Here are just a few thoughts that I have captured this time through. As I think about them, I am silenced as I view Christ’s greatness and meditate on His deep desire for every genuine brother and sister to come into His glory and experience the same love and unity that He and His Father experience.
1. Jesus Christ and God the Father, as seen throughout John’s Gospel (“Whoever has seen me has seen the Father …” (14:9); “I am in the Father and the Father is in me…” (14:10); etc.), are inseparably one and each glorifies the other (“… glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you…” (17:1)).
2. Even at this early stage of belief for the disciples, Jesus is able to confidently declare that they have believed and kept
His Word. It’s not that the disciples were perfect guys (remember Peter is about to deny Jesus and all of them will forsake their Lord in the middle of His greatest trial). Rather, we see Jesus explaining that He has kept them in His
Father’s name and guarded them (17:12) and is now praying that the Father would keep them in His name as well (17:11).
3. The Lord is sovereign and has a view into the hearts of men and women that we are not privy to. All Jesus does is based on His sovereign will and because of this all He does is for those given to Him by the Father—He prays for them (and not the world), gives them His Word, keeps them, and reveals His glory to them.
4. Jesus set Himself apart (consecrated or sanctified Himself) for His great atoning work on the cross so that His disciples might be sanctified in His truth (17:17-19). The Lord of glory did not ask anything of His followers that He Himself did not first experience. Jesus is a forerunner who has gone on ahead of the Christian so that the way might be made clear and possible.
5. Christ has given His own glory to His disciples (then and now) that they might be one just as the Father and Son are one (17:22). Which one of us can honestly say that we have not been blessed with treatment fit only for a divine king?
This is a short list, but it gives me more than enough substance to chew on for days or months. How about you? What do you find in John 17?