Glory and Eternal Life


This is what is referred to as the high priestly prayer of Jesus. In between the last supper and his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays an extended prayer for himself, his followers, and the rest of the world. And he starts with his purpose in coming to earth…

1 [Jesus] 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.
John 17:1-5

He starts this prayer with reflection on his purpose in his incarnation. Before coming to earth, Jesus existed in glory in the heavens. He was glorified always, even before the world began. In his own words, we see here that Jesus was not created for the incarnation or at the incarnation. Cults which describe Jesus as a created being have it wrong. Jesus always was, is, and always will be.

Jesus prayed that he would be glorified by the Father in a way which reflects that glory that he had before creation. And he prays that in being glorified by the Father, Jesus will in turn glorify the Father also. Inherent in the nature of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is mutual glorification. Everything each member of the Trinity does reflects in glory on the other members.

Jesus came to give eternal life to all those the Father gives to Jesus. This language refers back to John 6 in which Jesus assures his followers that all of those whom the Father gives to the Son come to the Son. And the Son loses none of those who come to him, preserving and keeping each person through life and death and resurrection into eternity.

We also see Jesus define eternal life for us in his prayer. This is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. Knowing God is eternal life. Not knowing about him, but actually knowing him, Father and Son. And notice he refers to himself as Jesus Christ. Jesus Messiah. In his own words, Jesus reveals he is Messiah of Israel.

What do we need to know? Whom. Whom do we need to know? Father and Son. The Father who sent Jesus to earth to live and die and rise again in victory over sin and death. And Jesus the sent one who sacrificed his life for you and for me. Do you know them?

Jesus has brought the Father glory by finishing his work. He completed his mission. And at the end of his mission, Jesus was, indeed, glorified again as he returned to heaven. Do you know him? Do you have eternal life in his name?

Amen.

Marc Kinna

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