He lived big. He made every moment count. He laughed. He cried. He explained and taught. He did the impossible. But His time was up. Jesus spent His last evening teaching, warning and encouraging His loyal friends. He wrapped everything up by saying, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
This is Jesus’ position as He turns to His Father in prayer. He is victorious. He may have been hours away from being arrested, rejected, abandoned, ridiculed, brutally tortured and breathing His last breath but He knew…victory is His.
Want to know Jesus’ heart? Want to know His greatest desires for Himself, His beloved disciples and for us? Do we want to know how God’s kingdom on earth is to be lived? Then we must pay careful attention. Through the recording of His prayer found in John 17, we have been provided the opportunity to eavesdrop and discover what matters most.
Jesus first prayed for Himself. Perhaps there is a lesson in this. Maybe it is wise to face our needs and ask for God’s work to be realized within us before we ever scrutinize what other people need.
Jesus begins by asking that He be glorified by His Father so that He can in turn glorify the Father.
The cross looming in His future would be seen by many people as the ultimate humiliation. To this day, scoffers still consider the cross to be foolishness. But for those who believe, the cross is the instrument God used to bring glory, praise and honor to Father and Son.
Jesus then expressed His desire for eternal life for His followers. He even described eternal life. It is “that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
We throw out the word “know” very loosely. We can know things from what we learn through conversations but never experience them. It’s just knowledge. We can know things are good for us by reading books yet choose differently. Knowledge can be ignored.
For the Jews, to “know” meant more. It meant to experience, to experience intimately. Jesus was asking that His followers would intimately experience His Father and Himself. Knowing God in this way translates into love. And love for Him can only be expressed one way. Words won’t suffice. Fickle feelings are just that…fickle. Love for Him can be only be evidenced through our actions of obedience.
Jesus ends His prayer for Himself by saying, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.” Jesus clearly states His preexistence. He has always been. Long before the creation of the world, He was.
Jesus created this world. He then stepped into it. His work of rescuing and redeeming began in Bethlehem and was completed on the cross at Golgotha. He overcame and was victorious. He is victorious. And he will always be victorious!
Question to ponder:
Is my chief motivation in prayer that God is glorified?
How do I experience God on a daily basis?