As I began reading and thinking my way through this great chapter again I wrote a post “Not So Obvious Lessons From John 17” focusing on Jesus words as he was praying “I do not pray for the world” and the implications of why he said that and what it means to us today as believers.
This lesson comes from the part of Jesus prayer in John 17 verse 24.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
Jesus’ request for those first followers and for you and I who believed because of their witness (John 17:20) is that we see his glory. His glory is the infinite appreciation of all that he is. His grace, mercy, faithfulness, love, compassion, truthfulness, justice, holiness, and every other eternal attribute are summed up in a word, Glory! So to see his glory is to see him as he is, to understand and acknowledge, and appreciate and bask in, and be fully satisfied in who he his.
Jesus’ glory is a love gift (John 17:24) from the Father. No stronger case can be made for the deity of Jesus than that God the Father in eternity before creation shared every attribute, every facet of deity with the Son, and thus his glory, all born of love. God is love and the manifestation of that love in creation, in salvation, in justification, in sanctification, and in glorification is glorious, all of his works display his glory.
This brings me to the second aspect of this simple but spectacular portion of Jesus’ prayer. Jesus intends to share his glory with us!
“The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:22-23)
This declaration corresponds to Paul’s words in Romans
“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans:29-30)
How can it be that the Creator God would share his glory with you and me who are flawed to the core? This is why. The redemptive work of God in Christ is so perfect, so complete, that sinners can be counted righteous, and in God’s sight be so infused with the whole of who he is that they are able to share in his glory, the full manifestation of all that he is. And this too is a love gift. Jesus has given us his glory
“so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:23b)
When I begin to get my mind around this truth, (God loves me as much as he loves Jesus!) I can begin to comprehend the glory of God and the expression of his glory in the saints, you and me.
I’ll end with this.
“Declare his glory among the nations,his marvelous works among all the peoples!” (1 Chronicles 16:24)
To God be the glory..