About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Prays For Himself (ch. 17:1-5)
chapter 17 is known by some as the High Priestly prayer of Jesus.
It is the longest prayer that we have on record from the lips of
Jesus. Jesus prays out loud,
not for His sake or the Father’s sake, but for the sake of those men
hearing the prayer. Jesus does
not ask them to pray. He
simply prays knowing that they will be watching and listening, and
hopefully paying attention.
content of the prayer is divided into three sections; Jesus prays about
Himself in verse 1 to 5. He
prays for His disciples in verses 6 through 20, and then He prays for all
believers of all time in verses 21 through 26.
17 opens with these words. "After
Jesus said these things, He looked towards Heaven and prayed."
It is possible that they were still in the upper room, but it is
just as possible that they were outside somewhere. The
words "after these things" is in reference to all that Jesus and
spoken since the beginning of John 13.
towards Heaven" implies looking up, and in Jewish traditional looking
up towards Heaven with His eyes open, not closed.
begins His prayer by saying that the time has now come for the Father to
glorify His Son and for the Son to glorify the Father. One
thing to note here as we have seen before, and that is Jesus always
glorified His Father and the Father always glorified Jesus.
They never glorified themselves.
This is an attribute of the Godhead and should be seen in us as
does glorify mean? To glorify
someone is to give honour to that person in every way possible, both in
words and deeds.
did God glorify or bring honour to Jesus in this dreadful time in His
life? The cross, something
that in human terms glorifies no one, glorified both Jesus and the Father.
Despite all the horrible things that took place on the cross, the
results would be glorious. The
fact that Jesus endured the cross in obedience to the Father certainly
brought glory to God the Father. Leave
it to God to turn a tragedy into glory.
2 is packed full of important things.
We first learn that God the Father has given Jesus authority over
all people. Jesus
Himself says this in the Great Commission of Matthew 28.
So, right now in real time, Jesus has the final authority over
every human being, whether they know it or not.
reason why Jesus has authority over all people is so that He can give
eternal life to those that His Father has given Him.
Two things need to be noted here.
One is that it is Jesus who gives eternal life.
Two, eternal life is given to those God the Father has given to
Jesus. This is the question.
Who are those that the Father has given Jesus?
Should we understand this verse in a broad sense of the word to
include all saved people throughout history?
Should we also understand this in terms of Calvinism, meaning, God
only chooses certain people to give to Jesus?
I believe verse 6 gives us the answer where Jesus says that He has
revealed the Father to those the Father had given Him, meaning His
disciples, and maybe even more specifically, the eleven men that were with
him on this occasion. I do not
believe Calvinists can prove their doctrine of predestination from this
verse. Besides, this verse in
not in reference to the salvation of these men. I believe Jesus is
simply talking about God giving these men to be with Him.
3 reveals the true meaning to eternal life.
We often think of eternal life as living for ever in eternal bless,
but that is secondary to the real meaning.
Eternal life is knowing, and knowing intimately, both God the
Father and Jesus. That is real
life and that real life lasts forever.
4 tells us how Jesus glorified the Father and that is by completing the
work that His Father gave Him to do. His
work was almost complete. Only
the cross remained. The cross
was the ultimate act of honour that Jesus could give His Father because it
was the ultimate act of obedience.
same would apply to us. As we
obey Jesus we honour Him in front of the world.
When we disobey Him we bring dishonour and disgrace to Him, as much
of that which we call church is doing right now.
We need to always keep this in mind as we live our lives both
individually and collectively as the church.
Too often we disgrace Jesus by doing things we should not be doing.
of this in human terms. If a
child wants to glorify his parents he will honour them by doing the things
that his parents want him to do.
verse 5 we see Jesus asking His Father to now glorify Him.
Jesus glorified His Father by obeying Him and now we see how the
Father will glorify Jesus. It
is by restoring the unity they once had prior to the incarnation of Jesus.
There was a complete oneness between Father and Son as we saw back
in chapter 1, verses 1 and 2. This
unity obviously changed when God, the eternal Word, entered humanity.
When Jesus returns to Heaven, the separation that took place
because of the incarnation would no longer exist.
side point to consider here is this. When
Jesus returned to Heaven, He was not in the same form as He was prior to
the incarnation. Jesus now has
an eternal glorified body, the same kind of body we will have in eternity.
He never had this glorified body prior to His incarnation.
There was a total unified oneness between Father and Son that has
now been altered, and just for our sake.