The Glory of Jesus - John 17:1-5

The end of chapter 16 marks the end of Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples, but the moment in the upper room isn’t yet finished. Chapter 17 contains what is known as Jesus’ high priestly prayer. We’ll focus on three sections of this prayer over the next three weeks: Jesus’ prayer about his own glory, his prayer for his disciples, and his prayer for all disciples who would follow them.

Having closed his last words to his closest followers, Jesus then turned his attention heavenward. He begins my saying, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). This is it! This is the moment that Jesus’ entire ministry has been leading up to: his crucifixion. Jesus prays to his Father about the moment at hand and his prayer is astounding. It’s not that God would comfort him or lessen the pain, but rather that God would “glorify” him. In other words, Jesus is praying that God would use this moment to draw all the attention on himself and to accomplish the work he was sent there to do. The final phrase of this section of his prayer is, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:4-5).

But what is the “glory” Jesus is speaking of? What is the great thing he came to accomplish? Jesus states it plainly in verses 2-3. Speaking of himself, Jesus says, “You have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
Two points I want to draw from this part of Jesus’ prayer. First, that Jesus is the only way. He has all the authority of God to mediate eternal life to human beings. He’s not one path among many, but the only access we have to the “one true God.” His death and resurrection accomplish the redemptive work of God in the world. Christ alone is the victor.

Second, Jesus is not a means to an end, but he is the end. We don’t get eternal life as a benefit of knowing God. God is not a tool that we leverage to get that gift for ourselves. Rather, to know God is to possess life eternal. This is precisely why eternal life doesn’t begin after we die; it begins the moment we put our faith in Jesus and then it continues beyond our death. Death is just a bump in the road of eternal life. So don’t wait to take part. Seek God out now. Abide in him (John 15) here and now. Taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) here and now. We have access to him in the present because of the glory that is Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is exactly the reason we can ask, seek and knock and find that the door to fellowship with God himself flings wide open (Matt. 7:7-12). Seek him in prayer, seek him in his word, and you will find him.

My vision of eternal life used to be a picture of me forever doing all the things I love and hanging out with all the people I love. Some of that may be admirable and may even be part of the experience, but my vision lacked the most important element: Jesus. Along the way, I realized that the Jesus I had been taught about was highly functional. He was like a gate agent at Yankee stadium. He was there to punch my ticket, but the real fun lay beyond inside the stadium. The truth is my vision of Jesus wasn’t nearly full enough. He is so much more. I have repeatedly, in this series, encouraged us to look to Jesus to discover the character of God. I renew that plea this week. Allow the gospel proclamations of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John to draw you into a deeper knowledge of Jesus who is the way and who is himself eternal life. He’s the whole point.

Sean's Picks

It's been a few weeks since I had a "pick" for you. I decided that over the next few weeks I'd share some of my favorite worship songs. Some of these are fairly old, but each has impacted me in my journey. May they help you draw near to Jesus as they've done for me.

Missions Spotlight:
The Hoving Home

A quick update on the NJ Hoving Home:

We currently have 7 ladies enrolled and are believing God for many more to walk through our door. That is our biggest prayer request, to have ladies who are seeking life transformation to find their way to our doors. We want to receive each lady fully with the love of God to bless their time here. The ladies who are currently enrolled are doing really beautifully. We rolled out our new Career Lab program this month. This is a training the ladies will do over the last 6 months of their stay to learn some marketable computer skills to help transition into life when they complete the program. Continued prayers to transition into the Career Lab and grace in the process of implementing new curriculum. We have a few events coming in July. We would love prayer for the staff to execute the events and celebrate transitioning out of the restrictions that we were not able to hold events.

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