John 17:25 O righteous Father,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

Observant Father, not only has human society not learned to perceive you, but I have learned to perceive you and also that is why they have learned to perceive that you have sent me out.

KJV : 

Jhn 17:25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Again, Christ comes back to the "world order," that is, human society, and its lack of understanding of God. Here, the alternative translates that as its inability to perceive God, that is, see what God really must be.

The used of "righteous" here to describe the Father is interesting because the Greek adjective describes someone who observes the laws of civilization, but the idea of "obedient" doesn't describe the nature of God. We must focus on the more general idea of "observant." Christ uses the word with "Father" here to describe God as observant of humanity, the Father of our law, custom, and civilization. He is not tradition's faithful follower but its faithful author.

In Jhn 17:23, Christ says Christian unity is what will teach society that Christ was sent by the Father, and here Christ extends that idea to say that Christian unity tell society about the faithfulness of God, who is the author of civilization. The "these" here may refer to Christ's followers, but it given that society learns that Christ was sent by God.

The key part in this verse is God's sending Christ out into society. This is God taking action on the part of humanity, reinventing human tradition and law. Christ's life contrasts the values of God with the values of society. Christ's Father is not the indifferent, uninterested gods of the ancient world, not involving themselves in human affairs. By the sending of Christ, we learn that God has a plan and a purpose for the perfecting or completing of humanity. This is the other message in Jhn 17:23. It is reemphasized here when Christ calls God the observant Father.

To topic of this whole section continues to be the oneness of God, Christ and his followers though that topic isn't referenced directly here. This "oneness" is in contrast to the multiple "idols" worshipped, not only by ancient society, but by all human societies that naturally raise social and natural forces such as wealth, fame, sex, political power and so on to level of deserving praise, worship, and devotion. The ancient "gods" were nothing but personification of those forces.

These multiple idols, then and now, are indifferent to human affairs as a whole. They are reflections of the indifferent gods of our individual self-interest. They may favor us or not, at their whim, but they exist in a universe of chaos, selfishness, and meaninglessness, not a universe of purpose and a single divine plan.

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Πατὴρ "Father" is from pater (pater), which means "father", "grandfather", "author", "parent," and "forefathers."

δίκαιε "Righteous" is from dikaios (dikaios) which means "observant of rules", "observant of customs", "well-ordered", "civilized," and "observant of duty." Later it means "well-balanced", "impartial," and "just."

καὶ Untranslated is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

κόσμος "The world" is from kosmos, which mean "order", "good order", "ruler", "world order", "universe," and "the world of men."

σε "Thee" is from su (su) which means "you" and "your."

οὐκ "Not" is from οὐ ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, class="greek">μήapplies to will and thought; class="greek">οὐ denies, class="greek">μή rejects; class="greek">οὐ is absolute, class="greek">μή relative;class="greek">οὐ objective, class="greek">μή subjective.

ἔγνω (3rd sg aor ind act) "Hath...known," is from gignôskô (ginosko) which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

ἐγὼ "I" is from ego, which is the first person singular pronoun meaning "I". It also means "I at least", "for my part", "indeed," and for myself.

δέ "But" is from de (de), which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way.

σε "Thee" is from su (su) which means "you" and "your."

ἔγνων 1st sg aor ind act "Have known," is from gignôskô (ginosko) which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

καὶ "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

οὗτοι "These" is from houtos (houtos), which means "this", "that", "the nearer." As an adverb, it means "therefore," and "that is why."

ἔγνωσαν 3rd pl aor ind act "Have...known," is from gignôskô (ginosko) which means "to learn to know", "to know by reflection or observation," and "to perceive."

ὅτι "That" is from hoti (hoti), which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that" and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what," and "wherefore." A form of hostis.

σύ "Thou" is from su (su) which means "you" and "your."

με "Me" is from eme, which means "I", "me", and "my".

ἀπέστειλας "Hast sent" is from apostellô (apostello), which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch." It is our source of the word "apostle."