PFOA : John 17:1-5
John 17 is usually known as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. Indeed in this prayer Jesus prayed, as a high priest, for His disciples. But these first five verses are introductory and represent an interesting conversation between Christ and God the Father.
Jesus is reaching the end of His ministry on earth. The time has come when He commits Himself to the “initiatives” of man. The schemes of His enemies will be executed progressively culminating finally in the crucifixion on the hill outside Jerusalem. None of these events, from the knowing kiss from Judas to the last nail in His hand, indicates a loss of control by God; rather these final events, as well as the total ministry of Jesus are vindicated by the victory of the resurrection after three days in the tomb.
So Jesus prays to the Father to glorify Him. The time has come - in the next few hours He will be humiliated, threatened, flogged, unjustly accused and condemned and finally shamefully put to death on the cross.
During His ministry, He has claimed to be the fulfilment of prophecy, He calls God His Father, that He is the Messiah, and is sent to be the Saviour of the world. Faith in Him gives eternal life. His task is completed. Is all this true? It is - when God glorifies Him. So He asks the Father to glorify Him.
When the Father glorifies the Son, the Son in turn glorifies the Father. The Father glorifies the Son, first by raising Him from the dead. This is a vindication of all that Jesus taught and did while on earth. God then elevates Christ to sit on His right hand, signifying the full authority He is giving to the Son. The glorification of the Son in turn brings glory to the Father, because it declares the grace, mercy and love God has for the world. God’s sovereignty and authority over creation, His righteousness and justice, including His power over life and death is demonstrated in the resurrection of Christ. So as the Father glorifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father (v.1).
In the same way, God has given Christ authority over all people (v.2 NIV) to give eternal life. God is glorified by everyone who has eternal life; because by their lives they declare they know the true God, and the true Saviour, Jesus Christ. By accomplishing this work of saving the world, Jesus glorified God. Now He is asking God to glorify Him by restoring Him to the position and status He enjoyed before the world existed (v.5). This was the status, privilege, power and glory he willingly put aside to be the incarnate Jesus (Phil. 2:5-8).
Jesus goes on to pray for His disciples. As disciples of Christ, we are the result of the completed work of Jesus Christ on earth. We are the offering Jesus gives to the Father to glorify Him. How do we glorify God? We ‘ascribe’ or give glory to Him. This is spoken of in Psalms 29, 68, 96 and elsewhere. We praise His name and Him for his attributes – greatness, strength, holiness, righteousness and power. And in the same way Christ made us His offering to God, so we too offer to God our praise, worship, as well as our obedience, submission, and the re-telling of His goodness and good works.
One further way of glorifying Father is the way of Jesus. Christ glorified God by offering to Him everyone who is saved, who has eternal life. In the same way, as we speak what we have believed, and share the gift of God’s grace, others will come to know God and Jesus Christ as their Saviour. In this way, “as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God” (2 Cor. 4:15 ESV).
• Let us pray that as often as we worship God, we will remember His character and attributes. In praise, let us recount both His wondrous works in creation and history as well as His grace and mercy in the days of our lives. In worship, let us offer to Him ourselves, our obedience and our submission.
• Let us be the channels by which the grace of God “reaches more and ore people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory” (NLT).