Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:1-5 NKJV
Jesus demonstrates the power of prayer as He walked in purpose on earth. There are several lessons to be learned from the model Jesus leaves for us as we also live out the purpose that God has set before us. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10
First Jesus looked to heaven as He communicated with One greater than Himself about things which He foreknew. Then He discerned the time as He said “Father, the hour has come” — do you know what time it is? Knowing the time was a source of strength and encouragement for the Lord as He prepared Himself to endure the death of the cross. His first request was to be Glorified. Which meant there was only one road that led to Glory, and that was the old rugged cross. Later in the garden of Gethsemane, He would pray these words, as He prayed the second time in the garden; He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Mark 14:35-36 NKJV
Although Jesus knew His hour had come, He prayed that the hour might pass from Him. This illustrates prayer from the heart without pretense. He knew that His Father understood His anguish and despair, so He poured out His heart with the type of transparency that reflects intimacy. Another important lesson for us, is that the request to be Glorified was reciprocal, Jesus prayed “Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You”. Once again, though His work was here on earth, His focus was on heaven, where He came from glory to inhabit corruption for our sakes. With Jesus, it was never about Himself; oh that we would learn this very valuable lesson in life and ministry, so that we can be more like Him.
Notice the fact that Jesus prays prophetically about His authority over all flesh, and that He should give eternal life to as many as are given to Him. After His resurrection He declares this in Matthew 28:18 — And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. So He declares what He already knew, before hanging on the cross at Calvary. Even when He acknowledges the authority given to Him, Jesus humbles Himself in that He recognizes that it is given, and He likewise can only give to those who have been given to Him. This is a beautiful picture of humility. Most people in authority, have a tendency to take authority, while the Lord Jesus received authority — and He willfully acknowledges that it was given to Him. Can God our Father trust you with authority? Do you recognize that everything that you have, you have received?
Jesus proclaims in prayer that He has finished the work that the Father had given Him to do. Why then does He say “It is finished” while hanging on the cross? During His priestly prayer, Jesus does not say I will finish the work, but rather, He says “I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” Because the word of God is true, and God cannot lie, whatever He says, He will also perform. When Jesus prayed for Himself, He modeled for us the word which He spoke in Mark 11:24 — Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. In His prayer, Jesus was standing in the finished work of the cross, before He physically endured the pain and suffering. This is how the writer of Hebrews put it; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
What has God set before us? Something that has already been given, according to the prayer Jesus prayed for Himself, and that is eternal life. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. We therefore rejoice because our names are written in the book of life. He has given all who know the only true God, and Jesus Christ who was sent from heaven to earth, eternal life.
Right now as you are reading this devotion, Jesus is Glorified together with our Father. He has returned to the glory that He had before the world was. Likewise, we are Glorified together with Jesus, just as humanity was before the fall of Adam and Eve. We were created to live and not to die. Jesus has come to restore that which was lost. Because of sin, our lives were stolen from us by the thief who comes to kill, still and destroy. But thanks be to God that Jesus has come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly.
We ought to be grateful to God today, because even when Jesus prays for Himself, His prayer results in eternal life for us. Put your hands together and give God a praise. Hallelujah!
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