John 17:1-5 | Jesus Prays for Himself | Andrew Gutierrez
Topic: Worship Gatherings Passage: John 17:1–17:5
Please open if you will to John 17. I’ve been waiting a couple years to say those words and we’re here. We begin a new series. You see it there, “The Greatest Prayer Ever Prayed,” although I might amend that next week, Jeff. I think we’ll make it “The Greatest Prayer Ever Revealed,” because I don’t know all the prayers that the Son has prayed to the Father, and I’m sure they’re all wonderful. But I do know that he revealed one for us to relish in uniquely.
This prayer of the Son to the Father is full. Jesus prays in John 17 for himself, which we’ll see today. He prays for his disciples, his immediate disciples, the ones there with him 2,000 years ago. And he prays for those who would believe in the disciples’ message, believe through their word—and that’s us. Jesus prays for us in this passage. We’ll get to that in the coming weeks.
But this is the greatest prayer ever revealed. Jesus has prayed a couple of other times in the Scriptures. None have been this lengthy. None are in and around the events of the cross where he fully grabs the scope of his earthly ministry and puts it all before us—from eternity past to eternity future. He does that all in this prayer. This is the greatest prayer ever revealed.
And this morning in verses 1 through 5 we’re going to see that Jesus prays for himself as he begins this prayer. So, follow along as I read John 17:1-5.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
You can tell a lot about what people think and what people are meditating on by listening to their prayers. You can be in a small group Bible study and go through a passage of Scripture together, go through some truth from the word of God, and after that time you take prayer requests, and you hear people praying the things that they had heard, praying about what they’ve heard because their minds are so drawn to what the Lord has said, their hearts let that out in prayer.
It’s similar here. Jesus has been teaching his disciples intimately. And hasn’t the upper room been a great thing to study the last few months? He’s teaching his disciples intimately. He’s being realistic with them about what they’ll face, about the threats, about the hope and the joy that is coming, about the Spirit who will help them through times of tribulation. He’s taught them a lot of things, and now he concludes that teaching time and goes to a prayer time, and his heart overflows.
You hear Jesus in this passage lay out his burdens before the Father. Think of that statement. Jesus being burdened and going to his Father in prayer. What was on Jesus’ mind? What’s important to Jesus the night he would be betrayed, just a few hours before his crucifixion? What was on the mind of Jesus before he would suffer and drink the full wrath of God? What was on his mind?
Well, we know here because of what he talks to the Father about. This is important for us to look at. This isn’t one of those sermons: Five ways to have happy children and an obedient dog. It’s not light. Or five ways to have an obedient dog and happy children—either way. It’s not a light message. We need to go deep in a sense into heaven and hear the Son communicate with the Father.
We get to know what the Son, who eternally has existed, says to the Father, who has eternally existed. We’re privileged. Jesus, the Father, the Son, the Spirit, the Godhead didn’t reveal everything to us. There is so much more about God and how he works than we know. We know what we need to know. There is so much more to God, but he’s revealed to us a lot. All that we need for life and godliness.
And aren’t we glad that he reveals one chapter where the Son speaks intimately to the Father about all that the Son has come to do and how it affects us? This is where we’re at. We’re, in a sense, eves dropping into the most privileged communication this world has ever known: The Son of God to the Father God.
What was on the mind of the Son when he prayed to the Father?
1. The Son Requested Glory from the Father
Three points I want to make this morning. Three thoughts that the Son had as he prayed to the Father. First, the Son requested glory from the Father. This is on Jesus’ mind. He requested glory from the Father. Verse 1 is where we find this.
At this point Jesus has just finished teaching his disciples. Now he’s praying to the Father, and he’s praying so that his disciples can hear, and he’s praying so that John, his disciple, could hear, and John would then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, write this prayer down for us to know. Jesus wants this prayer to be known. He wants his Father to hear it certainly, and he wants his followers to hear it, even 2,000 years later.
At this point, very few people actually believed that Jesus was glorious. Think about it. Very few actually believed that he was all glorious. Jesus asks that as he’s going back to the Father that he would receive glory. Verse 1: “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.’”
So, Jesus takes his common posture of prayer for him, lifting up his eyes to heaven, and he prays. I don’t know if his eyes were closed or opened. All I know is his head was up, and he prays to the Father. He calls him Father, speaking of the intimacy he has with the Father. The Son is bringing his request and burdens to the feet of the Father, and he says the hour has come.
Remember, all throughout John he would escape the hands of the authorities because his hour had not yet come. It wasn’t time for him to die because his hour had not yet come. Jesus is now saying my hour has come. It’s here. Jesus knows all that’s going to happen in the next three days. He’s not surprised by any of it. The hour has now come.
And it’s the hour for him to be glorified. Glorified. What does that mean? We kind of throw it around as a Christian slogan. I just want to glorify God. God needs to receive glory. But what does that mean? Here are a couple synonyms. Glorify: to make much of, to make much of. You make much of things that you think are great.
You go to the Grand Canyon and you don’t look at it and go—nah, turn around. You go to it and you nudge each other (not very hard), you nudge each other, and you say look at that, and you start talking about it. You’re making much of it. You come home and you tell people about it. You’re making much of something.
The Son is asking to be made much of, to receive the glory that he had before he came to earth. His glory is the sum of all that he is. Make known all that I am. Make me to be seen as great, just like the Father. That’s what he’s praying about.
The Old Testament word for glory speaks of being weighty. W-E-I-G-H-T-Y. Being weighty. There’s substance. It’s worth something. It’s important. A thing matters. That’s the idea of glory. We speak of weightiness to convey the importance of a moment or a person. That was a weighty moment, or that’s a substantial person. We’re not talking about physically. We’re talking about the fact that they’re important.
We talk about substantial people, heavy truths, weighty moments. This is the idea. There is a lot to Jesus Christ, and he wants to be known for all that he is. So, this is what he’s asking. He’s asking that now that the hour has come that he would be glorified. The Son has always been glorious, but in the incarnation he took on the form of a man, and we even learned that he took on the form of a doulos, a slave.
So, Jesus came to earth, the King of heaven comes to earth as a slave and people do not see him as weighty, substantial and glorious. Now he’s asking to be known for who exactly he is. Now this doesn’t mean that when Jesus came to earth he gave up his deity. Don’t ever say that. Don’t ever say when Jesus came to earth he gave up his deity. That would imply that he wasn’t God on earth.
Yes, he was God on earth. He just did not tap into all of his God-ness while he was on earth. He suffered. He could have called a legion of angels to defend him. He didn’t. He could have, implying that he was God, but he did not.
Some people talk about the fact of the self-emptying of Jesus. He emptied himself by taking on something else. So, he emptied himself by taking on human flesh with all the effects of the curse. So, he experienced the curse in this world just like we did. So, he took that on for us. He put on disease in a sense. This world is diseased, cursed. Jesus came and put that all on himself to absorb all of that. That’s what happened.
Listen to Philippians 2:5-11. We’ve gone to this passage a lot as a cross-reference as we’ve gone through John. But it’s important to see what Jesus did. Paul’s exhorting the Philippian church to be humble like Jesus, and then he starts talking about exactly how Jesus was humble. He said this:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant [see, he emptied himself by taking on something else], being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore [here’s where the glory comes] God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Jesus is praying and saying, now that I have humbled myself, taken the form of a slave, died, even died on a cross, now highly exalt me for all that I did. Glory comes after a cross. Glory comes after trial. Glory comes after tribulation. And Jesus is saying now that I’ve gone through this glorify me. Now, a person just doesn’t ask God to glorify them. God, share glory with me. Share the glory that is due you with me. That’s a prayer request you should not make.
Isaiah 42:8, as the nation of Judah is trying to receive security and strength through political alliances by the worship of idols, they’re looking everywhere for someone to protect them and make them strong and flourish. And the Lord in a sense is left out of it.
The book of Isaiah is calling them back to himself. I’m the one you need to find your security in. God says this in Isaiah 42:8: “I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other.” Now, let that sit in your mind, and then hear Jesus say, Father, glorify me. Share glory with me. If Jesus isn’t God, this statement wouldn’t be made. He wouldn’t say this. This is God in human flesh. That’s one of the main arguments of the book of John, that Jesus is God. And he’s asking to share in the Father’s glory.
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.” So, give me glory so that you would be glorified. It goes hand in hand. The Father just doesn’t give the Son glory, and then people think little of the Father. When people think highly of the Son, they think highly of the Father. When people relish in the salvation of the Son, they’re amazed at the Father and his plan and his love in sending the Son. So, the Father and Son, when one is glorified, the other is glorified. They share that.
Remember the end of Philippians 2, so at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. So Jesus is asking for glory and for his Father to be glorified. Jesus’ request for glory is absolutely right. He deserves this glory.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a position where you have some credentials and you meet a person who should be amazed by your credentials, but they aren’t because they don’t know who you are and what you’ve achieved. And there’s kind of like something missing there. If you only knew who I was, you’d be talking to me a little differently. That’s kind of the idea. Jesus is asking to be known for exactly who he is and for what he’s done. It’s totally appropriate.
2. Jesus Accomplished the Work of the Father
In addition to requesting glory from the Father, Jesus’ earthly work is also on his mind. Jesus is thinking about his work being accomplished. We see this in verses 2-4. He accomplished the work of the Father. This is what’s on his mind, another thing on his mind. Jesus is requesting glory from the Father because he’s now completing the work the Father gave him to do.
As you’ve been with us through John, you’ve seen Jesus is always talking about work. I’ve gotta do the work of the Father. My food is to do the will of the Father, the work of the Father. Jesus is always talking about his work. Well, here in this prayer, he’s saying the work is done. And he’s culminating all of his life, putting it together. He’s even treating the cross as if it’s something that’s already been done.
Remember, a little bit later he’ll hang on the cross and say, it is finished. He’s talking about his work. Verse 2, he asks for glory, and he says, “since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” So, Jesus is referring to himself with a pronoun—since you’ve given him (me) authority over all flesh.
So, here’s what he’s saying: Father, glorify me. Show me as wonderful and amazing and all of who I am. Show me that way. Let me receive the glory and the reward that I have for what I’ve done. And then he says, show me that way, give me glory, because I’ve done what you’ve told me to do. Reward me. I’ve done what you’ve told me to do. That’s the idea here.
The Father has given him authority, or jurisdiction, over everybody who’s ever lived. You’re not going to hear that on CNN or Fox News or MSNBC, but Jesus Christ has authority over everyone who’s ever lived and is living. “[S]ince you have given him authority over all flesh.” You know what all flesh means? All flesh. Jesus is an authority over all flesh.
To give eternal life to all whom you’ve given him. Now that’s a subgroup of the “all flesh.” He’s an authority over all flesh and he gives eternal life to a group of people that the Father has given to him. That’s what this is saying.
Remember what Jesus said back when he was talking about himself as the good shepherd (John 10:27)? “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them,” implying that those who aren’t his sheep don’t what? Hear his voice. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
My Father, listen, who has given them to me. So, the Father has given a group of sheep to his Son, and when his Son calls them, they listen, and they know him, and they follow him. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. We’re in this together. We’re of the same essence. We are under the same plan. He’s given me a group of sheep to save. I come and save them.
So, Jesus grants eternal life to all whom the Father has given to him. Now, what is eternal life? A lot of times when we think of eternal life we think of time, endless time. Here Jesus is speaking of life as not time—it is that—but as quality, as something more substantial than just living forever.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” Eternal life isn’t just an infinite length of time. Eternal life isn’t just knowing the facts about God. Eternal life is deeper. Eternal life is knowing, experiencing, relishing in the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he sent. That’s what the Son is saying.
The Son is saying that eternal life is not just about knowing some facts, because you know whose theology is pretty sound? The demons. They know exactly who God is, exactly who the Son is. They know about him. Even before the creation of the world. But they don’t enjoy him, follow him, relish in who he is. That’s what it means to know.
You can say I know that there’s a queen in England, but you don’t know the queen of England. Jesus is saying the Father has sent him to make the Father known and him known by experience, not just head knowledge. One can know a lot about God and Christ and not truly know them. You understand what I’m saying there?
One can know a lot about God and Christ and not truly know them. There are a lot of professors in seminaries who know a lot about the Bible but don’t really know the Father and the Son. Knowing about God and Christ is burdensome. If you simply know about them, it’s just head knowledge. That’s burdensome. Because you know God is holy and you’re supposed to be holy, that’s burdensome. You know that God gives commands that you’re supposed to follow and you don’t. That’s burdensome, if you just know by head knowledge.
But if you know by experience that the Son came to die for you and to forgive your sin and you relish in him and you trust in him, you love him, you worship him, that knowledge is not burdensome. That knowledge is freeing. I know that my Savior lives, and I know that I am free. That’s the knowledge that Jesus Christ came to give.
A couple of contrasts between merely knowing speculatively about God and Christ and actually knowing him by experience. Knowing him speculatively your life is governed by “supposed to.” I’m supposed to do this. I’m supposed to go to church. But if you’re really honest with yourself, you don’t wake up Sunday mornings excited and eager. I’m supposed to read my Bible. I’m supposed to say things without cursing. I’m supposed to . . . and the list goes on.
If you simply know about God and know about Christ, your life is governed by “supposed to.” And I doubt there’s very much joy in that. But if you actually know God and know Christ, your life is governed by “get to.” Get to. I get to come on Sunday morning and fellowship with the people that God loves, encourage people who might need encouragement and point them to Christ. I get to do that. I get to come with dozens and dozens of other people and sing with one voice to our risen Lamb. We get to do that. We’ve blocked out time in our schedule and prioritized Sunday morning to do that together. We get to do that.
That’s different than: I know God; I know he’s holy; I know he tells me to go to church; I have to do this. You might not know God if your life is governed by “supposed to.” But if you know Christ and know the Father, you “get to.” You get to give. You get to pray. You get to enjoy his word that he’s revealed. You get to. And this is all rooted in the gospel. You get to enjoy this relationship, and it’s a relationship that’s been given to you through the blood of the Son Jesus Christ.
John Newton, the writer of Amazing Grace, said this—talk about enjoying the gospel, enjoying the message of the cross. “To see the law by Christ fulfilled and hear his pardoning voice changes a slave into a child and duty into choice.” When you understand the gospel, you want to live for Christ.
What are the implications for us? I have a couple thoughts for you as your pastor. A lot of us talk about knowing God more. You saw in the video we’re doing men’s ministry groups where guys are studying things together for a year and a half. We just got done, a group of friends of mine, we just got done with a year and a half study of a systematic theology book. It’s like this thick. And one of the guys was joking, when he brings it to work, all the guys at work, their jaws drop. You’re reading that? Yes.
We pursue knowing God. We study theology. We read things about him. We listen to sermons even throughout the week. We want to know more. But there’s a warning. The Pharisees knew a lot. Knowledge is not the goal. Knowledge is the means to the goal. The goal is enjoying and worshiping and relishing in Christ. Enjoying God. Worshiping him. The knowledge leads to that.
Listen to Dane Ortlund. Dane Ortlund wrote a book, a phenomenal book, called A New Inner Relish. Great title. A New Inner Relish. Listen to what he says:
Note that right doctrine is never an end in itself. It is a means. Doxology, or praise, takes flight on wings of theology. Knowledge is not the final goal but an avenue to deeper depths of enjoyment of God. Whoever baked a chocolate cake in order to scrutinize its contents in the laboratory? Cake is not meant for the petri dish. It exists to be tasted and enjoyed, relished. Glorious truth about God that enters the human mind is never meant to stay there. Its appointed destination is the heart where such truth, where God himself, is tasted and loved.
Jesus came to make himself known to us, to give us the experience of knowing him, to allow us to enjoy him. He came to allow us to enjoy the Father, glory in the Father. That’s why we sing at the end of our services. We’ve been taught—Jesus is a teaching Savior, God is a teaching God, the Spirit teaches us. There’s a part of our worship gathering every Sunday where we teach. This is what we’re doing right now, and as we’re informed about who God is and we know him better and our hearts say amen to things that we hear and that we read, the end of that is praise, worship.
That’s why we sing at the end. We don’t just know more and go out so that we can beat people up with our Bibles. We know more so that we can praise more, enjoy more, experience more of our Father and the Son.
Now, some of you are new to that type of environment. I mean, you’re more used to five tips to have a more obedient dog. Welcome to church. Granted, maybe we’re a little too academic at times, but we’re trying to go deep into who God is. But it’s not just so that we know more, because if pride is the result of that, we’re missing the whole thing. The whole goal of knowing more is because we want to know the Son and know the Father and worship them and enjoy them and bask in what we have in them. That’s the goal.
So if you’re new to this environment, love it. Pursue. Read. Study. Pray. Meditate. And enjoy your Father. Enjoy the Son. That’s the whole goal of all of this. Greater glory to the Son.
Now I want to speak for a moment to those of you who’ve grown up in a Christian home or are currently in a Christian home. We’ve got a lot of young people in this body. I want to ask you the question: Do you know about God or do you actually know God? That’s an eternal difference. It’s an eternal difference.
You are not a Christian because your parents are. You’re not a Christian because you know a lot about the Bible. You’re not a Christian because you’re home schooled or because you go to a Christian school or because you go to a public school and everybody else is worse than you. You’re not a Christian for those reasons. That does not make a Christian.
A Christian is a person who at one point knows that they are despicable in the eyes of God because of their sin. Have you ever thought of yourself that way? And then this person cries out for mercy to the only one who can forgive that sin and the only one who is willing to forgive that sin and the one who loves to forgive sinners because he loves sinners.
That’s a Christian. A Christian is one who understands they are poor in spirit. You see Jesus at the beginning of his prayer lifting up his eyes to heaven. There’s a prayer in Luke where a tax collector makes this prayer, and he can’t even lift up his eyes to heaven because he’s humiliated by who he is. And Jesus says at the end of this story about that tax collector, he says he’s the one that is justified, innocent, free from guilt.
That’s what it means to come to Christ and to know him. You know yourself as a sinner and you know that he’s the only possible Savior sent from heaven, the only true God. And you cry out to him for mercy, and he saves you. And then you not only know about him, you know him.
You might have said growing up, Jesus died for my sins, Jesus died for my sins. You claimed to be a Christian, but there’s a point when you are converted, where you understand, no, Jesus died for my sins. There’s a difference between knowing about him and knowing him.
How do you get from knowing about him to knowing him? You understand that he needed to come to save your wretched soul, and he did because he’s a Savior by nature and a loving God by nature. And you embrace him by faith. And when you relish in that, you know God. Your heart is changed.
Ask someone in this church. It’s happened to hundreds of people. This is what happens when we’re made to know God, and this is the ministry of Jesus. Jesus is saying in this prayer, God, I’ve come and introduced you to the hearts of people. I’ve come and introduced myself to the hearts of people, and they know me and enjoy me and relish me. Lord, I’ve done what you’ve told me to do. Glorify me. That’s what Jesus is saying.
Consider this, actually, verse 4. “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” Father, I’ve done it. That’s why his last statement on the cross is, it is finished. What’s finished? His introduction of a holy God and himself to the hearts of men. That’s finished. They can now be reconciled to God because his blood covers their sin. It’s finished.
Listen, the Father loves the Son and gives him a people that will worship him forever. The Son loves the Father and comes to reconcile these people back to the Father. So, what are we? We are a love gift from the Father to the Son, and from the Son back to the Father. That’s who we are. We are an expression of love from the Father to the Son. I’m going to give you a gift—them. Father, I’m gonna win them to bring them back to you.
Our salvation is more than just us escaping hell. We are swallowed up into the love relationship between the Father and the Son and the Son to the Father. That’s what we enjoy. The Father planned our salvation because he loves us. The Son made our salvation possible because he loves us. And because the Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father. That’s why Edwards says that heaven is a world of love. That’s what it is.
3. Jesus Requested a Reunion with the Father
So, Jesus had his completed work on his mind, but he had one more thing on his mind evidently. He also had a reunion with the Father on his mind. He requested a reunion with the Father, the final thing we see on the mind of Jesus here in verse 5. He requested a reunion with the Father. This is again another request for glory, just like he gave in verse 1. He’s requesting glory again, but the additional part of this request in verse 5 is that he would be glorified in the Father’s presence as he was before the world existed.
Verse 5: “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence,” so it’s not just, Father, glorify me. It’s “glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” He’s saying, give me the weightiness, give me the fame, give me the communion also with you. There’s no longer anything separating the Father and the Son. The Son is not on earth under a curse. The Son isn’t experiencing that anymore.
He’s now going to come out of the empty tomb and enjoy the restored relationship back with the Father. It’s not just that the Son wanted glory. He wanted to enjoy it with the Father, the same way he did before the world existed.
Now, we learn about a doctrine from this verse. It’s called the eternality of the Son. Jesus the Son didn’t start in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. God the Father didn’t say, you know what I’m missing? A son. I’ll create one. O Little Town of Bethlehem, here you go. The Son always existed with the Father, we learn here, before the world existed.
We also know that Jesus is also known as the creator of the world. Jesus sustains the world, always has (Colossians 1). Jesus has always existed with the Father in fellowship. Both of them, the Father and the Son, allowed for that relationship to be changed for a time. The relationship was changed as the Son would bear the curse of sin in order to redeem the people whom they loved. There was a difference when Jesus came to earth.
Yes, there was still communion. Yes, there was still joy. But Jesus Christ received punishment as if he was a sinner, although not ever sinning. He received the punishment from the Father as if he was a sinner. There was—I want to be careful because it doesn’t mean that their communion was ultimately abolished for a time—but there was a disruption. There was a difference.
Jesus was the sin bearer treated as if he had sinned. And Jesus is saying, restore to me the relationship I had with you before the world existed. Rejoice, church, in what Jesus gave up for you. That the Lord would bring to our minds just a glimmer, a picture, of the distance that Jesus traveled from his throne to the earth as a slave. I pray the Spirit communicates that to our hearts. Lord, let me know more of what you went through so that I can rejoice in the fact that you’re back with the Father where you deserve to be.
You’ve seen videos about—maybe on social media—where a service man or woman comes to their child’s school and their child doesn’t expect them to be home, and they come in like through a back door. And the child turns around and there’s mom or dad. I mean, if you can go through that without shedding a tear, you’re heartless. Those reunion videos grab us because we know that’s appropriate right there. That’s what should be happening.
They’ve gone through this experience and they’re coming back as a soldier, and they’re coming back to their son or daughter, and that embrace—I mean that’s what it’s supposed to be like. Same way with the Father and the Son. The Son has gone through suffering on this earth, gone through being the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief, gone through the mocking on the cross, gone through the nails, gone through the punches in the face, gone through the beard being torn out, gone through the whippings. He’s gone through all of it. Gone through being mocked by his own family. He’s gone through it all.
And this is the reunion of the Son with the Father. And the church sees Jesus talk about this and says, yes, that’s where he should be. That’s where he should be because of all that he did for us.
So, the Son has some things on his mind. He requested glory from the Father. He accomplished the work of the Father. And he desires a reunion with the Father. As we think about the Son returning to the Father in glory, because that’s what’s on his mind as he’s praying, I was thinking about the most famous reunion other than the Father and the Son in the Scriptures. Could it not be the prodigal son? One of the most famous reunions in the Scriptures.
Where the prodigal sins, basically doesn’t care about ever seeing his father again. He wants his money prematurely. Leaves the family, who would have had a funeral for him. He’s gone. The son goes out and squanders it, misuses his father’s wealth, engages in all sorts of immoral behavior, squanders the money. He works for, as a servant, a man with pigs, and he wants to eat the food that the pigs are eating. He’s been brought low. And he thinks to himself, I’ll go back and just ask if I can be a servant with my father.
Now most of the father’s friends at that time, if you were in the first century Middle East and they saw the son coming back, they’d say, turn around, get out of here, your dead to us. But for some reason, this father runs to the son because he saw him afar off, which meant that he was probably looking.
Important Middle Eastern men of the first century don’t run. But this father does, for some reason. Luke 15 tells us the reason is because he had compassion in his heart. The father in this story is God the Father. Maybe the most famous reunion outside of John 17 or Philippians 2, Jesus the Son and God the Father reunion. The prodigal son is probably the most famous reunion.
Consider the prodigal. Rebelled against the Father. Squandered what the Father had given him. We are the prodigal before Christ. But Jesus came to earth to be treated like the prodigal. Consider Jesus. He obeyed the Father in every way. He did all the work that the Father had for him. He sought to glorify the Father in everything. And he came to suffer for the prodigals, to be counted as a prodigal.
Now consider the gospel. The perfect Son suffers in the place of the prodigals, and because of this, the prodigals (us) are granted adoption as children of God. This is why Jesus Christ deserves to share in the glory of the Father. This is why. Because no one else would ever do something like that, except our Lord.
That’s why we say in Revelation 5:13: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Let’s pray.
Lord, so much of our Christian life is focused on us. We think about ourselves. We think about our temptations. We think about our trials. We think about our blessings. We think about our church. We think about our Bibles. We think about our prayer life. We think so much about us. Lord, for this moment, for this coming week, help us to think about the glory of your Son. May we see him high and lifted up. May we see him as precious and valuable and lovely and to be enjoyed. And may this change us increasingly.
Lord Jesus Christ, we praise you. You came to earth to introduce us to your Father. You came to earth to introduce us to yourself because you love us and desired an eternal relationship with us. Father, may we continue to know you more, love you more, enjoy you more. We pray this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
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