John 17 — The Lord’s Prayer

“The time has come.” Indeed it has. It is the fulcrum of prophecy and of salvation history. Jesus lived and moved in the consciousness that there was a divine timing for the events of his life: He was there for an appointment. Then he makes the only request for himself in the whole prayer: “Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.” Deliver your son? No. Sustain your son? No. But “Glorify your Son. A sinner would pray, “give me,” or “forgive me,” or deliver me.” Only God would pray, “Glorify me.” Why? “So that I may glorify you.” He wishes to honor his Father in all things.

He says more that shows he claims divinity: “For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.” What mere man would make a stupendous claim such as this? “I have the authority to grant eternal life.” And what is eternal life: Knowing God through a personal relationship with Christ. Knowing God doesn’t come through religious practice, an academic program, or any method, but through an intimate love relationship. We are made to know God. Our goal is life is to know God. Knowledge of God is eternal life. It gives great thoughts of God, great boldness for God, great contentment in God, and great energy for God.

Jesus continued in his prayer: I have done everything you wanted me to do. I have revealed you to the disciples, and they’ve been convinced that you sent me and that what I’ve spoken is from God.

Then he prays for his disciples: Protect them from falling away so that they are of one purpose, the purpose I reveal to them: Glorify the Father. He didn’t pray that they would be happy, that they would never suffer, or that their rights would always be defended, but that they would always glorify the Father. The point was not happiness but an understanding of how the world works, what humanity is all about, what God does and how he does it. They won’t necessarily expect to be happy or to be cheered by the world for how they live, but that’s OK. They have You.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.” God’s followers are separated out from the world by the blood that has redeemed them, the truth that has transformed them, and the purpose for which they live: to glorify God. We never have to choose between God, love, and truth. I’m sending them out so everyone will know the power of God, the depth of love, the meaning of truth, and the reality of grace.

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