What does John 17:13 mean?
ESV: But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
NIV: I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.
NASB: But now I am coming to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
CSB: Now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy completed in them.
NLT: Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.
KJV: And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Verse Commentary:
A common theme in Jesus' teaching to the disciples is delayed understanding. In many cases, His lessons were not fully grasped until after His death and resurrection. Some of that is simply due to hindsight (John 2:22). In other cases, that perception is thanks to the Holy Spirit (John 14:26). As Jesus pointed out, one reason for His teachings was to prepare the disciples for His eventual departure (John 16:4). Remembering their teachings from Christ, with the aid of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) would not only help them more accurately understand the gospel (John 16:13), it would also give them strength to endure persecution (John 16:1).

This is part of a prayer Jesus offers at the end of the Last Supper (John 13—16), prior to entering the garden of Gethsemane. There, He will be arrested and eventually crucified (John 18:1–3). This impending sequence of death, burial, and resurrection fulfills the prediction Jesus made earlier in the evening (John 16:16). This section of His prayer is most immediately for the sake of the disciples, but it also applies to future believers (John 17:20).
Verse Context:
John 17:6–19 continues the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus, prior to crossing into the garden of Gethsemane. After asking God the Father to glorify Him, so He may glorify the Father, Jesus now prays for His disciples. Earlier passages included Jesus' warnings about persecution (John 16:1–4). His plea, here, is for the apostles' continued faith in the face of that hardship. While this passage has application for all Christians, the immediate subject is Jesus' immediate circle of closest disciples. After this, Jesus' prayer will continue with an emphasis on all future believers.
Chapter Summary:
In this passage, known as the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus speaks to God about three main topics. First is Christ Himself, asking God the Father to glorify Him so He can glorify the Father. Next, Jesus prays for the faith and courage in His closest disciples. Finally, He prays for those who will come to faith because of the apostles' writing and teaching. This moment occurs before Jesus enters Gethsemane, where the other Gospels will record His final anguished prayers before being arrested (Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42; Luke 22:39–46).
Chapter Context:
Over the last several chapters (John 13—16), Jesus has been giving last-minute instruction to His closest disciples. These lessons composed a large part of the Last Supper. Among those teachings were several warnings about persecution, with the encouragement of knowing the Holy Spirit would come. In chapter 17, we read Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, making requests on behalf of Himself, the apostles, and future believers. After this, Jesus will go into Gethsemane where Judas will turn Him over for arrest and His eventual execution.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
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