John chapter 17 is known as Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer. In this chapter Jesus turns his attention away from the disciples and towards his heavenly father. This entire chapter is the prayer that he prays just before he is betrayed and arrested. There are once again too many great truths for me to mention them all in a blog this short, so let me focus on just one of them.
It is fairly rare in the scriptures for us to have a picture of things that took place in heaven between God the Father and Jesus before the time that Jesus came to earth, but we have one here in this chapter. Notice if you will, verse five which says…
John 17:5 (NIV84) ” And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”
I love trying to get my mind around what it is that Jesus is saying. Let’s look at the words that Jesus uses.
Glorify means, “to bring glory.” But what exactly does glory mean? The Greek word that Jesus used which we translate into our English word glory means splendor, brightness, amazing might, praise, honor, and greatness. In short these are the qualities that Jesus took off when he became a man and that he put back on when he left this earth and returned to God the Father’s presence.
Jesus says, “Father put back on me (glorify) all of the qualities (glory) that I put off when I came here. Make me once again just like I had been since before the foundation of the world.” This is a wonderful picture of Jesus, the Son of God, in his heavenly state. Eternal, splendid, beautiful, powerful, radiant, honored, and great! Moreover, Jesus didn’t start “being” with his birth in Bethlehem, he has always been! Sometimes I think we forget exactly who Jesus is, where he’s really from, and his true greatness.
Jesus left all of that out of his great obedience to the Father and his great love for us. He is now and always has been, worthy of our praise! He’s our friend! He’s our savior! He’s our intercessor at God’s right hand! Do you know him? Do you really know him? He’s worth really getting to know.