Prayer and the Coming Glory.

Prayer is crucial to our spiritual development. Jesus' prayer in John 17 explains the purpose of Christ's life, which should be mirrored in the purpose of our lives. In this last section, we will seek to understand His passion for God's glory, which is His holiness and purity as demonstrated in His Son, God in flesh, who came to give His life as a ransom for all.

Our culture is obsessed with self-promotion, from athletics to politics and the domination of social media. This is why humanitarian stories are so refreshing. The image of God in every person is drawn to those who serve others at their own expense and has to be trained to be so thoroughly self-absorbed.

Christ's life was never about self-promotion. He sought the glory of His Father and to bring the good news of salvation to the whole world so all would be offered the gift of eternal life. He pursued the goal of His Father with a submissive and reverent mindset.

We too bear the name of the Father and live with the method and motive of Christ. We seek to spread His life and influence in the world instead of our own selfish ambition. This does not bring earthly glory – in fact, it led Jesus to His death – but our spiritual influence is eternal and transformational. In the conclusion of His prayer, Jesus deflected attention from Himself and focused on the Father and the spiritual nation of all those who would be saved.

In His life, Jesus revealed and shared the glory of the Father. His prayer is that we be unified with the Godhead in effort toward the same goal. Ultimate glory for the believer is achieved when we are beholden to the unity of person and purpose of our Heavenly Father who is Lord of all.

One in Nature

The unity Jesus prays for in John 17:20-21 is not one of external reality but of internal, personal reality. Jesus prays that the teaching, preaching, proclaiming, and living of the Gospel would never be lost through those who would come to know Christ in the future. In John 17:11, He prayed that they would be one with the Father devotionally. Here He asks that believer would remain unified in the content and propagation of the Gospel, which embodies the glory of God. The ultimate glory a person can achieve on earth is easily forgotten. The glory of God came through death and sacrifice and results in the transformation of hearts. We must own this message before we can take on a mission.

One in Mission

Each and every believer is called by God to spiritually reproduce. God did not save you to be content with living the American dream. He saved you to reach others with the Gospel. That is the purpose behind everything you are, do, and own. Living every day with eternal purpose is not automatically natural. But Jesus' prayer is being answered, and we can be a part of that answer! We rarely think this is possible, but Jesus never prayed an unanswered prayer.

One in God's Presence

Jesus' prayer concludes with His desire for us to be with Him and to see His glory in the heavenly realms. We can draw an earthly parallel to the desire of a family matriarch to have everybody together at holidays. Those who know His nature and lived His mission, Jesus wants to experience and see His eternal glory with their own eyes. The word "see" in John 17:24 means to take time to observe something.

Application Points

  • Have you been transformed by God in Jesus Christ? There's only one transformational nature that can bring peace to a heart. Are you one with the Father through the salvation Christ provides?
  • Pray to find and reach those in your sphere of influence whom God would desire to be saved. Are you burdened for lost souls? When you are burdened for lost souls, you are rarely burdened with your own concerns.
  • Are you pursuing true glory? Living for eternal purposes is greater than any gold medal, championship, degree, salary, or possession. If God's people would be completely consumed with God's glory, understanding their existence is for one mission, imagine what the Lord could do with people understanding and living this reality!

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Isaiah 14:12-17, Proverbs 27:2, Luke 22:24-27, 1 Peter 5:3-5 – The folly of seeking our own glory.
  • Mark 10:45 – Jesus did not seek His own glory.
  • John 1:18, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 1:1-4 – Jesus came to explain the Father and demonstrate His glory.
  • 1 John 1:12-13, 1 John 1:7, John 6:44, Matthew 11:29 – A divine transformation takes place when we realize we are lost and that only Christ can save us.
  • Hebrews 2:9-10 – Christ's death brought Him glory and honor.
Quotes to Ponder

"The purpose of this unity is to be a convincing testimony before the world to the revelation of God in Christ and to his love for the disciples."

"By sharing in His calling, they participate in His glory and are united with Him and with one another. God and man together involved in bringing the new creation into being – the effect of this united testimony is a confirmation of the divine mission of Jesus and God's love for unbelievers."

"Through the common witness and experience of the disciples, Jesus wished to establish the fact of His divine origin and of the love of God for men. As the central life of the vine appears in all the branches and makes them fruitful, so genuine eternal life imparted by Christ will unify his people unto this cause.

— Merrill Tenney
A Hymn to Encourage: "My Savior First of All" by Frances J. Crosby

When my lifework is ended, and I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see;
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side,
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.

I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
And redeemed by His side I shall stand,
I shall know Him, I shall know Him,
By the print of the nails in His hand.

Oh, the soul-thrilling rapture when I view His blessed face,
And the luster of His kindly beaming eye;
How my full heart will praise Him for the mercy, love and grace,
That prepare for me a mansion in the sky.