“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:24-26)
We’re all aware of the phrase “saving the best till last”. At music events, the most popular and successful act concludes the concert. At auctions, the most valuable item is put on display. Some consider the final course in a meal to be the best one as it is sweet!
In Jesus’ first public sign He saved the best until last when He produced fantastic wine for the guests in Cana; and here in his high priestly prayer in John 17, it could be argued that He saves the best request until last. In the request, Jesus reveals His deep love and longing to be united with His people in the consummation of all things and promises something incredible for us until that day takes place.
The Desire of Jesus
Jesus reveals a deep desire for the final consummation of eternal union with His people. Jesus desires to be with His people so that they see His glory. In John 3 Jesus was described as the bridegroom, so if we were to impose that language here, this is like a groom really looking forward to His wedding day when He gets to see His bride all sparkling white walking up the aisle to be brought in union with Him. Within Christ there is a holy restlessness as He waits to unveil Himself in all His glory to His people. We don’t often hear this in church, but do you know what this shows us? Jesus is really looking forward to His second coming. We often talk about the waiting bride; but what about the waiting Bridegroom?
But it gets better, because until that day comes, Jesus promises to do something for His people while separated from them physically.
The Display of Jesus
Jesus ends the prayer by repeating the fact that He has made the Father known to the disciples, but adds the statement that He will continue to make the Father’s name known. In other words, until His people get to be physically reunited with Him at His return, He promises ‘tasters’ of that glory in our lives here on earth as we live for Him. Yes, there is glory in the future; but there is also a glory to be known now, and this is on the heart of Jesus to give.
Jesus is praying that the very love the Father has for the Son would be experienced and known in the lives of His people. Jesus wants you to know the Father’s love in the same way He knows the Father’s love. Christ delights to reveal Himself, He delights to come into the camp. He loves to show us His glory and He wants us to know the Father’s love deeper. That’s something to pursue, isn’t it?
Lord Jesus, Your glory is our pursuit
It is our manna in the wilderness
It is our water in the desert
It is our home as we pilgrim
Freshly stun Your people with Your beauty
Is this not Your heart for us?
We gladly receive it afresh today
We bless you O God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit