Return to Glory

“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.  I have manifested Your name to the people whom You gave Me out of the world.  Yours they were, and you gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (Jn 17:4-6).

Notice the verbs in these verses.  Jesus glorified the Father during His time upon the earth.  Jesus accomplished all that the Father gave Him to do.  And Jesus manifested or revealed the Father to His followers.  As we have seen throughout these chapters in John’s gospels, there is an incredible Father-Son connection in how God reveals His identity and how He works in the world.

The specific way that Jesus glorified the Father in this passage is by accomplishing all that the Father gave Him to do.  This acknowledgement by Jesus that He has completed everything that the Father assigned Him is an interesting one in light of the one great work left for Jesus to do at this point – His upcoming death upon the cross.

I think we can say that the death of Christ is here a foregone conclusion in the mind of Christ.  Jesus is so sure of its outcome that His death, burial, and resurrection are as if they have already taken place.  Jesus’ hour has come and all that God has asked of the Son will surely be accomplished.

When that final act of obedience is completed, God will be glorified and the Son will be glorified.  Jesus will break free of His earth-suit.  He will be glorified as one with God, a glory He shared with the Father since before time began.  For Jesus, it will be a return to glory.

For us, it will cement our identity as those “whom You [the Father] gave Me [the Son] from out of the world.”  Jesus says these chosen ones, His followers in AD 33 and His followers to come, are given to Him from the Father.  And we were extracted “from out of the world”, as it were, to be joined to Christ in the family of God.

We “keep” the word of God by believing what Jesus, the Word Incarnate, said.  We believe what Jesus said about the Father.  We believe what Jesus said about Himself.  We believe what Jesus said about entering His kingdom by faith.  And the promise to those who “keep” His word is the everlasting presence of the Lord in our lives.  “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him” (Jn 14:23).

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