Notes from our most recent sermon are posted below each week.
Prayers of Jesus
August 18, 2019
Prayers of Jesus: For Himself
Jesus came into a Jewish world that had developed a far-off view of God. Into this context Jesus came and called God his Father. Jesus modeled how to honor and glorify God through consistent obedience to the will of the Father. Few passages of Scripture come so close to revealing the heart of Jesus than these verses.
I. Pray focused on giving glory to God now; 17:1-3.
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
After Jesus finished His farewell address, He raised His eyes to heaven, as a symbolic gesture of prayer. With the cross close at hand, Jesus spoke of the hour as having come, which is what His entire ministry has led up to. Jesus prays that God will glorify Him. To everyone else the cross was the depths of shame. To Christ it was the means of true glory. Honoring/glorifying the Son in His mission to the world honors the Father.
Jesus’ authority is God-given, and it is an authority over the whole human race. It is an authority given for the express purpose of offering eternal life to everyone. While God’s intention is that all people should be given eternal life, receiving it is knowing Him through his Son.
The Son’s saving activity is directly related to the will and purposes of God. The point of this prayer is that Jesus submitted and was obedient to God’s purpose for Him. That purpose in His life, death, and resurrection was to glorify God and to bring the promise of eternal life and salvation to the world. To know God transforms us and introduces us to a different quality of living. Eternal life is personally knowing God.
It is not possible to know God in any way that we choose. We must know Him through the One whom He has sent, Jesus Christ. People will often say regarding God or eternal life – “I’m good”, but unless it is through Jesus Christ, they’re not good.
In following Jesus’ prayer, we are to pray that our lives will glorify Jesus, thus glorifying God.
II. Pray focused on the glory to come; 17:4-5.
4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
As Jesus anticipated the cross, He could speak of bringing glory to God by completing or fulfilling His assigned work. There is a quiet recognition that Jesus has completed His task and brought glory to the Father in the process.
Now Jesus prays for God to glorify him. He looks for glory in the last place that people would look for it, namely in the cross. He sees this glory for which He prays as linked with His preincarnate glory with the Father.
Pray that we fulfill God’s mission for us on this earth. There is a glory to come for those who know Christ. There are glorious rewards awaiting us who complete the tasks that God has given us to fulfill.
Jesus’ relationship with the Father was visible. He displayed a life of worship, prayer, obedience, devotion, and love that left a mark on all. Are you trying to live in a secret relationship with God or one that is visible to all? This is why baptism is the first visible act of obedience that God asks of Christians.
One of the main things Jesus shows us in this prayer is God’s desire for relationships. This means that we are invited into life with the Father, as the Father and the Son indwell us through the Holy Spirit. Our relationship is not a static experience.
Prayer is not for weak people who need help or a place to whine. It is not a useless activity just to make us feel better. It’s a personal connection with God, who has offered us a relationship and eternal life through His son Jesus Christ. As Jesus glorified the Father and as we complete all that God has called us to, we can bring glory to Jesus and thus the Father. Glory awaits! This must be a priority of prayer.