At long last, Jesus is ready. The hour has come. And in that hour of readiness, his prayer is for the Father to glorify Jesus so that Jesus can glorify the Father. How does this work? And what does Jesus’ prayer that night have to do with my own faith and walk with God?
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
After Jesus proclaimed that he had overcome the world, he prayed to the Father in heaven. There had been several moments in the early ministry of Jesus in which he told people that his time had not yet come, as he carefully managed the revelation of his identity and God’s plan for the cross.
Now, at long last, he is ready. The hour has come. And in that hour of readiness, his prayer is for the Father to glorify Jesus so that Jesus can glorify the Father. How does this work?
Well, if we skip down to vs. 5, we can see that Jesus had glory with the Father before the world began. He was fully God in the beginning (see John 1 and Colossians 1) and therefore existed in glory with the Father and the Spirit. Jesus is now asking for that glory to be returned to him.
When he came to earth, he took on the form of a human, which is an unglorified state (Philippians 2). He did not, according to Paul’s writing, consider equality with God something to be held onto during his incarnation.
Rather, he was granted authority while on earth to offer eternal life – he brought the Father glory on earth by finishing the work the Father had given him to do. All of this culminates at the cross.
For what is eternal life? It is that we know the Father (the only true God) and Jesus, whom the Father has sent (vs. 3). The Father is the giver of the Son, who is the Saviour of the world, taking all sin upon himself on the cross and opening up a way of reconciliation to God the Father. The completion of this mission glorifies God.
And as Jesus is looking to complete the mission in the next 24 hours of his life, he is praying for his heavenly glory to be ready.
In other words, Jesus had something to look forward to in his ordeal. He looked forward to the glory of heaven. Which brings me back to me. As I live this life as a follower of Jesus, there are two lessons from this prayer of Jesus which I can apply in my own life:
First, understand why I am here and complete the mission God has given me.
Second, look forward to the glory of heaven and eternity with God.
Simple, yet Christlike and powerful. This is a day-changer if you are having a difficult time living the purpose of God in your life. Look to Jesus. He is our example.