TO CHEW ON: " 'And the glory which You gave Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one.' " John 17:22
As I read today's passage—Jesus' prayer from John 17—one word pops out at me, repeated (in several forms) eight times. It's the word "glory" ("glorified," and "glorify").
*Jesus says that God the Father will glorify Him—the Son— so that He (the Son) might reflect that glory back to the Father (John 17:1).
*He reminds God that He (Jesus) has already "glorified" Him (God) by finishing the work God gave Him to do (John 17:4).
*He prays God will glorify Him (and God the Father) "with the glory which I had with You before the world was" (John 17:5).
*He says that He is glorified in those that are His—His disciples and followers (John 17:10).
*He prays that God will give His followers across the ages the glory that the Father has given Him (John 17:22).
*And finally, He prays that they will see His glory—that glory He had "before the foundation of the earth" (John 17:24, cf. John 17:5).
[The word glory used here is the noun doxa, which means opinion (in the NT always good, resulting in praise and honor). It also means splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, majesty.
Glorify - doxazo (a verb), is to praise, honor, extol, magnify, celebrate, make glorious, adorn, clothe, render something excellent, make it renowned.]
One gets glimmerings of something very big and beyond our comprehension here, a glory and majesty we can only imagine. We also gets the sense of what Jesus gave up when He came to earth as a human being.
We see more facets of Jesus' glory as we read about it in other places in the Bible.
- It was prophesied - Isaiah 63:1.
- John recognized it in Jesus - John 1:14.
- The disciples got glimpses of it on the Mount of Transfiguration - Luke 9:32.
- It will be very obvious at Jesus' second coming - Matthew 16:27 (to the chagrin of some and delight of others - Matthew 24:30,31).
- In heaven it will be shared by the apostles - Matthew 19:28.
- We as Jesus' followers can begin to share in it and reflect it now as Jesus prayed - John 17:22. One way this happens is through our unity: "… that they may be one just as We are one."
Paul gives us another sense of how it comes about in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where he describes it as coming about through seeing Jesus in the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to work out what we see in our own lives:
"And all of us, as with unveiled face because we continued to behold in the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit" - 2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP.
Wow! May that "ever increasing splendor, from one degree of glory to another" be working itself out in my life and yours day by day.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus thank You for giving up Your eternal glory to be humiliated as a human and then dying to take the punishment for my sin. The glory that comes to me as a result of this is totally undeserved. Help me to understand how to translate Your glory into my life and circumstances. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)