The Gift of Glory - John 17:24-26

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Introduction: Simeon Longed for the Glory of God in the Promised Messiah

Let us draw our attention to this mornings text - Read John 17:24-26 (make some explanatory comments as you read)
I would like to go to Luke 2, the account of Simeon, and notice some truths that help illuminate to us what is going on in John’s gospel.
Luke 2:25–35 (ESV)
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. (Messiah) 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,
29 “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”
33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
By way of introduction to the final petition of Jesus, we need to notice some things about Simeon:
He was waiting for the Messiah, the Christ, who was promised in Scripture.
This was his ultimate desire - to see Jesus. In vs. 29, he can now depart in peace, his desire has been fulfilled.
He saw Jesus as the return of the glory of God to Israel…there is much more in vs 32 then we can discuss this morning, but we might come back here next week. But here is the intersect with John 1:14-15
John 1:14–15 ESV
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”)
3. He predicts the cross - the life and death of Jesus will reveal the true nature of the heart - those who believe God’s promise and those who do not.
So we see that this Baby born in Bethlehem with the animals, the most humble of births, to humble parents, is the glorious Son of God who was sent into the world to die on behalf of sinners!
As we have already read the final petition of Christ, I want us to draw our attention to two aspects of this prayer.
What Jesus Desires - namely that we would dwell with him in his glorious presence.
What Jesus Declares - the he continues to make known to us the glory of God by indwelling us.
Now these are the two points of the sermon - what Jesus desires and what Jesus declares. There is an already and a not yet. Jesus declares that he already, through his death and resurrection, indwells his people, keeping them in him and making known to them the glory of God. And there is a not yet, the eternal dwelling with Jesus in his glorious presence.
The Christian life is very much like the life of Simeon- we are to live with a desire to see Jesus - to behold his glory.

What Jesus Desires: His People Dwelling in His Glorious Presence

First, notice that Jesus isn’t hoping his people will be in his presence, he is willing it. Just as it is certain that all the father has given him will come to him, so it is certain that all who belong to him will live for eternity in his glorious presence.
Second, the greatest gift that can ever be conceived of, the greatest pleasure that can ever be imagined, the most wonderful experience that that mind could ever ponder is to see the glory of Jesus Christ.
What Jesus wills for your life is this eternal glory, this forever reality - the greatest pleasure imaginable for all eternity. We get wrapped up in “God’s perfect plan for my life” This is God’s plan - to get you to this moment.
This is why we were created, this is what life truly is - we persevere in life here to prepare for life in eternity.
Third, see the sacrificial nature of this desire. When Jesus prays for us, he wills what only can happen by way of the cross.
It is the most costly gift - it cost Jesus his life and the wrath of God.
It is the longest lasting gift - it lasts for eternity
It is the most loving gift - there is nothing greater than the love that exists between the Father and the Son that spill out to us in the display of glory!
The root cause of almost every single one of our problems, hurts, addictions, fears, anxieties and sadness - is a problem of desire.
Our hearts are full of evil and unwise inclinations, we desire the wrong things. We desire quick self satisfying hits of pleasure that vanish quickly. We go for the temporal instead of the eternal. We try to escape rather than trying to truly live.
Truly living is not found in the temporal desires of the heart - truly living is a transformation of heart desire.
Sin and pleasures it offers is always counterfeit glory - sin is almost always a distortion of something God designed for good - Romans 3:23 - all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
True change is a transformation of our desires. True change means that we stop pursuing the fleeting pleasures of sin, and start pursuing eternal pleasures in Christ.
The number one desire of Jesus for his people was not stop sinning - it is to see his glory. When we see his glory the desire to sin will cease because it will look so shallow and unpleasurable.
The key to happiness now - is to foster a heart that longs to see him, is to behold his glory now as much as possible on earth. The key is understanding that sin is ugly, it is death, it is a trap, its pleasures are enslaving not life giving.

What Jesus Declares: I Indwell My People In Order to Reveal the Glory of God.

The world does not know God.
God is known through Jesus
Jesus has made known God’s name.
Exodus 33:12–23 ESV
12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 And he said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” 18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” 19 And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
b. We only get from where we are now to be with Jesus for all eternity because he reveals God to us by indwelling us.
- This fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel
Ezekiel 39:25–29 (ESV)
25 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29 And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.”
Acts 1:8 (ESV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Moses saw a glimpse of the Lord’s glory as God made his goodness pass by, but we have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Think about this - Jesus took on flesh was born with the animals and laid in a manger, he was the presence of God among his people, he lived a perfect life, was crucified, rose from the dead, exalted in the heavenly places, yet allows his presence to reside in hearts that are still in need of renovation - he is the image of God, he is the glory of God, and he unites himself to us in order to bring us to glory, so we can see his glory, so we can have the greatest pleasures at his right hand for all eternity.
As CS Lewis famously said....we are far too easily pleased…when we seek the fleeting pleasures of sin its like making mud pies in the backyard when we could be having a holiday at the beach.
Conclusion: We all must be Simeons - we have the glory of God in Jesus by faith, but we wait for his coming, we long to see him in the way he prayed we would see him - to see his glory, the glory he had before the foundation of the world.
Here is the call of this passage - its not a matter of seeking pleasure or not seeking pleasure. We all want to be happy and fulfilled.
The question is where is true all satisfying pleasure found?
- it is not found in escaping the world, yet. Because Jesus has sent us into the world at this time.
it is found in enjoying everyone of his good gifts with the ultimate aim of pursuing his glory.
We don’t eat for the glory of eating - we eat for the glory of God, with thanksgiving and joy in his provision and his creativity in making delicious things.
We don’t exercise for the glory of man - we exercise for the glory of God, stewarding the body that he gave us and striving to honor him.
We don’t have friends for the glory of our popularity or status - we have friends for the glory of God in blessing us with the joy of caring for others, serving others, blessing and being blessed by other people…and helping others find their joy and pleasure in God.
We don’t worship for the glory of self righteousness - we worship to give honor and reverence to our glorious God - we enjoy worship because its an enjoyment of God himself.
We avoid sin because sin is pleasure seeking in direct violation to God’s glory - sin says that God is not true, that God is not just, that God is not trustworthy. Sin says that pleasure is outside of God.
Dont you see that hell is not a lack of existence, it is existence without glory…you see there is some pleasure in sin, because there is some glory in the things of earth even when they are used hell there will be no capacity for pleasure....only hate, only fear, only sorrow, only lonliness, only anger, only anxiety, only despair,....there will be no glory.
Trust in Christ and learn that he will indwell your heart and put his glory there and he will transform you and bring you all the way to himself.
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