John 17:1-8 - Jesus Prayed for Himself

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John 17 is one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, and certainly one of the most treasured.  Some refer to it as the “Holy of Holies of Sacred Scripture,” the revelation of Christ’s heart as He bared His soul in prayer to the Father before He stepped out into the night and onto the cross.  There have been many works preached and written from this chapter:

·                     Oliver Cromwell’s chaplin, Thomas Manton, preached forty-five sermons on it…

·                     An Irish preacher, Marcus Rainsford, wrote expositions that amount to more than 500 pages

·                     I have a book by Mating Lloyd Jones that is 662 pages cover this 17th chapter of John’s Gospel. 

In the opening section of John 17, as Jesus prayed for Himself, he prayed specifically for His own glorification

In verse 1 Jesus "lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come.  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You," (John 17:1, NKJV)

Then in verse 5 He said "And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was."  (John 17:5, NKJV)

The glory of God is seen in the revelation of who and what He is.  Throughout history we have seen the glory of God in varying degrees:

·                     Everyone sees something of God’s glory in nature

In Psalm 19:1 we read "The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.”  (Psalm 19:1, NKJV).

·                     Some privileged believers have experienced incomplete personal revelations of the glory of God:

For example, Moses on Mt. Sinai "Didn’t realize as he came back down the mountain with the tablets that his face glowed from being in the presence of God."  (Exodus 34:29, The Living Bible)

Peter, James and John on the Mount of transfiguration saw Jesus "and as they watched, his appearance changed so that his face shone like the sun and his clothing became dazzling white."  (Matthew 17:2, The Living Bible)

·                     But by far, the most complete revelation of God’s glory was in the person of Jesus Christ.

The writer of Hebrews says that Jesus "Is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Hebrews 1:3, NASB95)

And Paul writes "For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."  (2 Corinthians 4:6, NASB95)

In the upper room Jesus prayed the He would be glorified, that He would be shown more completely for who He is.  How was and is Jesus glorified?  For what did He specifically pray for?  He prayed for His glorification on the cross (v.1-4), He prayed for His glorification in Heaven (v.5), and He prayed for His glorification in the church (2, 3, 10).

And as we read John 17 we see that Jesus asked for 2 things: “To glorify Your son, that He may glorify the Father (v.1-4) and to “Restore Your Son the His former glory—To He preexistent exaltation (v.5-8).

!! A.                 Jesus’ hour had come, that is, His death (v.1a).

1.                  “Father, the hour has come…”  (v.1a).

a)                  Jesus “knew” many things: He “knew”:

(1)                 that his time had not yet come (John 7:6, 30; 8:20)
(2)                 His hour had come (John 13:1; 12:23; 17:1)
(3)                 the Father had given all things into His hands (13:3)
(4)                 He had come from God and was going to God (John 13:3; 8:14)
(5)                 from the beginning who did not believe (John 6:64), and betray Him (John 13:11).
(6)                 who was following Him out of genuine faith, or enthusiasm (John 2:23-24)
(7)                 Jesus knows if you have the love of God within you (John 5:42; 8:19)
(8)                 Jesus knows his sheep, and He knows them by name (John 10:14, 27; 2 Tim-departing from iniquity)
(9)                 Jesus knows that the Father always hears His prayers (John 11:42)
(10)             the Pharisees hypocrisy (Mark 12:15), mans thoughts (Matt.9:4; 12:25)
(11)             the time of His ascension was near, He was determined (Luke 9:51; Heb.12:2)
(12)             the disciples would scatter from Him, and Peters denial (Matt.26:31-35).
(13)             the hour of His arrest had come to be betrayed into the hands of sinners (Matt.26:45)
(14)             all the things that would happen to Him, stepped forward to be arrested (John 18:1-4)
(15)             while on the cross that all things had been accomplished (John 19:28)
(16)             He would be raised from the dead by the power of His Father (Matt.16: 21; 17:9,  23; 20:18–19; Rom. 6:4).

b)                  He knew how to live with a sense of timing.

(1)                 Jesus used His time for the Father and this started at a young age

When His parents were looking for Him "He said to them (His parents), “Why did you seek Me?  Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?"  (Luke 2:49, NKJV)

Doing His Fathers Business was a delight to Him "I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart."  (Psalm 40:8, NKJV)

Not only doing God’s will but accomplishing it mattered to the Lord "“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work."  (John 4:34, NKJV)

In His prayer He said "I have glorified You on the earth.  I have finished the work which You have given Me to do."  (John 17:4, NKJV)

He even finished the work at His last breath "So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”  And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit."  (John 19:30, NKJV)

(2)                 We Must Use Our Time for Our Father (Eph.5:16; Romans 13:11-14)!

Paul said concerning the times and the seasons “brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape." (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, NKJV)

!!!! c)                  The Bible Warns Those Who Think They Will Always Have Time To Do What They Should.

(1)                 When Noah and his family entered the ark and shut the door, the opportunity for any other person to be saved from the flood was gone.

We need to be like the Psalmist "Remember how short my time is; For what futility have You created all the children of men?"  (Psalm 89:46-47, NKJV)

Our prayer should be "Lord, make me to know my end, And what is the measure of my days, That I may know how frail I am.  Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my age is as nothing before You; Certainly every man at his best state is but vapor." (Psalm 39:4-5, NKJV)

We should also pray "So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12, NKJV)

Paul spoke to the Corinthians about the time having been shortened (1Cor. 7:29)

James warned, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’  Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away”  (James 4:13–14).

(2)                 There Is No Assurance Of Tomorrow (Luke 12:16-21).

Jesus spoke a parable saying, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.  And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’  So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”  ’But God said to him, ‘Fool!  This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’  “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”"  (Luke 12:16-21, NKJV)

B.                Request 1: Glorify thy Son—that He may glorify the Father (v.1b-4).

1.                  “Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You…”  (v.1b).

a)                  First, how: By giving Him power over all flesh (v.2a).

(1)                 The first thing Jesus asked was, “Father…  Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You” (v.1). 
(2)                 The whole purpose for God sending Jesus to earth was to give eternal life to men; so in asking the two questions, “How is God glorified?” and “How is Jesus glorified?” the answer is simply: “by men receiving eternal life.”  Both God’s glory and Jesus’ glory are found in the completion of the great work of salvation.
(3)                 Now note two more things about Jesus’ request to be glorified: the first one we already touched on and that was “By giving Him power over all flesh” (v.2a).  Lets touch on this a little more:
(a)                 Jesus speaks about His equality with God the Father (John 5:21-29
(b)                The great commission (Matthew 28:18).
(c)                 The having authority over all flesh, is clear from the fact that those who are saved are gathered from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation, as is the consistent teaching of the Gospel according to John

b)                  Secondly, the purpose: That He may give eternal life (v.2b-3).

(1)                 Eternal life is given to a person (v.3a).
(a)                 Other related passages (John 1:12-13; 3:35-36; 6:37, 39, 44; 10:28).

!!!!! (2)                 Eternal life is knowing God (v.3b).

(3)                 Eternal life is knowing Christ (v.3c).
(a)                 Not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is. 

(i)                   People who are not truly Christians can be deceived into thinking they are (1 John 2:3-6) 

(ii)                 Hebrews 12:14 –“Pursue peace with all men, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.”  If there is no holiness in your life, you have no hope of seeing God, except to stand before Him in judgment.

(iii)                There are those who think they are saved but at the same time living a life of unholiness.  The Holy Spirit.

(iv)               They will be shocked to discover that in the final judgment, heaven is not their final destiny (Matt. 7:21-27)

(b)                A Person Must Profess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Romans 10:9-10)

(i)                   Not all those who call Him Lord will enter His Kingdom either (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46)

c)                  Thirdly, the reason: Christ finished God’s work (v.4).

(1)                 Jesus is the supreme example of finishing the work of God.  We are to walk as Jesus walked, so that would encompass finishing the work that God has given us to do.
(a)                 Do you know what God has given you to do?
(b)                If you do know, are you doing it?
(c)                 Let’s look at some passages relating to finishing Gods work:

(i)                   The work of Jesus (John 4:34; 5:36; 14:31; 19:30).

(ii)                 The work of Paul (Acts 20:24; 2Tim.4:7).

C.                Request 2: Restore thy Son to His former glory—to His preexistent exaltation (v.5-8).

1.                  “Glorify Me… with the glory which I had with You before the world was…”  (v.5).

a)                  His preexistence.

(1)                 Jesus dwelt in a preexistent, eternal state and glory with God (John 8:58; 16:28; Heb.1:3).
(2)                 Jesus set His glory aside when he came to earth as Man (Phil.2:7; 2Cor.8:9).
(3)                 Jesus knew that He would return to the Father and be restored to His former glory (John 7:33; 14:28; 17:11.

2.                  “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me…” (v.6).

a)                  Two reasons why Jesus asked to be restored to His former glory.

(1)                 Because He has revealed the Father’s name (v.6).
(2)                 Because men now know that He is the Son of God, the revelation of God Himself (v.7-8).

b)                  They now receive His Words (v.8a).

c)                  They now know His origin (v.8b).

d)                  They now believe He is sent of God, that He is the Son of God Himself (v.8c).

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