely seeking Him. He doesn't show Himself to those who are not sincerely seeking Him.)
This all boils down to the fact that God is a Person. God is the Supreme Person. He is not a void or a white light.
Who do you think Jesus is praying to? Is Jesus laying out his heart to a white light or void? Did he spend all that time teaching about God, praying to God and wanting others to love and serve God as a big facade? And who would they be loving if God is not a Person? Can we love a white light or void?
No. Jesus is praying to a Person - the Supreme Person. And Jesus' teachings were about loving and serving that Supreme Person:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37)