Day 33 (Friday, April 12, 2019)
1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. 5 So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
Jesus knew that within hours he was going to die. In chapter 17, John records Jesus’ prayer while he was still in the upper room with his disciples. It was still the night of the Passover meal. In the course of the prayer Jesus prayed for himself, for his disciples and for all who would become his followers – for people like you and me.
The focus of his prayer for himself is significant: it is the theme of glory. The real meaning of glory often eludes us for we tend to think of it only as the outward splendor of fame or beauty. So we speak of the glory of a woman’s hair or the glory of a splendid building, illuminated against a dark night sky. But that is only part of the meaning, for the true meaning is more subtle. Glory is the outward manifestation of previously hidden, inner qualities.
In praying as he does, Father… glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, Jesus is praying that he will remain faithful to the end in implementing God’s previously hidden plan. For contrary to all human wisdom, Jesus’ death and resurrection will outwardly display the glory of God by revealing the true meaning of God’s previously hidden character – his justice and his love, his service and his power. God’s inner holiness, utter perfection and majestic power are revealed in Jesus’ death and resurrection. In this, Jesus is glorified and consequently brings glory to God the Father.
So he prays for resilience to stay on course and for reinstatement to his pre-incarnate glory. These are profound truths for us to ponder.
All glory to you, our heavenly Father, for in your tender mercy you gave us your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death on the cross for our redemption; who made there, by his one oblation of himself, once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world; and who instituted, and in his holy gospel commanded us to continue, a perpetual memory of his precious death until his coming again. (BCP, Prayer of Consecration – adapted)
Daily Reading Plan
Read John 17:1-12
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