John 17 is Jesus’ prayer for Himself, for his disciples and for all believers who will come after them. Jesus prayed with great vision for Himself, for His disciples and even for you and me! Do we pray with vision like Jesus did or are we so stuck in the here and now that we cannot see beyond today?
John 17: 1-5 Jesus Prays for Himself
If Jesus prayed for Himself certainly it’s ok for us to pray for ourselves as well. Sometimes our prayers focus on others or on what we want. We want grandma to be healed, we want a better job. We want, want and want, but what Jesus prayed for Himself is that He might be glorified so that the Father God might be glorified. Any glory we have should be the kind that points others to God. Seeking glory for myself is self-centered and even sinful.
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify You.” John 17: 1b NIV
We too have a mission to glorify God. We are to do what we do so God is glorified in and through us. We are instruments. It’s not about us but about God.
Next Jesus prays about authority. Our world has such a distorted view of authority.
“for you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.” John 17: 2 NIV
Authority here comes through the act of Jesus’ willingness to lay down His own life on behalf of all mankind. Real authority comes through servitude, through the giving up of oneself, through what we call servant leadership. In the coming chapters in the book of John Jesus is arrested and tried by those in authority, but reality is Jesus has more authority as He could have overpowered these leaders at any moment. Jesus states His mission at the end of verse 2 praying He can give the gift of eternal life. Jesus was on a mission and prayed He would carry it through by glorifying Him so we can have eternal life, essentially pointing us to the Father. He defines eternal life in verse 3 as “knowing God and Jesus Christ.” In verse 4 Jesus prays, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus had a job to do and so does every believer We too are to pray this pray that God will bring us glory so we can glorify God. How’s this done? How’s this fleshed out? I know if there’s anything good in me it came from God. It’s easy to share what goodness God has put in my life like freedom from sin, forgiveness, the many blessings I have, how God shows up and had helped me at jus the right time when I was about to lose hope. These are all things we can share that bring glory to God It’s about God, not about what we did. We are to be obedient and to trust and let god handle the rest.
In verse 5 we are reminded Jesus was present with the Father even before the world began. “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” This paints a picture for us of how Jesus is just as much God as God is God. They are not separate. They are One. God is One. This is the Trinity. Jesus was not a new creation. He was God in the form of a man. I cannot even imagine being in the physical presence of Jesus, but I can! I have been in the presence of the Spirit and they are One in the same. Can we pray today that God will glorify us so God may be glorified? To God be the glory! May what we say and do point people to God as Jesus did. We too have a mission. Every day we have the opportunity to live that mission. Who can you share with today?