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Posts Tagged ‘His Glory’

14681781_10154818084994063_6287148540594557685_n~Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is also known as the season of our joy.

~In temple times, a special ceremony depicted a prophetic promise in the festival.

~The event was called simchah beyt hasho’evah (rejoicing in the place of water drawing).

~During the celebration a priest would take a pitcher and draw from the pool of Siloam in Jerusalem.

~He would lead the people in a procession of praise back to the temple where they would chant Psalms 113-118.

~The highlight of the ceremony came when the priest poured the water onto the altar. Why? Isaiah 12:3 taught the time when God would pour out His Holy Spirit in the days of the Messianic redemption.

~An amazing thing happened during the first century Sukkot celebration in Jerusalem:

John 7:37-38 “In the last day, that great day of the feast (Hosha’na Rabbah), Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

~By this Yeshua was proclaiming that He was the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Isaiah 12:3.

~Today let us drink from the living waters of Yeshua by allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of our lives.

~I encourage everyone to study the Feasts of the Lord. They really do reveal to us the first and second coming of our Messiah. The Feasts are all about Him.

John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Learn about Messiah in the Feast of Tabernacles.

Julie Elaine Page, from F.B

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbIE_Cm6ZE8H

YEHOVA ELOHIM

1. Iehova Elohim – “Eternul Creator”
Iehova Adonai: -„Domnul Puternic”
El e Iehova Şhur:– „Stânca Veacurilor”
El e Iehova – „Atotputernic Domn”.
El Marele: „Eu Sunt” – tatăl lui Avraam
Iehova-Şhalom: „Domnul e pacea mea”
Iehova Rohi: “Domnul Păstorul meu”
El e Iehova singurul Dumnezeu.

Refren: /:Cânt Aleluia, cânt Aleluia,
Cânt Aleluia, cânt Aleluia,
El e Iehova: Domnul Puternic
El e Iehova – Domnul ce m-a iubit:/

2. Iehova Iire – “Poartă de grijă”
Iehova Rafa- “Domnul mă vindecă”
Iehova Nissi- “Domnul e steagul meu”
Iehova Şhama– “Aici e Dumnezeu.”

3. Iehova Ţidkhenu: „Dreptul Judecător”
Iehova Savaoth: „Domnul Oştirilor”
Iehova Hoşhenu: „Al nostru Creator”
El e Iehova: “Al nostru Salvator”.
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“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles (Sukkot).” Zechariah 14:16

We know that all of God’s appointed times have a prophetic significance for believers in Yeshua (Jesus). Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), the last feast mentioned inLeviticus 23, receives special emphasis in the Scriptures. All the other feasts will have already been fulfilled when Tabernacles takes its rightful place in God’s timetable.

Distinctive to Sukkot is the fact that seventy oxen were sacrificed in Temple days (Numbers 29:13-24). These oxen were to be offered for the proverbial seventy Gentile nations of the world. Hence, Sukkot is the one feast that is international in nature.

Why would all the nations keep the Feast of Tabernacles?

Answer: Sukkot/Tabernacles is seen as a representative of the Kingdom of God coming to earth. God will finally complete His plan of dwelling in the midst of His people through the person of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).

Because of the prophetic meaning of Sukkot/Tabernacles, we can celebrate the Kingdom of both Jewish and Gentile believers in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah). Messiah is coming soon to dwell with us.

Are we ready for the celebration? I am. All of the feasts are for all people. They are the feasts of the Lord not the feasts of the Jews. The feast teach the first and second coming of Messiah. That is for everyone. I celebrate all seven feasts plus Hanukkah and Purim. . So much fun. 

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John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

As followers of Yeshua/Jesus it is only natural that we would want to celebrate His birth. We can know when Yeshua was born by looking at God’s appointed times for clues. John was describing the first coming of our Messiah by using terminology which is simple, yet profound: “And the Word was made flesh (a human being), and dwelt [literally, “tabernacled”] among us.
The message of Messiah coming to tabernacle with us is connected with Sukkot. Yeshua’s (Jesus’) birth, in the late fall, is a perfect picture of the Feast of Tabernacles/Sukkot. Sukkot is the ideal time to celebrate that God, in the Messiah, was born to tabernacle among his people!

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Zechariah 9:9 talks about the first coming of our Lord and Savior. So let us look at what this verse tells us about the first time Jesus came to the earth.
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.”Rejoice greatly-tells us that this is during the time of Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles also called the “season of our joy” and Jesus was born at the feast of tabernacles.
Zion speaks of prophetic Jerusalem.
Shout is associated with the wedding and we are now betrothed to our Messiah.
O’daughters-refer to the un-walled cities in Israel and Jesus was born in Bethlehem (an un-walled city) and He traveled to all the cities around Jerusalem. Zechariah was saying, behold (which means look, pay attention) your King is coming, He is just (Holy) and having Salvation (Yeshua means Salvation) riding on a donkey. (Matthew 21:5)
We know that 2,000 years ago this prophecy was fulfilled when our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem and died for us on the cross at calvary. The first time He came lowly and riding on a Zechariah 9:9 talks about the first coming of our Lord and Savior. So let us look at what this verse tells us about the first time Jesus came to the earth.
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upodonkey, the next time He comes He will be riding on a horse to concur, rule and reign as King.
Zechariah 14:5 “…….and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee”
Zechariah 14:5 tells us that we (saints) will becoming back with Jesus at His second coming.
So let us continue to look up, and lift up our heads; for our redemption draweth nigh. In short, Our King is Coming.Feast of Tabernacles is when He was born and it is normally our September/October    

Julie Elaine Page, from F.B.

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Go Ye Into All The World


February 5th, 2012

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Lyrics and Music: James McGranahan

Far, far away, in heathen darkness dwelling,
Millions of souls forever may be lost;
Who, who will go, salvation’s story telling,

Looking to Jesus, heeding not the cost?

Refrain:
“All power is given unto Me,
All power is given unto Me,
Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel,
And lo, I am with you always.”

See o’er the world wide open doors inviting,
, arise and enter in!
Christians, awake! your forces all uniting,
Send forth the Gospel, break the chains of sin.

“Why will you die?” the voice of God is calling.
“Why will you die?” re-echo in His Name;
Jesus has died to save from death appalling,
Life and salvation, therefore go proclaim.

God speed the day, when those of every nation
“Glory to God!” triumphantly shall sing.
Ransomed, redeemed, rejoicing in salvation,
Shout “Hallelujah, for the Lord is King.”

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Php 4:4, KJV

Hymn Listings | Revival Hymns and Choruses

Reformed Christian Books

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All The Glory-Carroll Roberson


http://youtu.be/GbSH4JN4JzA

All the Honor, all the Praise, all the Glory; go to Jesus*

Hallelujah!

All the glory is in heaven, A place I have been, How beautiful, someday we will all see the glory, to God

Matthew 5:16 . “So let your life so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God in heaven!”

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The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus: Part III (John 17:20-26)

Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh

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Introduction

In the last few weeks, a lawsuit has gone to trial over the possession of the 77-acre Branch Davidian Compound outside Waco, Texas. You will recall that this compound was burned to the ground, with the loss of many lives, including leader David Koresh and many of his followers. Several factions have laid claim to the property and are now fighting it out in the courts.

This seems to be a modern-day example of what Gamaliel said nearly 2,000 years ago. The story is recorded in Acts 5. Peter and John had healed a lame man on their way to the temple, attracting a great deal of attention and affording them the opportunity to preach the gospel, which included the proclamation that Jesus had been raised from the dead. Soon, people were bringing their sick from the surrounding towns so that the apostles could heal them. This caused great concern on the part of the Jewish religious leaders, who thought they had neutralized the threat Jesus posed by putting Him to death. Now, it seemed as though things were going from bad to worse. And so they arrested the apostles of our Lord and put them in jail for preaching in the name of Jesus. The next day, when they were to appear for trial, it was discovered that they were not in their cell. (The truth was that an angel had released them and instructed them to return to the temple and to resume their preaching of the gospel.) It soon became known that the apostles were once again in the temple, and so they were brought before the Sanhedrin and rebuked for failing to obey their command to cease preaching in the name of Jesus. The apostles made it clear that they must obey God rather than men.

When the apostles indicated that they would not be silenced, and then proceeded to start preaching the gospel to them, the religious leaders were furious. They wanted to kill the apostles, as they would soon kill Stephen (see Acts 6:8–8:1). Then, a sensible leader named Gamaliel spoke out:

34 But a Pharisee whose name was Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the council and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to the council, “Israelite men, pay close attention to what you are about to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, and incited people to follow him in revolt. He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with men, it will come to nothing, 39 but if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found fighting against God.” He convinced them, 40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them (Acts 5:34-40).

Gamaliel spoke words of human wisdom, based upon experience and observation. Various movements had come and gone in Israel, as Gamaliel noted. Specifically, he names two men who had led revolts. Both men were killed, and when they died, their movements died with them. Gamaliel saw a principle in this, which we might sum up in these words:“Leaders may arise who are capable of gaining a following, but when they die, their movements tend to die with them.” To Gamaliel, this was very likely the case with Jesus. He had gained a following, including a dedicated core of men who had become His disciples. But the Jews had succeeded in putting Jesus to death. If Jesus was like these other men, then it would not be long before His disciples would scatter, and the movement would die. If, perchance, the movement was of God, then it would not die, and it could not be overcome. To resist a divinely-inspired movement would be to oppose God, a terrifying thought to Gamaliel and apparently to his colleagues.

Until now, I have never thought of Gamaliel’s counsel in relation to the Upper Room Discourse of our Lord, and especially in relation to the Lord’s high priestly prayer in John 17. Would we not agree that Gamaliel was right in what he said? Wasn’t the natural tendency of the disciples to disband and give it up after the death of Jesus? Is this not precisely the reason our Lord teaches His disciples the material found in the Upper Room Discourse? Does this not underscore the importance of our Lord’s teaching concerning abiding in Him (John 15)? I believe it helps to explain our Lord’s prayer for the protection and preservation of the disciples. We can easily see why our Lord prays for the unity and continuity of His band of disciples after He is gone.

We have already noted that the first five verses of chapter 17 focus on our Lord and His relationship with the Father. He prays for the Father to restore to Him the glory that He had formerly enjoyed in heaven, before His incarnation. Verses 6-19 contain our Lord’s prayer for His disciples, whom He is about to leave behind in a hostile world to carry on the ministry He began. His prayer for them is that the Father will keep them from the evil one. Now, in verses 20-26, our Lord turns His attention to those who will become believers down through the ages of church history until He returns.112 Let us listen to our Lord’s prayer for us, like a child who overhears his parents as they pray for him. Let us keep in mind that this prayer is the expression of our Lord’s love and concern for each of us who trusts in Him.

The Circle Expands
(17:20-21)

20 “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they may be in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me.”

Verses 1-5 concern the Father and the Son. Verses 6-19 pertain to the Father, the Son, and the eleven disciples of our Lord. Verses 20-26 widen in focus, to include all those who will subsequently come to faith in Jesus Christ. We are tempted to say that these verses pertain to us, but of course they include a much broader group than that. They encompass the time from the moment Jesus spoke these words to the present—nearly 2,000 years now, and counting.

I believe it is worth noting that our Lord’s words are carefully chosen so that they can include a great multitude of believers over a considerable period of time. While His words allow for these things, they do not necessarily indicate or suggest them. The disciples were inclined to think that our Lord would commence His reign in their lifetime. Even after our Lord’s death and resurrection, they were still thinking in terms of the near future: “So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?’” (Acts 1:6).

Jesus does not wish to give them the false impression that His return is immediate, but neither does He intend to convey the fact that it is at least 2,000 years away, and for good reason:

45 “Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom the master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their food at the proper time? 46 That slave whom his master finds doing this when he returns will be blessed. 47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But if that evil slave says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49 and he begins to beat his fellow slaves and to eat and drink with drunkards, 50 that slave’s master will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not foresee. 51 The master will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 24:45-51).

Our Lord desires us to conduct ourselves as though His return were imminent, even though it may not happen in our lifetime. The language of this text and others is sufficiently broad enough to allow for a long period of time before His return, but not specific enough to require a delay. I believe our Lord wants us to think in terms of “sooner,” rather than “later.”

Those who believe113 are described as having come to faith through the testimony (literally “word”) of His disciples. Certainly there were those who came to faith apart from the disciples, people like the woman at the well (John 4), for example. What our Lord emphasizes is the fact that in the future, men will come to faith through the preaching of the gospel (Romans 1:16-17; 10:6-15). The gospel is declared, defined (e.g., Acts 15), enscripturated,114 and defended (e.g., Galatians) by the apostles. Because it is through the Word of God that men are saved (see 1 Peter 2:22-25; James 1:21), subsequent believers can be said to have become believers through the word of the apostles.

Jesus does not petition the Father to save these people. Those who will come to faith have already been given to Him as a gift by the Father (see verses 2, 24). Our Lord prays that all those who believe may be one. This is not mere organizational unity; it is an organic and functional unity. It is the same kind of unity that the Father has with the Son. As the Father is “in” the Son, and the Son is “in” the Father, and thus the two are one, so all believers are “in” Christ. Because of their unity with the Son, they are also one with the Father, and one with each other.

This unity is both positional and practical. It is also supernatural. It is for the practical outworking of this supernatural unity that our Lord prays here. The unity of those who are believers in Jesus Christ should be visible to the unsaved world. As the world beholds this unity, they see the presence and the power of the resurrected Christ in His church. Put another way, as believers abide in Christ, Christ abides in them, and the fruit that is produced is a demonstration of our Lord’s presence and power. This is a testimony to the world that Jesus really was sent from the Father, and thus that He really is Who He claimed to be—the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Present Glory Promotes Unity
(17:22-23)

22 The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

Much of verses 22 and 23 is a repetition of verses 20 and 21. In both places, Jesus prays for unity among believers. Again, in both places, this unity is based upon the unity that exists between the Father and the Son. Further, the purpose for demonstrating this unity is so that the world may know that the Father sent the Son. Two new elements are introduced, however, which are very significant. We shall therefore focus our attention on these new elements, which further expand upon the petition of verses 20 and 21.

The first additional element is that of the “glory” which the Father gave to the Son and the Son has given to believers in Him. What is the nature of this “glory”? It cannot be the glory which our Lord had with the Father before the foundation of the world, the glory which the Son set aside at His incarnation. This is the “glory” which our Lord has just requested from the Father: “And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created” (verse 5).

This is the glory which our Lord prays that His saints might behold, by coming to be with Him in heaven: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (verse 24).

How can our Lord speak of a “glory” He has already given to His own if He does not yet have it Himself? How can He speak of giving them the “glory” on earth which they can only behold in heaven? We must conclude, then, that the “glory” of which our Lord is speaking is not His “future glory,” but another “glory.”

We may begin by asking this question: If Jesus can say, ‘I have given them the glory that you gave me,’ then what is the nature of the glory which the Father gave the Son? The answer to that question is straightforward: the glory the Father gave the Son was the glory of the humility of the incarnation, culminating both in the glorification of the Son at the crucifixion and in the glory of his resurrected and exalted state. Believers have seen something of this glory, except for the glory Christ now enjoys; and that, too, they shall one day see, since Jesus prays to that end (17:24).115

Jesus purposed to glorify the Father through His incarnation, earthly life and ministry, and through His death, resurrection and ascension. The earthly sufferings116 of our Lord are part of His glory (John 12:23; 13:31-32; 17:1). And it is this glory—the glory of servanthood and of sacrificial service—which our Lord has given to His disciples. As Jesus was glorified by His coming to this earth, being rejected by men and put to death, so His disciples are also given the same glory, the glory of suffering for the sake of Christ:

7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (1 Peter 1:7).

12 Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. 16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? 19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good (1 Peter 4:12-19).

Our Lord’s earthly glory through His sufferings was consummated in His death on the cross. No wonder He instructs His disciples to take up their cross: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24; see also Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23). It was His glory to suffer and to die, and it is our privilege and glory as well, to “take up our cross,” whatever that may mean for us personally. This is the way that the Apostle Paul saw it:

20 My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 Now if I am to go on living in the body, this will mean productive work for me; yet I don’t know what I prefer: 23 I feel torn between the two, because I have a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far, 24 but it is more vital for your sake that I remain in the body. 25 And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that because of me you may swell with pride in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you (Philippians 1:20-26).

This puts our suffering for Christ in a whole new light. It is for His glory. It is also for our good. But the words of our Lord’s prayer indicate that it is also our glory. No wonder Paul writes these words:

10 My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:10-11).

The second new element in our text has to do with the intended impact of the believers’ unity upon unbelievers. Jesus prays, “I in them and you in me—that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me” (verse 23, emphasis mine). The first half of the intended result of Christian unity is repeated from our Lord’s earlier words in verse 21. Christian unity will show the world that God the Father sent the Son. But here Jesus goes on to say that Christian unity is also intended as an expression of the Father’s love for those who trust in Jesus. This love which the Father has for Christians is the same love which He has for His Son. The Father loves the Son, and because Christians are “in the Son” by faith, the Father loves us just as He loves the Son.

The unity of the believers reflects the Father’s love. Let’s consider the relationship between unity and love for a moment. In Ephesians 5, Paul is instructing husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (5:25). Having described how the Lord Jesus loved the church (5:26-27), Paul now instructs husbands to love their wives as their own bodies:

28 In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife; and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is great—but I am actually speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each one of you must also love his own wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband (Ephesians 5:28-33).

Remember as well the command to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18, 34; Matthew 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8). The assumption underlying all of this is that we do love ourselves. We love our own bodies. As members of the body of Christ, we are joined not only to our Lord, but to the Father, and to one another. Our unity should express itself in love toward one another. And since this is a divine love, it reveals God’s love to the world. Men should see God’s love in action, as Christians love one another, because they are one with one another, and with God.

This is a marvelous thought, but also an awesome responsibility. The standard for our love is incredibly high. It is not a merely human love, a love like that expressed by unbelievers. It is not just a romantic love, like we see portrayed on movie and television screens.  It is the love of God for our Lord and for us, a love which will prompt one to lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).

Prayer for the Presence of His Own
(17:24)

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they may see my glory that you gave me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

When Jesus told His disciples He was going away to a place where they could not follow Him, they may have wrongly concluded that He did not want them to be with Him any longer. This conclusion would be completely wrong. Jesus very much wants them to be with Him, and that is precisely what He prays for in verse 24. The reason that they cannot be with Him is because He is going to the Father in heaven, and they have work yet to do on earth. They will thereby experience the glory of identifying with Him as the suffering Savior. They will not behold His heavenly glory until they are in heaven with Him. This is what Jesus asks the Father to do—to bring His disciples to be with Him in heaven, so that they can behold His heavenly glory.

Peter, James, and John—the inner three—were given a glimpse of this glory at the transfiguration of our Lord. Before too long, the Apostle John will have a vision in which he will behold even more of our Lord’s heavenly glory, which he describes for us in the Book of Revelation (see, for example, Revelation 1:9ff.). Paul also seems to have been given a glimpse of this future glory (2 Corinthians 12:1ff.). But for all of our Lord’s disciples and us, the full display of His glory will not come until we are taken up into heaven. As the words of the song put it, “Oh, that will be, glory for me.” And so it will. This glory that we will see is yet another demonstration of the Father’s love for the Son (John 17:24).

The glory which the Father gives the Son is a token of His love for the Son. We should all be able to relate to this. A young man loves a young woman very much, and he asks her to marry him. He buys the most beautiful ring he can afford, as a visible demonstration of his love. And when the young woman accepts her beloved’s proposal of marriage, she puts on that ring. And, without exception, she will find a way to move her hands in such a way as to draw attention to that ring. She wants everyone to see it and to comment about how beautiful it is. Why? Because the ring is a token of her beloved’s love for her, and she is proud of it. That is the way it is with our Lord’s glory. It is a token of the Father’s love for Him. And so He desires for all those He loves to be with Him and to see His glory, which is an indication of the Father’s great love for Him as the Son.

The Unknown God
(17:25-26)

25 “Righteous Father, even if the world does not know you, I know you, and these men know that you sent me. 26 I made known your name to them, and I will continue to make it known, so that the love you have loved me with may be in them, and I may be in them.”

In the introduction to this Gospel, John wrote, “No one has ever seen God. The only One, himself God, who is in the presence of the Father, has made God known” (John 1:18). Our Lord’s mission in life was to make the Father known to men. That He has done. He has yet another mission to accomplish by His death:

14 “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” 16 For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. 18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God (John 3:14-18).

Soon, our Lord will have completed His mission of providing an atonement for sin. But at this moment, He is dwelling on the fact that He has revealed the Father to men. His disciples have gotten the message; they have come to believe that the Father did send Jesus down to earth from heaven. In contrast to Jesus and His disciples, the world has not come to know the Father in Christ. In spite of all the proofs of His identity (only a few of which signs John presents in this Gospel), many still reject Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus’ words indicate that having made the Father’s name known to His disciples, He will continue to do so. This is the ministry of which He has spoken in the Upper Room Discourse. In the future, our Lord will make the Father known to the disciples through the Holy Spirit. In this way, they will enter into the unity for which He has prayed (see also 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 4:3) and enjoy the love which the Spirit produces (see Romans 5:5; 15:30; Galatians 5:22; Colossians 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:7).

Conclusion

There are many lessons to be learned from our text. Let me conclude by pointing out a few.

First, Jesus informs us in our text that there are two glories. I have heard it said many times, and I know I have said it myself: “Suffering, then glory.” I believe there is much truth summed up in this statement.

7 But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that the extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 8 We are experiencing trouble on every side, but are not crushed; we are perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body. 11 For we who are alive are constantly being handed over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our mortal body. 12 As a result, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 13 But since we have the same spirit of faith as that shown in what has been written, “I believed; therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak. 14 We do so because we know that the one who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal (2 Corinthians 4:7-18, emphasis mine).

11 This saying is trustworthy: If we died with him, we will also live with him. 12 If we endure, we will also reign with him (2 Timothy 2:11-12a).

Like our Lord, we must suffer in this life, so that we many enter into the glories of heaven.

There are some Christians who seek to avoid the necessity of our earthly glory through suffering. They seem to believe that Jesus did all the suffering for us, leaving us with nothing but glory. In so doing, they deny a very clear biblical truth—that in His earthly suffering, our Lord gave us an example:

19 For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 21 For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may leave sin behind and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls (1 Peter 2:19-25).

There are those who would tell us that if we but had enough faith, we would not need to suffer now, and that we may experience heaven’s glories now. They believe that on the cross, Jesus defeated all suffering and sickness and sorrow so that if we but claim His blessings by faith, we will obtain them in this life. It is these last words, “in this life,” which are troublesome. This is the ever-popular error of “realized eschatology,” the belief that what God has for us in heaven, He has for us now. Peter, along with the other apostles, sees it another way:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he gave us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 that is, into an inheritance imperishable, undefiled, and unfading. It is reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are protected through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 This brings you great joy, although you may have to suffer for a short time in various trials. 7 Such trials show the proven character of your faith, which is much more valuable than gold—gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away—and will bring praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 You have not seen him, but you love him. You do not see him now but you believe in him, and so you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, 9 because you are attaining the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:3-9).

1 So, since Christ suffered in the flesh, you also arm yourselves with the same attitude, because the one who has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin, 2 in that he spends the rest of his time on earth concerned about the will of God and not human desires. 3 For the time that has passed was sufficient for you to do what the non-Christians desire. You lived then in debauchery, evil desires, drunkenness, carousing, boozing, and wanton idolatries. 4 So they are astonished when you do not rush with them into the same flood of wickedness, and they vilify you. … 12 Dear friends, do not be astonished that a trial by fire is occurring among you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice in the degree that you have shared in the sufferings of Christ, so that when his glory is revealed you may also rejoice and be glad. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or thief or criminal or as a troublemaker. 16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? 19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good (1 Peter 4:1-4, 12-19).

18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly but because of God who subjected it—in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 23 Not only this, but also we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, inwardly groan as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance (Romans 8:18-25).

By our sufferings for His sake, we identify with our Lord and experience a deeper fellowship with Him:

8 More than that, I now regard all things as liabilities compared to the far greater value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things—indeed, I regard them as dung!—that I might gain Christ, 9 and be found in him, not because of having my own righteousness derived from the law, but because of having the righteousness that comes by way of Christ’s faithfulness—a righteousness from God that is based on Christ’s faithfulness. 10 My aim is to know him, to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings, and to be like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead (Philippians 3:8-11).

In one sense, it is proper to speak of suffering, then glory. In another sense, it is not accurate, because it implies that suffering is not itself glory. Consider these words of D. A. Carson, who comments on our text:

the text is telling us that our true glory is the way of the cross. That way is vindicated by the glory of triumph later; but already we have something of Jesus’ glory inasmuch as we, like him, are to endure the enmity of the world and walk as suffering servants. This is our glory, not our shame. W. Barclay comments, ‘We must never think of our cross as our penalty; we must think of it as our glory. … The harder the task we give a student, or a craftsman, or a surgeon, the more we honour him. …So when it is hard to be a Christian, we must regard it as our glory, as our honour given to us by God.’117

From our Lord’s words in our text, as well as from other texts in the Bible, we can safely say that there are at least two “glories.” There was, for our Lord, the glory of His humiliation at the incarnation and of His sacrificial service in His life and death on earth. But there is also His “future glory,” the glory that will be restored to Him, with interest, because of His obedient service and sacrifice (see Philippians 2:5-11). We should likewise look upon our earthly trials and difficulties as our present “glory,” while we anxiously await our future glory in heaven with Him.

This recognition that there are two glories solves what has been a real mystery for me. I have always been troubled by these words, written by Paul: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB).

In the light of our Lord’s words in John 17, I think I am finally beginning to understand Paul’s words above. Paul is writing about the great glory of the New Testament ministry which God has given him, the apostles, and us under the New Covenant, a ministry of the Spirit. He contrasts the glory of his apostolic ministry “in the Spirit” with the previous but inferior glory of Moses’ ministry “of the Law” under the Old Covenant. The ministry of Moses was glorious, but it was a “fading glory.” That is why he placed a veil over his “glowing” face. That glowing face grew dim over time, because that glory faded. Paul says that the glory of New Testament ministry is unfading. And every time the gospel is proclaimed, and people trust in Jesus as the Messiah, the veil is removed. With “unveiled face,” we are transformed from glory to glory. I think he is saying that we are being transformed from this present glory (of suffering for Christ’s sake) to the even greater glory of Heaven. We are being transformed from the earthly glory of suffering for Christ to the heavenly glory of reigning with Christ.

I wonder how many of us are really ready and willing to speak of suffering as glory. Jesus did. The apostles did. I think that tells us how our thinking should change in regard to suffering for Christ’s sake.

Second, Jesus’ words remind us of the importance of Christian unity. One can hardly overlook the emphasis which our Lord places on unity:

Seven times in this prayer Jesus prays ‘that they may all be one’ (vv. 11, 19; twice in 21, 22, 23, 24), and four of the seven are prayers that his followers may be one. It is clear that Jesus was very concerned with what they would be in the days ahead and that he was particularly concerned that they should be united. It is clear throughout the New Testament that unity among the believers is thought of as extremely important (which is natural enough following the last prayer of Jesus for them), and it is also clear that the early Christians found it difficult to maintain unity.118

This time Jesus prays that his followers may be ‘perfected into one,’ where the verb for ‘perfected’ is interesting. It derives from a root that conveys the idea of ‘end’ or ‘aim’; to reach that aim is to be perfected. The point of this verb in this place is that it draws attention to the truth that unity is a necessary part of the perfection at which Christians aim. When we become followers of Jesus we are not embarking on a quest for individual blessing and happiness. These good gifts may well come to us, but our aim is to realize our salvation in the fellowship of Christ’s people. We belong together in the church of God.

John Wesley reports that ‘a serious man’ once said to him,The Bible knows nothing of solitary religion. Therefore a man must find companions or make them.’ This is an important aspect of New Testament Christianity. It is not a faith that can be lived out in solitude. Someone has defined religion as what a person does with his solitariness. This may fit some religions, but not Christianity. We who follow Christ must bear in mind that Christ was one with the Father and in that spirit he expects his followers to be one with him and one with each other.119

As I seek to take our Lord’s words literally and seriously, I come to the following conclusions:

1. To the degree that I practice “rugged individualism,” I violate Christian unity.

2. To the degree that I neglect or violate true Christian unity, I reflect badly on my Lord.

3. To the degree that I violate True Christian unity, I hinder the gospel.

4. To the degree that I violate true christian unity, I deny the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Galatians 2:11-21; 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22).

5. To the degree that I violate Christian unity, I hinder the praise of God (see Romans 15:5-13).

Having stressed the importance of Christian unity, I must also state what I do not mean to say. I do not mean that Christian unity is evidenced by uniformity, and that all Christians should look and think alike. If I understand 1 Corinthians 12 correctly, unity is best demonstrated in diversity, not in uniformity (or conformity). The importance of Christian unity is not a mandate for overlooking sin (see 1 Corinthians 5) or serious doctrinal error (1 Timothy 1:20; Titus 3:10-11).

It does seem to me that homogeneous grouping in churches does violence to the doctrine of Christian unity. From a purely secular, marketing mentality, “birds of a feather do flock together.” People do feel more comfortable around others who are just like them. But God has not called us to comfort. God has called us to conform to the image of His Son. What a testimony it is when a church has a mix of races, cultures, and social strata. Here is where the world can behold true Christian unity and stand in awe. Let us be careful not to compromise biblical standards or doctrine in an effort to appear formally united, but let us strive to practice that organic and functional unity which God intended for us to demonstrate, to His praise and glory, and to our good.

One more comment about Christian unity. Christian unity is not merely to be practiced in a particular church, or even in a particular city. The unity of which our Lord speaks is surely as wide as the world—it is a global unity. In the last few days, we have witnessed the terrible plight of many in Central America due to a disastrous hurricane. As members of the body of Christ, we are one with those Christians who are suffering in far away places. And it is because of this unity that we, along with many other churches, have contributed a substantial sum of money, sending it in care of a particular church in the disaster-torn area to minister to the saints (and through these saints, to others) there. We need to rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep, and minister to those in need, whether they are in our church or across the ocean. You will remember that one of the first ways the Gentile saints gave expression to their unity with their Jewish brethren was by sending a contribution to them in their time of need (see Acts 11:27-30; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8 and 9).

Third, our Lord’s prayer in John 17 surely has something to teach us about prayer. Let me mention a few lessons on prayer from this, our Lord’s prayer.

1. Our Lord prays for Himself, that He will fulfill God’s mission and ministry.

2. Our Lord prays for others, because He loves them and cares for them.

3. The primary goal of our prayers, like His, should be the glory of God.

4. Since earthly suffering can be glory, our prayers should not be obsessed with the termination of our suffering, but with the realization of God’s purposes in our suffering, for His glory.

5. Our prayers should seek our protection from Satan, the evil one, who seeks to destroy us.

6. Our prayers should seek to gain a proper perspective of the present, in the light of eternity.

7. Our prayers should look to, and ask for, the time when we will dwell for all eternity with Him.

8. Our requests in prayer should include a request that demonstrates Christian unity through us, in every way possible.

9. Our prayers should recognize God’s provisions through His Word and His Spirit.

Finally, our Lord’s prayer reminds us that our faith should be proclaimed and practiced:

The truth of the gospel, announced without the demonstration of the power of the gospel in transformed and loving lives, is arid. It may be beautiful in the way that the badlands can be beautiful; but not much grows there. On the other hand, the demonstration of love within a believing community does not by itself proclaim the source or cause of that love. Attractive in its own right, like a luxuriant south sea island, nevertheless such love does not call forth disciplined obedience or informed belief, and cannot of itself call others to true faith. It is merely a place to rest. The multiplying witness Jesus has in mind is both propositional and exemplary, both confessional and demonstrative. It is a witness of word and of love.120


112 I should point out that these divisions are not really water-tight. For example, it would seem that “these men” in verse 25 refers specifically to the eleven disciples. Nevertheless, the general distinctions in these three sections of chapter 17 seem to be valid.

113 It is interesting, and perhaps significant, that the verb rendered “believe” is in the present tense, rather than the future tense. Jesus is, of course, speaking of those who will come to faith at a future time, but the emphasis seems to be that those who become believers should keep on believing. Faith is not just a one-time event, but an ongoing process.

114 It is the apostles who, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote the Gospels and the New Testament Epistles. These inspired authors include more than just the eleven disciples, and thus I am inclined to think of those referred to in verses 6-19 as being more than just the eleven. At least some others like Paul and Barnabas and James will also be called apostles (see Acts 14:4, 14; Galatians 1:19).

115 D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980), p. 197.

116 I understand our Lord’s earthly sufferings to be plural, rather than merely singular (the cross). From texts like Philippians 2:5-7 and Hebrews 2:14-18; 6:7-9, it seems that our Lord’s entire life involved considerable suffering. Would you not consider it suffering to leave heaven and all of its glory to dwell in a fallen world, among sinful men?

117 D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980), p. 198.

118 Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, p. 592.

119 Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, p. 597.

120 D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980), p. 200.

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The High Priestly Prayer of Jesus: Part I (John 17:1-5)

Study By: Bob Deffinbaugh Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you—2 just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.

Introduction

Any number of times, I have witnessed an event something like the following. There is a room filled with Christians, with perhaps refreshments nearby. People are milling about the room, chatting with one another. There is the sound of many voices, because everyone is talking at the same time. The master of ceremonies decides it is time to officially start the meeting with a word of prayer. Though the prayer is announced, not all hear the announcement due to the commotion and the noise. The designated individual begins to pray, while a few folks continue to chatter on. It looks a bit like “the wave” at an athletic event. Those near the one praying stop talking and bow their heads. Then those next to them do likewise. And within a few seconds, the entire room is quiet, attentively listening to the prayer.

I think something like this happened when Jesus began to pray His magnificent prayer in chapter 17 of John’s Gospel. Jesus and His disciples had left the Upper Room (John 14:31) and were making their way toward the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane. It may have been that along the way, they passed a vineyard, and that this provided the occasion for our Lord to teach His disciples about abiding in Him (John 15:1-17). I believe the instruction of chapters 15 and 16 was given while the disciples were winding their way through the dark streets of Jerusalem, on their way to the Mount of Olives, where they had been camping out that week. As we come to chapter 17, Jesus continues to speak to His disciples, preparing them for the future, and assuring them of His provision for all their needs in His absence. At one moment, He is teaching His disciples, and at the next, He is praying to the Father. It probably takes the disciples a few seconds to figure this out. They seem to have been talking among themselves along the way, especially concerning those things Jesus had said that they did not understand (see 16:17-19). Eventually, one of the disciples realizes that Jesus is no longer talking to them, but rather to His Father in heaven. I can almost see John punching Peter in the ribs and whispering hoarsely, “Peter, be quiet! Jesus is praying.” Of course this is mere speculation, but it could have happened something like this.

John 17 contains the inspired record of our Lord’s prayer to the Father. In the fifth century, Clement of Alexandria remarked that in this prayer, Jesus was acting as a high priest on behalf of His people.87 Over the years, some have debated whether this prayer should be known as the “high priestly prayer of Jesus,” but no one who takes the Bible seriously as the Word of God would dare to deny the importance of this prayer, no matter what label we may give to it.

In one sense, this prayer in John 17 is one of many prayers of our Lord. Jesus is often found in prayer in the New Testament. He was in prayer at His baptism, when the Holy Spirit come upon Him (Luke 3:21). He was in prayer when He was transfigured before His three disciples (Luke 9:29). Jesus taught His disciples to pray (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4).88 He prayed to bless the little children (Matthew 19:13), and He prayed that Peter’s faith might not fail (Luke 22:32). Often in the Gospels, we read of our Lord’s private prayers, prayers which are not recorded for us to read and to reflect upon (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; 6:46; Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18).

There were times, however, when Jesus prayed for the benefit of those who were intended to overhear Him. Jesus publicly blessed the meager portion of food available before feeding the 5,000 (John 6:11). No doubt this was to make it clear that God the Father was equally at work in this miracle. In John 11, Jesus also prayed for the benefit of those who would witness the raising of Lazarus:

41 So they took away the stone. Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you that you have listened to me. 42 I knew that you always listen to me, but I said this for the sake of the crowd standing around here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, he shouted in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The one who had died came out, his feet and hands tied up with strips of cloth, and a cloth wrapped around his face (John 11:41-44).

The prayer of our Lord in John 17 is one that Jesus wanted His disciples to hear. To me, it does not appear that Jesus wanted His disciples to hear His prayer in Gethsemane, but that’s another story, one we shall take up later on in this message. The prayer recorded in John 17 is the longest recorded prayer of our Lord in the New Testament. It is found only in the Gospel of John. I like the way John G. Mitchell has outlined it,89 which I will summarize in this chart:

A Brief Overview of John 17

Verses Persons Key Word
1-5 Christ and His Father “Glory”
6-19 Christ and His Disciples “Kept”
20-26 Christ and His Church “One”

Jesus and His Father
John 17:1-5

1 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you— 2 just as you have given90 him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created.

Verses 1-5 lay a foundation for the entire prayer. While they focus on our Lord’s relationship with His Father, they have much to say concerning our relationship with the Father. Allow me to make several observations from these verses.

First, this prayer is what we might call a “conversational prayer.” About the time I was in college, “conversational prayer” became popular for my generation. Conversational prayers are more casual. Praying to God conversationally is done in terms that make it sound more like you are talking to a friend that you know well. In this prayer, Jesus might be said to be praying conversationally. In part, I base this on the fact that in verse 1 John does not write, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and prayed, ‘Father, the time has come …’” In verse 1, the word saying and the word said are not the same Greek word, but both terms describe speech. There are several words employed for prayer, but the word “said” is not one of them. In this sense, we might say that our Lord’s prayer was, to one degree or another, conversational.

There is yet another line of supporting evidence. In this prayer, our Lord uses the word “Father” to address God the Father. Leon Morris observes:

He began his prayer with the simple address ‘Father.’ We have become used to this as a normal Christian way of beginning a prayer, but it was not usual in that day. The address was that used by a little child in speaking to his parent, but when God was addressed it was usual to add some qualifier; for example, a praying person might say, ‘Our Father in heaven.’ God was so great and so high that he must not be addressed in the language appropriate for familiar use within the family. But Jesus constantly used this way of speaking to his heavenly Father, and Christians picked up the habit from him. Notice the way it runs through this prayer (vv. 5, 11, 21, 24, 25). That God is Father was specially important at this point in Jesus’ life.91

The term “Father” is also a kind of “conversational” address, the kind of conversation that takes place between a son and his “daddy.”

This “conversational” element makes it easier for me to understand what took place. Jesus and His disciples had left the Upper Room and were on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Along the way, Jesus taught them about abiding in Him, and He also told them of the hard times ahead. Jesus also spoke of those future things which they would comprehend only after the events of the next few days. At the end of this time of instruction, Jesus just keeps speaking, but now He is speaking to His Father— in the hearing of His disciples. It may have taken them a moment to comprehend this. How they must have treasured these words as they reflected on them later.

Our Lord’s intimacy with the Father is not only reflected in His prayer to the Father here, Jesus indicates that it should greatly influence our prayers to the Father as well. Just a few moments earlier, Jesus said to His disciples,

25 “I have told you these things in obscure figures of speech; a time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in obscure figures, but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 At that time you will ask in my name, and I do not say that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered into the world; but in turn, I am leaving the world and going back to the Father” (John 16:25-28).

I believe our Lord has made it possible for Christians today to enjoy an incredible level of intimacy with the Father. We can actually experience at least a portion of the intimacy with the Father which our Lord enjoyed in His prayer life. When we do, we ought never forget the holiness and the majesty of the One we address as Father. To be able to call God our Father is no excuse for irreverence or for moral sloppiness:

17 And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence. 18 You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors, you were ransomed—not by perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, Christ. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was manifested in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you now trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:17-21).

Intimacy with God as our Father is a privilege which should inspire humility, gratitude, and reverence in each of us.

Our Lord’s natural transition from talking with men to talking with the Father is not altogether unique in the Bible. When I read Paul’s epistles, I find this same kind of easy transition from instruction to prayer, which seems so appropriate we hardly even recognize it:

13 For this reason I ask you not to lose heart because of what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on the earth is named. 16 I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, by being rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, 21 to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:13-21).

I cannot help but wonder if this is not an illustration of “praying without ceasing.” Prayer comes so naturally to our Lord, and to the Apostle Paul, that they move almost seamlessly from one to the other. Would that our prayers were as natural and as frequent.

Second, John links this prayer with the Upper Room discourse which precedes it. Notice how this chapter, and this prayer, begins: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, … A very clear link is made between the teaching of our Lord in the Upper Room Discourse in chapters 13-16 and the high priestly prayer of Jesus, recorded in chapter 17. The sequence is, of course, chronological. The prayer of chapter 17 follows our Lord’s teaching, as recorded in the previous chapters. But I think there is much more involved than mere chronological sequence. Allow me to explain.

In the Bible, prayer is closely related to teaching and preaching. Note, for example, these verses which we find early in the Book of Acts:

1 Now in these days, when the disciples were growing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Greek-speaking Jews against the native Hebraic Jews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the twelve called the whole group of the disciples together and said, “It is not right for us to neglect the word of God to wait on tables. 3 But carefully select from among you, brothers, seven men who are well-attested, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this necessary task. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.” 5 The proposal pleased the entire group, so they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a Jewish convert from Antioch. 6 They stood these men before the apostles, who prayed and placed their hands on them. 7 The word of God continued to spread, the number of disciples in Jerusalem increased greatly, and a large group of priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:1-7, emphasis mine).

Prayer not only glorifies God, it acknowledges that the preaching (and even the hearing) of God’s truth is not enough. The truth of God’s Word does not benefit us apart from the work of God through His Holy Spirit.

6 Now we do speak wisdom among the mature, but not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are perishing. 7 Instead we speak the wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery, that God determined before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it. If they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But just as it is written, Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him. 10 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people. 14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The one who is spiritual discerns all things, yet he himself is understood by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, so as to advise him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:6-16).

The disciples did not understand much of anything that Jesus spoke to them until after His ascension and the coming of the Holy Spirit. This is exactly what Jesus said in the Upper Room Discourse. The cross of Christ (including His resurrection and ascension) and the coming of the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to grasp what Jesus had said to them earlier. Our Lord’s prayer was based upon what He had taught them, but it also petitioned the Father to cause that word to come to life, and thus to bear fruit in the lives of His children.

We see this same pattern in the New Testament epistles. The apostles not only found it essential to devote themselves to the proclamation of the Word, but also to prayer. This is because the proclamation of the Word is not enough. God must “open the spiritual eyes” of men to comprehend the Word. This is why the apostles spent so much time in prayer. They prayed that God would take the Word they had proclaimed and bring it to life in the hearts of those who heard (see James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 1:23; Acts 16:14). Proclamation and prayer are, as one song writer once put it, “like a horse and carriage: you can’t have one without the other.”

Third, I find it impossible to study the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17 apart from our Lord’s agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, a few moments later. I have a confession to make. As I began to study our text, I was predisposed to assume that our Lord had already prayed His prayer in Gethsemane before He prayed His high priestly prayer of John 17. After all, I reasoned, Jesus agonized over the realities of the cross which lay ahead, resolved them, and then calmly prayed the prayer of John 17.

The Scriptures really don’t seem to allow this order of events. We read these words in the eighteenth chapter of John, just after our Lord’s high priestly prayer is ended: “When he had said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley. There was an orchard there, and he and his disciples entered into it” (John 18:1).

This certainly seems to indicate that after He had concluded His high priestly prayer, Jesus and His disciples went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where His prayer of agony was uttered. Luke gives us this account of that prayer:

39 Then Jesus came out and went, as he usually did, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. 40 When he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not fall into temptation.” 41 Then he went away from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him to strengthen him. 44 And remaining in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping, worn out by grief, 46 so he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not fall into temptation!” 47 While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He walked up to Jesus to kiss him (Luke 22:39-47).

Notice the words of verse 47: “While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them.” It would seem that our Lord’s arrest came immediately after His prayer in the Garden. There would have been no time for His high priestly prayer after His prayer in Gethsemane. Therefore, the order of events must be: (1) Jesus’ high priestly prayer of John 17; and then (2) Jesus’ prayer of personal agony, as recorded in Luke and the other Synoptic Gospels.

How different these two prayers were, so different that we can hardly conceive of them being prayed by the same person, within minutes of each other. In John 17, Jesus is calm, and while the mood of the moment is serious, it is not sad or gloomy.92 When He prays in Gethsemane, Jesus is in agony. He is sweating, and His sweat is like great drops of blood. He is not standing, looking up to heaven, He is kneeling, and perhaps lying prostrate upon the ground. His anguish was so great an angel was dispatched to strengthen Him. The high priestly prayer of Jesus was uttered in the presence of His disciples, so that they might hear what He was saying. The prayer in Gethsemane seems to have been private. Some might wonder about this, since Jesus took three of His disciples with Him (Matthew 26:37; Mark 14:32-34). We are told, however, that Jesus went a little beyond the three (Mark 14:35), and that He came back to find them sleeping. This would suggest that there was some distance between Jesus and the three. Could this be thestone’s throw” of Luke 22:31? There is no indication that the disciples heard Jesus at the time. If they had, could they have slept? Did they see the angel minister to Jesus? It seems as though this was a very private prayer, one known to the disciples only after our Lord’s death and resurrection, only after the Spirit revealed it to them.

Why were these two prayers of our Lord (the high priestly prayer of John 17 and the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus as recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), which took place so close in time, never found together in at least one Gospel? Why does John record the high priestly prayer of Jesus in chapter 17, and not mention the Gethsemane prayer? Why do the Synoptic Gospels describe the Gethsemane prayer of Jesus, but say nothing about His high priestly prayer?

I think we could begin by noting that John’s Gospel has a unique purpose. His emphasis is surely on the deity of our Lord. Both the Upper Room Discourse and the high priestly prayer of our Lord contribute to this theme. The Synoptic Gospels exclude both the discourse and the prayer of John’s Gospel. It would be tempting to say that the Synoptic Gospels emphasize the humanity of our Lord, and that the prayer in Gethsemane shows the “human side” of Jesus. I’m not quite certain that we can divide our Lord into His “two sides.” I think the incarnation of our Lord united deity and humanity in a seamless way. Perhaps, then, it is not good to speak of His “humanity” or His “deity” as though they were separate entities.

For example, if one were to argue that the prayer of our Lord in Gethsemane revealed His “human side,” I think I would be inclined to insist that this prayer was informed by His “divine side.” Who but a holy and righteous God could grasp the horror of becoming sin for us (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)? Who but an all-knowing God could know ahead of time all that He was going to endure on the cross? Perhaps these prayers are kept apart, simply because we, in our humanity, are not really able to deal with them when they are in too close proximity. You will recall that the prophets of old had the same difficulty as they foretold the sufferings and the glory of our Lord (1 Peter 1:10-12). Both these dimensions are true, but we struggle to harmonize them, just as divine sovereignty and human responsibility are difficult to reconcile. Nevertheless, both are true, and both must be taught.

I am reminded of Paul’s words in Ephesians: You must let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is beneficial for the building up of the one in need, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Paul has already emphasized the need to “speak the truth to one another” (4:25), but this does not mean that we may speak anything that is true, anytime we want, in any manner we wish. In verse 29, Paul tells us that our speaking must be governed by the principle of edification. We should speak in a way that edifies others, so that they are built up by our words. This does not mean that we avoid all rebuke or correction. It does mean that there is a proper time and a place for doing so.

Jesus has already said to His disciples, “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). I do not believe the disciples would have been able to bear witnessing the actions and words of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane. They were already troubled enough. And so Jesus chose to bear this agony alone, as He would suffer alone on the cross of Calvary. The agony of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane is not known to the disciples or to the church until after our Lord’s resurrection. It is recorded in Scripture three times, so that we will not overlook the immensity of His suffering, and thus of His sacrifice so that we might have the forgiveness of our sins.

Fourth, Jesus speaks of His authority at the very time when it appears that His enemies are prevailing over Him.93 The arrest of our Lord is imminent, and His trial, and crucifixion only a few hours away. Outward appearances are that His enemies have finally gotten the best of Him. Jesus seems to be powerless to resist or to overcome His adversaries. This is not the time you would expect Him to speak of His authority. But then much of what Jesus has been saying was not what the disciples would have expected. Jesus prays,Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you—just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him” (verses 1b-2).

Notice that Jesus does not merely say that the Father gave Him authority only over His disciples and those who would later believe. Jesus says that the Father gave Him authorityover all humanity.” Here is but another example of the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus. Jesus had full authority over Judas, over the high priests, and those Roman officials instrumental in His death. Jesus had complete authority over the hostile mob, who cried out, “Crucify! Crucify!” While they were doing a terrible thing, they were also fulfilling the purposes and prophecies of God. As Peter would later put it,

Israelite men, listen to these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man clearly demonstrated to you to be from God by powerful deeds, wonders, and miraculous signs that God performed through him among you, just as you yourselves know— 23 this man, who was handed over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you executed by nailing him to a cross at the hands of Gentiles” (Acts 2:22-23).

As we shall soon demonstrate, Jesus was never more “in control” than He was at the cross of Calvary. He had orchestrated the time and manner of His death. He had made certain that all prophecies were fulfilled. At the proper moment in time, He gave up His spirit. No one took His life away from Him; He gave it up, just as He would also raise it up again. We need to be very careful not to think of God as “waiting”94 on man for anything, as though He is dependent upon us. He has authority over all flesh, and this enables Him to save those whom the Father has chosen. Jesus has authority over every unbeliever. He has authority over every believer. Too often men portray our Lord as One who is dependent upon man, One who “waits” for us, and who is incapacitated by our disobedience or unbelief. Not so!

Fifth, in this text, Jesus defines “eternal life.” Jesus says in verse 3: “Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” For many, especially pagans, the best one can hope for is eternal existence. It is what we would seek if medical science permitted it. Some Christians would define it as having our sins forgiven, and this is certainly an important part of it. But Jesus defines eternal life here as “knowing95 God,” God the Father, and God the Son. The Jews would define “eternal life” in terms of knowing only the Father and of rejecting the Son (see John 10:34-39). Jesus insists that men cannot know the Father except through the Son, and that to reject the Son is to reject the Father as well:

45 “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me. 46 (Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God—he has seen the Father.) 47 I tell you the solemn truth, the one who believes has eternal life” (John 6:45-47).

Then they began asking him, “Who is your father?” Jesus answered, “You do not know either me or my Father. If you knew me you would know my Father too” (John 8:19).

Jesus replied, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come from God and am now here. I have not come on my own initiative, but he sent me” (John 8:42).

37 If I do not perform the deeds of my Father, do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even if you do not believe me, believe the deeds, so that you may come to know and understand that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.” 39 Then they attempted again to seize him, but he escaped their clutches (John 10:37-39).

“I tell you the solemn truth, whoever accepts the one I send accepts me, and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me” (John 13:20).

6 Jesus replied, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you have known me, you will know my Father too. And from now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6-7).

10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me; but if you do not believe me, believe because of the miraculous deeds themselves” (John 14:10-11).

20 “You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you. 21 The person who has my commandments and obeys them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will reveal myself to him.” 22 “Lord,” Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “what has happened that you are going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and take up residence with him” (John 14:20-23).

23 “The one who hates me hates my Father too. 24 If I had not performed among them the miraculous deeds that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen the deeds and have hated both me and my Father” (John 15:23-24).

“They will do these things because they have not known the Father or me” (John 16:3).

If one defines eternal life in terms of “knowing God,” then one can hardly think of eternal life in static terms, but rather in dynamic terms. Eternal life is not just a moment in time when one trusts in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Eternal life begins with the moment of salvation and continues throughout eternity, as one comes to know God. And since God is infinite, infinitely wise, infinitely loving, gracious, and so on, then we will never come to know Him fully in this life. Thus, it will take all eternity to know Him fully. This is why we are not only called to faith, but also to discipleship. We must trust Him for our salvation, and we must follow Him as His disciples.

Sixth, in our text, Jesus speaks of His work in the past tense, even though much of it is still future. The Bible often speaks of future events by using a verb in the past tense. Thetime had come (verse 1), John tells us, and yet this “time” was the “time” of His death. It may not be far off in the future, but it is nevertheless still future. He says that He has “glorified the Father on earth by completing the work He gave Him to do” (verse 4). It will be a few hours before our Lord will cry out, “It is finished,” yet Jesus can speak of the work as though it were already finished in His prayer.

The student of the Old Testament is not at all surprised by the fact that future events are described by verbs in the past tense, as this is common in the Old Testament. From God’s point of view, the future is virtually the present. And since God is sovereign, there is no occasion when God’s purposes will not be accomplished. Thus, it is both legitimate and logical for Jesus to speak of the future as though it were the past. It is, we say, “as good as done.” It not only indicates the certainty of these events, but also of our Lord’s resolve to endure the suffering and sorrows which these events necessitate.

Seventh, in our text, Jesus speaks of His glory and the Father’s glory96 as one and the same.97 This is the reason Jesus can ask that the Father glorify Him. He is not seeking His glory alone98 (see 8:50, 54), but the glory of the Father (see 13:31-32), brought about as He is glorified (see 14:13). Earlier in this Gospel, Jesus said, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worthless. The one who glorifies me is my Father, about whom you people say, ‘He is our God’” (John 8:54). Jesus’ request for glory is not self-seeking; it is yet another manifestation of His servanthood. He prays that the Father glorify Him so that He might in this way glorify the Father. This is because the Father is glorified in and through the Son.

Eighth, the glorification which Jesus requests of the Father is accomplished by means of the cross of Calvary. Jesus spoke of His glorification earlier in the Gospel of John. At times, this “glorification” was spoken of in more general terms:

Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him (John 2:11).

Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worthless. The one who glorifies me is my Father, about whom you people say, ‘He is our God’” (John 8:54).

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

At other times, “glory” is used in a way that would encompass the whole of His saving work: His death, resurrection, ascension, and exaltation in heaven:

(Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive; for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:39)

(His disciples did not understand these things when they first happened, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him and that these things had happened to him.) (John 12:16)

Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23).

31 When Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him right away” (John 13:31-32).

“I glorified you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4).

In our text, the glorification of our Lord (and the Father) may include the resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of the Lord Jesus, but it must surely include His sacrificial death on the cross of Calvary. The cross is a symbol of shame to the world, but it is a symbol of glory to the Christian:

In chapter 7 He said to His brethren, ‘Your hour is here. My hour is not yet come.’ In chapter 12, when the Greeks wanted to see Jesus, He said, ‘Now is mine hour come, that the Son of man should be glorified.’ Note that it wasn’t the hour that the Son should be crucified, but glorified. When the leaders took Jesus captive in the Garden of Gethsemane shortly after this prayer, He said to them, ‘This is your hour, and the power of darkness’ (Luke 22:53). Did you ever stop to think of the fact that the power of darkness, the forces of hell, had an hour? Their hour was the taking of the Son of God, scourging and rejecting Him, and then crucifying and killing Him. And yet the Lord took that very same thing, and showed that the ultimate purpose of Calvary is not salvation but the glorification of God.99

The Jews thought of the Law as being glorious, but the teaching of the New Testament is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ (in which the cross of Christ is central) has much greater glory (2 Corinthians 3). The false teachers in Corinth, along with their followers, began to glory in human wisdom, but Paul refused to glory in anything but Christ, and Christ crucified:

17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless. 18 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent.” 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? 21 For since in the wisdom of God, the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching. 22 For Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks ask for wisdom, 23 but we preach about a crucified Christ, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. 24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26 Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were members of the upper class. 27 But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, 29 so that no one can boast in his presence. 30 He is the reason you have a relationship with Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:17-31).

No wonder Paul would glory only in Christ and His cross:

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Galatians 6:14, KJV).100

Our Lord prayed to be glorified, so that He might glorify the Father. This glorification came at the price of the cross. He paid the price for our sins; He suffered God’s eternal wrath. We shall never fully comprehend the magnitude of His sacrifice, but we can glory in it. Earthly men glory in their shame (Philippians 3:19); Christians find glory in the shame which our Lord Jesus bore for us at Calvary.

Conclusion

The lessons we can learn from our text are many. Let me highlight a few and suggest some implications of these eternal truths.

First, there are lessons to be learned regarding prayer. While our Lord prayed often, we have only a few recorded prayers. I would point out that even the “longer” prayers are relatively short. Jesus warned about “lengthy” prayers, prayers extended because there was the false assumption that “longer was better.” It is not wrong to pray lengthy prayers, but it is not always necessary either. The prayers of our Lord are all different. They do not have a “boiler plate” form, in which He merely fills in the blanks. There is no one style of prayer, and not even one consistent posture for prayer. What is consistent is our Lord’s submission to the will of His Father, and His constant desire to bring glory to the Father. There are times when our Lord’s prayers are private, just as there are times when His prayers are public. There are times when others can benefit (be edified) by hearing our prayers. There are other times when our prayers need to be absolutely private (as, for example, when we confess our secret sins). Also, prayer is an essential companion and counterpart to the proclamation of God’s truth.

The principle lesson should undoubtedly come from the primary theme of our text, and that is the glory of God. It is not only the dominant theme of our text, it is the dominant purpose of history. We are all familiar with Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We know from this text and others that God uses every circumstance to produce that which is for the ultimate good of His saints. Nothing will ever come into our lives that does not will work together for our good.

The same is true for God’s glory. God employs all creation, every human being, every circumstance, to bring glory to Himself. He uses the rebellion of sinful men to glorify Himself:

Surely the wrath of man shall praise You; With the remainder of wrath You shall gird Yourself (Psalm 76:10, NKJV).

For the scripture says to Pharaoh: “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may demonstrate my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth” (Romans 9:17).

Is it any wonder, then, that the glory of God should be the ultimate goal of every Christian?

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

11 And in this regard we pray for you always, that our God will make you worthy of his calling and fulfill by his power your every desire for goodness and work of faith, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 1:11-12).

My confident hope is that I will in no way be ashamed but that with complete boldness, even now as always, Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or death (Philippians 1:20).

Whoever speaks, let it be with God’s words. Whoever serves, do so with the strength that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:11).

One of the most joyful wedding ceremonies I have ever performed I conducted for a couple who attends our church. These two lovely people had been dating for some time, and they wanted to be certain that it was God’s will for them to marry. We spent a good deal of time talking through some biblical issues. One evening we were all sitting in our living room, and the fellow turned to me and said, “You know, Bob, I’ve decided that whether we should get married or not depends on the answer to one simple question: ‘Will our marriage glorify God?’” He could not have said anything more true, and more encouraging to me than that. They did get married, and I was privileged to conduct the ceremony.

It is popular among young Christians today to wear a bracelet which has the letters “WWJD” on it. The letters stand for, “What would Jesus do?” That’s not a bad question. From our text and others, we can always safely say, “Jesus would do what brings glory to the Father.” Do you agonize over some decision in your life? Are you seeking to know the will of God in some particular matter? I would suggest that your first response should be that you ask this simple question: “Will it glorify God?” The answer to that question will provide you with much of the guidance you may be seeking.

Christmas is just a few days away. The Lord Jesus came to this earth to glorify God. This He accomplished by His life, by His death, and by His resurrection from the dead. At His birth, the angels who appeared to the shepherds praised God, saying, Glory to God in the highest. … That is what Christmas should be for us—a time when we ponder the gift of our Lord, who came to die for our sins, and then to proclaim with hearts filled with joy and gratitude,Glory to God in the highest.” Often, the glory of God is overlooked or neglected because of our focus on other things—namely, what we hope to gain from Christmas. Let this Christmas season be a time when we seek, first and foremost, to glorify God. And let this be the pattern for the rest of the year. The glory of God is never contrary to our “good”; indeed, the glory of God is the Christian’s highest good. Let it be so for each of us.


87 “In the early fifth century, Clement of Alexandria said that in this prayer Jesus was a high priest acting on behalf of his people, and the prayer has often been called his high priestly prayer. Sometimes objection is made to this as, for example, when Barrett says that this does not do justice to the wide-ranging nature of the prayer. Perhaps there is more than one opinion on what we should look for in a high priestly prayer, and as there are no accepted rules to govern such a prayer the estimate is highly subjective. But the expression does draw attention to the fact that this is a very solemn and important prayer and one that is invested with deep interest for all Christian people, for it contains Jesus’ final intercession for his people before the events of the passion.” Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, pp. 565-566.

88 “At least a few parallels stand out between the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray and this prayer which Jesus himself prayed. The expression ‘Our Father’ is reflected here in the simple ‘Father’ (17:1). ‘Hallowed be your name’ may find some echo in the mention of God’s name in 17:6, 11, 12, 26. … ‘Your kingdom come’ has certain thematic connections with ‘glorify your Son’ (17:1, 5). We might also compare ‘lead us not into temptation’ with ‘I protected them and kept them safe’ (17:12), and ‘deliver us from the evil one’ with ‘protect them from the evil one’ (17:15).” D. A. Carson, The Farewell Discourse and Final Prayer of Jesus: An Exposition of John 14-17 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980), p. 174.

89 “The chapter divides itself into three simple sections. In the first five verses, it is ‘Christ and His Father.’ The great word there is ‘glory.’ Jesus requests the Father to glorify Him with the glory they shared from eternity. And then from verse 6 through verse 19, we have ‘Christ and His Disciples.’ The great word there is ‘kept.’ Jesus asks the Father to preserve His disciples. Then from verse 20 to verse 26 we have ‘Christ and His Church.’ The great word there is ‘one.’ Jesus desires for His church to be in oneness with each other.” John G. Mitchell, with Dick Bohrer, An Everlasting Love: A Devotional Study of the Gospel of John (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1982), p. 322.

90 “The repeated use of didwmi in this chapter should not be overlooked (see vv. 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 22, 24). The verb is a favorite one of this Evangelist, being found 76 times in the Gospel (Matthew 56 times, Mark 39 times, Luke 60 times). In this prayer of our Lord it occurs 17 times. Often the perfect tense is used (11-13 times depending on the resolution of textual points) denoting the permanence of the gift. Thirteen times the Father is the subject of the verb and on every occasion the gift is made to the Son. The other four occasions all refer to the Son’s giving to the disciples. Abbott comments on the frequency of the verb in this Gospel, ‘What grace is in the Pauline Epistles, giving is in the Fourth Gospel’ (2742).” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), p. 718.

91 Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, p. 567.

92 “This is the longest of our Lord’s recorded prayers, and, spoken as it is in the shadow of the cross, it is invested with a peculiar solemnity. ‘No attempt to describe the prayer can give a just idea of its sublimity, its pathos, its touching yet exalted character, its tone at once of tenderness and triumphant expectation’ (MiM). The last words are important. We so often understand this prayer as though it were rather gloomy. It is not. It is uttered by One who has just affirmed that He has overcome the world (16:33), and it starts from this conviction. Jesus is looking forward to the cross, but in a mood of hope and joy, not one of despondency. The prayer marks the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, but it looks forward to the ongoing work which would now be the responsibility first of the immediate disciples and then of those who would later believe through them. Jesus prays for them all.” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), p. 716.

93 “He exercised authority in bringing men life even as He hung, apparently helpless, on the cross.” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), p. 719.

94 All right, I confess. I’m thinking of that hymn that goes like this, “The Savior is waiting … why don’t you let Him come in …?” The impression this hymn gives is that God has done all He can, and that He is now dependent upon us to act. This implies that He is powerless to save, ultimately, and that salvation rests primarily on our decision, not God’s (but see John 15:16).

95 “There are two Greek verbs for ‘to know,’ and each of them occurs in John more often than in any other New Testament book. Knowledge matters for John, and it matters because Jesus has come to bring us knowledge and supremely, as we see here, because the knowledge of God and of Jesus is itself eternal life.” Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, p. 571.

96 “Glory is frequently before us in this Gospel from 1:14 on. John uses the noun glory eighteen times (which is more than in any other New Testament book except 2 Corinthians) and the verb glorify twenty-three times (no other New Testament book has it more than nine times).” Leon Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988), vol. 4, p. 567.

97 See John 11:4.

98 “This part of the prayer is often said to be Jesus’ prayer for Himself. As He prays that He may be glorified (vv. 1, 5) there is perhaps something in this. But this is not prayer ‘for’ Himself in the way we usually understand this. Since His glorification is to be seen in the cross it is a prayer rather that the Father’s will may be done in Him. If we do talk about this as Jesus’ prayer for Himself we should at least be clear that there is no self-seeking in it.” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), p. 717.

99 John G. Mitchell, with Dick Bohrer, An Everlasting Love: A Devotional Study of the Gospel of John (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1982), p. 323.

100 The KJV and the ASV use the word “glory” here, even though it is not the same Greek word found in our text. The point is that Paul saw and exulted in the glory of the cross.

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A GLIMPSE OF HIS GLORY AT HAVEN TODAY-LISTEN NOW

Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:02 AM


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A Glimpse of His Glory
For one brief moment, three of the disciples caught a glimpse of the glory of Jesus – His face and clothes exploding with light! Jesus wanted them to learn a lesson they would never forget.
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<< John 17 >>
Darby’s Bible Synopsis

Chapter 17 is divided thus: John 17:1-5 relate to Christ Himself, to His taking His position in glory, to His work, and to that glory as belonging to His Person, and the result of His work. John 17:1-3 present His new position in two aspects: “glorify thy Son” power over all flesh, for eternal life to those given to Him; Verses 4-5 (John 17:4-5), His work and its results. In John 17:6-13. He speaks of His disciples as put into this relationship with the Father by His revealing His name to them, and then His having given them the words which He had Himself received, that they might enjoy all the full blessedness of this relationship. He also prays for them that they may be one as He and the Father were. In John 17:14-21, we find their consequent relationship to the world; in John 17:20-21, He introduces those who should believe through their means into the enjoyment of their blessing. John 17:22-26 make known the result, both future, and in this world, for them: the possession of the glory which Christ Himself had received from the Father to be with Him, enjoying the sight of His glory that the Father’s love should be with them here below, even as Christ Himself had been its object and that Christ Himself should be in them. The last three Verses alone (John 17:24-26) take the disciples up to heaven as a supplemental truth.

This is a brief summary of this marvellous chapter, in which we are admitted, not to the discourse of Christ with man, but to hear the desires of His heart, when He pours it out to His Father for the blessing of those that are His own. Wonderful grace that permits us to hear these desires, and to understand all the privileges that flow from His thus caring for us, from our being the subject of intercourse between the Father and the Son, of their common love towards us, when Christ expresses His own desires that which He has at heart, and which He presents to the Father as His own personal wishes!

Some explanations may assist in apprehending the meaning of certain passages in this marvellous and precious chapter. May the Spirit of God aid us!

The Lord, whose looks of love had until then been directed towards His disciples on the earth, now lifts His eyes to heaven as He addresses His Father. The hour was come to glorify the Son, in order that from the glory He might glorify the Father. This is, speaking generally, the new position. His career here was finished, and He had to ascend on high. Two things were connected with this power over all flesh, and the gift of eternal life to as many as the Father had given Him. “The head of every man is Christ.” Those whom the Father had given Him receive eternal life from Him who has gone up on high. Eternal life was the knowledge of the Father, the only true God, and of Jesus Christ, whom He had sent. The knowledge of the Almighty gave assurance to the pilgrim of faith; that of Jehovah, the certainty of the fulfilment of the promises of God to Israel; that of the Father, who sent the Son, Jesus Christ (the Anointed Man and the Saviour), who was that life itself, and so received as a present thing (1 John 1:1-4), was life eternal. True knowledge here was not outward protection or future hope, but the communication, in life, of communion with the Being thus known to the soul of communion with God Himself fully known as the Father and the Son. Here it is not the divinity of His Person that is before us in Christ, though a divine Person alone could be in such a place and so speak, but the place that He had taken in fulfilling the counsels of God. That which is said of Jesus in this chapter could only be said of One who is God; but the point treated is that of His place in the counsels of God, and not the revelation of His nature. He receives all from His Father He is sent by Him, His Father glorifies Him. [See Note #63]

We see the same truth of the communication of eternal life in connection with His divine nature and His oneness with the Father in 1 John 5:20. Here He fulfils the Father’s will, and is dependent on Him in the place that He has taken, and that He is going to take, even in the glory, however glorious His nature may be. So, also, in chapter 5 of our Gospel, He quickens whom He will; here it is those whom the Father has given Him. And the life He gives is realised in the knowledge of the Father, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent.

He now declares the conditions under which He takes this place on high. He had perfectly glorified the Father on earth. Nothing that manifested God the Father had been wanting, whatever might be the difficulty; the contradiction of sinners was but an occasion of so doing. But this very thing made the sorrow infinite. Nevertheless Jesus had accomplished that glory on the earth in the face of all that opposed itself. His glory with the Father in heaven was but the just consequence the necessary consequence, in mere justice. Moreover Jesus had had this glory with His Father before the world was. His work and His Person alike gave Him a right to it. The Father glorified on earth by the Son: the Son glorified with the Father on high: such is the revelation contained in these Verses a right, proceeding from His Person as Son, but to a glory into which He entered as man, in consequence of having, as such, perfectly glorified His Father on earth. These are the Verses that relate to Christ. This, moreover, gives the relationship in which He enters into this new place as man, His Son, and the work by which He does so in righteousness, and thus gives us a title, and the character in which we have a place there.

He now speaks of the disciples; how they entered into their peculiar place in connection with this position of Jesus into this relationship with His Father. He had manifested the Father’s name to those whom the Father had given Him out of the world. They belonged to the Father, and the Father had given them to Jesus. They had kept the Father’s word. It was faith in the revelation which the Son had made of the Father. The words of the prophets were true. The faithful enjoyed them: they sustained their faith. But the word of the Father, by Jesus, revealed the Father Himself, in Him whom the Father had sent, and put him who received them into the place of love, which was Christ’s place; and to know the Father and the Son was life eternal. This was quite another thing from hopes connected with the Messiah or what Jehovah had given Him. It is thus, also, that the disciples are presented to the Father; not as receiving Christ in the character of Messiah, and honouring Him as possessing His power by that title. They had known that all which Jesus had was of the Father. He was then the Son; His relationship to the Father was acknowledged. Dull of comprehension as they were, the Lord recognises them according to His appreciation of their faith, according to the object of that faith, as known to Himself, and not according to their intelligence. Precious truth! (compare John 14:7).

They acknowledged Jesus, then, as receiving all from the Father, not as Messiah from Jehovah; for Jesus had given them all the words that the Father had given Him. Thus He had brought them in their own souls into the consciousness of the relationship between the Son and the Father, and into full communion, according to the communications of the Father to the Son in that relationship. He speaks of their position through faith not of their realisation of this position. Thus they had acknowledged that Jesus came forth from the Father, and that He came with the Father’s authority the Father had sent Him. It was from thence He came, and He came furnished with the authority of a mission from the Father. This was their position by faith.

And now the disciples being already in this position He places them, according to His thoughts and His desires, before the Father in prayer. He prays for them, distinguishing them completely from the world. The time would come when (according to Psalm 2) He would ask of the Father with reference to the world; He was not doing so now, but for those out of the world, whom the Father had given Him. For they were the Father’s. For all that is the Father’s is in essential opposition to the world (compare 1 John 2:16).

The Lord presents to the Father two motives for His request:1st, They were the Father’s, so that the Father, for His own glory, and because of His affection for that which belonged to Him, should keep them; 2nd, Jesus was glorified in them, so that if Jesus was the object of the Father’s affection, for that reason also the Father should keep them. Besides, the interests of the Father and the Son could not be separated. If they were the Father’s they were, in fact, the Son’s; and it was but an example of that universal truth all that was the Son’s was the Father’s, and all that was the Father’s was the Son’s. What a place for us! to be the object of this mutual affection, of these common and inseparable interests of the Father and the Son. This is the great principle the great foundation of the prayer of Christ. He prayed the Father for His disciples, because they belonged to the Father; Jesus must needs, therefore, seek their blessing. The Father would be thoroughly interested for them, because in them the Son was to be glorified.

He then presents the circumstances to which the prayer applied. He was no longer in this world Himself. They would be deprived of His personal care as present with them, but they would be in this world, while He was coming to the Father. This is the ground of His request with regard to their position. He puts them in connection, therefore, with the Holy Father all the perfect love of such a Father the Father of Jesus and their Father, maintaining (it was their blessing) the holiness that His nature required, if they were to be in relationship with Him. It was direct guardianship. The Father would keep in His own name those whom He had given to Jesus. The connection thus was direct. Jesus committed them to Him, and that, not only as belonging to the Father, but now as His own, invested with all the value which that would give them in the Father’s eyes.

The object of His solicitude was to keep them in unity, even as the Father and the Son are one. One only divine Spirit was the bond of that oneness. In this sense the bond was truly divine. So far as they were filled with the Holy Spirit, they had but one mind, one counsel, one aim. This is the unity referred to here. The Father and the Son were their only object; the accomplishing their counsels and objects their only pursuit. They had only the thoughts of God; because God Himself, the Holy Ghost, was the source of their thoughts. It was one only divine power and nature that united them the Holy Ghost. The mind, the aim, the life, the whole moral existence, were consequently one. The Lord speaks, necessarily, at the height of His own thoughts, when He expresses His desires for them. If it is a question of realisation, we must then think of man; yet of a strength also that is perfected in weakness.

This is the sum of the Lord’s desires sons, saints, under the Father’s care; one, not by an effort or by agreement, but according to divine power. He being here, had kept them in the Father’s name, faithful to accomplish all that the Father had committed to Him, and to lose none of those that were His. As to Judas, it was only the fulfilment of the word. The guardianship of Jesus present in the world could now no longer exist. But He spoke these things, being still here, the disciples hearing them, in order that they might understand that they were placed before the Father in the same position that Christ had held, and that they might thus have fulfilled in themselves, in this same relationship, the joy which Christ had possessed. What unutterable grace! They had lost Him, visibly, to find themselves (by Him and in Him) in His own relationship with the Father, enjoying all that He enjoyed in that communion here below, as being in His place in their own relationship with the Father. Therefore He had imparted to them all the words that the Father had given Him the communications of His love to Himself, when walking as Son in that place here below; and, in the especial name of “Holy Father,” by which the Son Himself addressed Him from the earth, the Father was to keep those whom the Son had left there. Thus should they have His joy fulfilled in themselves.

This was their relationship to the Father, Jesus being away. He turns now to their relationship with the world, in consequence of the former.

He gave them the word of His Father not the words to bring them into communion with Him, but His word the testimony of what He was. And the world had hated them as it had hated Jesus (the living and personal testimony of the Father) and the Father Himself. Being thus in relationship with the Father, who had taken them out from the men of the world, and having received the Father’s word (and eternal life in the Son in that knowledge), they were not of the world even as Jesus was not of the world: and therefor the world hated them. Nevertheless the Lord does not pray that they might be taken out of it; but that the Father should keep them from the evil. He enters into the detail of His desires in this respect, grounded on their not being of the world. He repeats this thought as the basis of their position here below. “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” What then were they to be? By what rule, by what model, were they to be formed? By the truth, and the Father’s word is truth. Christ was always the Word, but the living Word among men. In the scriptures we possess it, written and stedfast: they reveal Him, bear witness to Him. It was thus that the disciples were to be set apart. “Sanctify them by thy truth: thy word is the truth.” It was this, personally, that they were to be formed by, the Father’s word, as He was revealed in Jesus.

Their mission follows. Jesus sends them into the world, as the Father had sent Him into the world; into the world in no wise of the world. They are sent into it on the part of Christ: were they of it, they could not be sent into it. But it was not only the Father’s word which was the truth, nor the communication of the Father’s word by Christ present with His disciples (points of which from John 17:14 till now Jesus had been speaking, “I have given them thy word”): He sanctified Himself. He set Himself apart as a heavenly man above the heavens, a glorified man in the glory, in order that all truth might shine forth in Him, in His Person, raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father all that the Father is being thus displayed in Him; the testimony of divine righteousness, of divine love, of divine power, totally overturning the lie of Satan, by which man had been deceived and falsity brought into the world; the perfect model of that which man was according to the counsels of God, and as the expression of His power morally and in glory the image of the invisible God, the Son, and in glory. Jesus set Himself apart, in this place, in order that the disciples might be sanctified by the communication to them of what He was; for this communication was the truth, and created them in the image of that which it revealed. So that it was the Father’s glory, revealed by Him on earth, and the glory into which He had ascended as man; for this is the complete result the illustration in glory of the way in which He had set Himself apart for God, but on behalf of His own. Thus there is not only the forming and governing of the thoughts by the word, setting us apart morally to God, but the blessed affections flowing from our having this truth in the Person of Christ, our hearts connected with Him in grace. This ends the second part of that which related to the disciples, in communion and in testimony.

In John 17:20, He declares that He prays also for those who should believe on Him through their means. Here the character of the unity differs a little from that in John 17:11. There, in speaking of the disciples, He says, “as we are”; for the oneness of the Father and the Son shewed itself in fixed purpose, object, love, work, everything. Therefore the disciples were to have that kind of unity. Here those who believed, inasmuch as receiving and taking part in that which was communicated, had their oneness in the power of the blessing into which they were brought. By one Spirit, in which they were necessarily united, they had a place in communion with the Father and the Son. It was the communion of the Father and of the Son (compare 1 John 1:3; and how similar the language of the apostle is to that of Christ!). Thus, the Lord asks that they may be one in them the Father and the Son. This was the means to make the world believe that the Father had sent the Son; for here were those that had believed it, who, however opposed their interests and habits might be, however strong their prejudices, yet were one (by this powerful revelation and by this work) in the Father and the Son.

Here His prayer ends, but not all His converse with His Father. He gives us (and here the witnesses and the believers are together) the glory which the Father has given Him. It is the basis of another, a third, [See Note #64] mode of oneness. All partake, it is true, in glory, of this absolute oneness in thought, object, fixed purpose, which is found in the oneness of the Father and the Son. Perfection being come, that which the Holy Ghost had produced spiritually, His absorbing energy shutting out every other, was natural to all in glory.

But the principle of the existence of this unity, added yet another character to that truth that of manifestation, or at least of an inward source which realised its manifestation in them: “I in them,” said Jesus, “and thou in me.” This is not the simple, perfect oneness of John 17:11, nor the mutuality and communion of John 17:21. It is Christ in all believers, and the Father in Christ, a unity in manifestation in glory, not merely in communion a oneness in which all is perfectly connected with its source. And Christ, whom alone they were to manifest, is in them; and the Father, whom Christ had perfectly manifested, is in Him. The world (for this will be in the millennial glory, and manifested to the world) will then know (He does not say, “that it may believe”) that Jesus had been sent by the Father (how deny it, when He should be seen in glory?) and, moreover, that the disciples had been loved by the Father, even as Jesus Himself was loved. The fact of their possessing the same glory as Christ would be the proof.

But there was yet more. There is that which the world will not see, because it will not be in it. “Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.” There we are not only like Christ (conformed to the Son, bearing the image of the heavenly man before the eyes of the world), but with Him where He is. Jesus desires that we should see His glory. [See Note #65] Solace and encouragement for us, after having partaken of His shame: but yet more precious, inasmuch as we see that He who has been dishonoured as man, and because He became man for our sake, shall, even on that account, be glorified with a glory above all other glory, save His who has put all things under Him. For He speaks here of given glory. It is this which is so precious to us, because He has acquired it by His sufferings for us, and yet it is what was perfectly due to Him the just reward for having, in them, perfectly glorified the Father. Now, this is a peculiar joy, entirely beyond the world. The world will see the glory that we have in common with Christ, and will know that we have been loved as Christ was loved. But there is a secret for those who love Him, which belongs to His Person and to our association with Himself. The Father loved Him before the world was a love in which there is no question of comparison but of that which is infinite, perfect, and thus in itself satisfying. We shall share this in the sense of seeing our Beloved in it, and of being with Him, and of beholding the glory which the Father has given Him, according to the love wherewith He loved Him before the world had any part whatever in the dealings of God. Up to this we were in the world; here in heaven, out of all the world’s claims or apprehension (Christ seen in the fruit of that love which the Fatherhad for Him before the world existed). Christ, then, was the Father’s delight. We see Him in the eternal fruit of that love as Man. We shall be in it with Him for ever, to enjoy His being in it that our Jesus, our Beloved, is in it, and is what He is.

Meantime, being such, there was justice in the dealings of God with regard to His rejection. He had fully, perfectly, manifested the Father. The world had not known Him, but Jesus had known Him, and the disciples had known that the Father had sent Him. He appeals here, not to the holiness of the Father, that He might keep them according to that blessed name, but to the righteousness of the Father, that He might make a distinction between the world on one side, and Jesus with His own on the other; for there was the moral reason as well as the ineffable love of the Father for the Son. And Jesus would have us enjoy, while here below, the consciousness that the distinction has been made by the communications of grace, before it is made by judgment.

He had declared unto them the Father’s name, and would declare it, even when He had gone up on high, in order that the love wherewith the Father had loved Him might be in them (that their hearts might possess it in this world what grace!) and Jesus Himself in them, the communicator of that love, the source of strength to enjoy it, conducting it, so to speak, in all the perfection in which He enjoyed it, into their hearts, in which He dwelt Himself the strength, the life, the competency, the right, and the means of enjoying it thus, and as such, in the heart. For it is in the Son who declares it to us, that we know the name of the Father whom He reveals to us. That is, He would have us enjoy now that relationship in love in which we shall see Him in heaven. The world will know we have been loved as Jesus when we appear in the same glory with Him; but our part is to know it now, Christ being in us.

Note #63

The more we examine the Gospel of John, the more we shall see One who speaks and acts as a divine Person one with the Father alone could do, but yet always as One who had taken the place of a servant, and takes nothing to Himself, but receives all from His Father. “I have glorified thee”: “now glorify me.” What language of equality of nature and love! but He does not say, And now I will glorify myself. He has taken the place of man to receive all, though it be a glory He had with the Father before the world was. This is of exquisite beauty. I add, it was out of this the enemy sought to seduce Him, in vain, in the wilderness.

Note #64

There are three unities spoken of. First of the disciples, “as we are,” unity by the power of one Spirit in thought, purpose, mind, service, the Holy Ghost making them all one, their path in common, the expression of His mind and power, and of nothing else. Then, of those who should believe through their means, unity in communion with the Father and the Son, “one in us” still by the Holy Ghost but, as brought into that, as already said above, as in 1 John 1:3. Then unity in glory, “perfect in one,” in manifestation and descending revelation, the Father in the Son, and the Son in all of them. The second was for the world’s believing, the third for its knowing. The two first were literally accomplished according to the terms in which they are expressed. How far believers are departed from them since need not be said.

Note #65

This answers to Moses and Elias entering into the cloud, besides their display in the same glory as Christ, standing on the mountain.


<< John 17 >>


Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, by John Nelson Darby [1857-62]
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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DARBY

http://darby.biblecommenter.com/john/17.htm

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