Have you ever wondered what you would do if you knew your final hours in this world were here? What would you do? I think for most of us we would want our last hours to be spent with those we love. We’d want to be surrounded by the people who have meant the most to us in this world. As Jesus approaches his final hours on earth we know the last thing he did before being betrayed and arrested was spend time with God the Father. Like us, he just wanted to spend his final hours with someone he loved. As we continue to get closer to Easter we see Jesus spending his final hour before his betrayal with God the Father.
In that time of prayer he prayed for himself, his disciples and for his future disciples or us.
Today we will be looking at the first part of his final prayer as he prays for himself. We’ll examine God’s timing, his redemptive work, his place in the kingdom and how his finished work affects us today.
Scripture: John 17: 1-5 Jesus Prays for Himself
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as 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 have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
Jesus knew the time had come and that his ministry on earth was just about finished.
Like little children, one of our greatest dilemmas is trying to figure out why things happen when they do and for what purpose. Why did God wait so long to send Jesus? Why did Jesus only begin His ministry at the age of about thirty? Why did He have to die so young? God’s timing is always perfect. Jesus repeatedly spoke about God’s time and now begins this conversation by presenting to us the perfectness of God’s order.
2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.
God’s authority is granted. Everything Jesus had done, was doing, and would do was with the full and complete authority of God the Father.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
God’s position is absolute. Sadly, one of the most hotly debated issues of our time relates to the matter of salvation. Who can be saved? By what means? Do good works count? Can my goodness be good enough for God? How about my church? And what if I genuinely believe in some other god in addition to Jesus? And then, is Jesus the only way to God? When Jesus fell on His face before the Father just days before the cross, God’s position was settled. He settled this as Creator, Sustainer, Provider, and Redeemer. He is the only true God. There are no other gods that can take His place. And He has made the way possible for all to have life in Christ. Jesus’ death and resurrection validates all of these.
4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
God’s work is complete. After Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was raised by the power of God on the third day, His work was over. It was complete. Everything necessary for the forgiveness of our sins and the assurance of our heavenly home with Christ was done. What work was complete?
- His work of obedience to the Father
- His work of glorifying the Father
- His work of redemption for all who would believe in His name
5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.
The Son’s return home was guaranteed. The mission given to the Son by the Father was now complete. In full obedience Jesus had laid down His right to be seated at the very throne of God in heaven to come down to this earth and be born in a lowly manger. He had grown up and had carried out His mission to the fullest extent of His obedience. Now He was about to be crucified for the transgressions of man, who had become separated from a holy and righteous God: “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Now the Father guaranteed the return of His beloved Son to His rightful place, as God, and at His right hand. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
3 things to learn from this scripture
1. God’s timing is perfect
Waiting can often be difficult. What do we do while we are waiting? Grow where you are! Trust God’s timing! Abraham gives us a perfect example of a person who was waiting on God’s timing and his impatience had devastating effects (Genesis 16).
2. His redemptive work is complete
There is nothing more to do than accept what He’s done for us. John 3:16 says for God so loved the world the he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him shall not parrish but have everlasting life.
3. Jesus has returned home and continues to fulfill his promises to us today.
- He makes intercession for us.
- He’s preparing a place for us.
- He sent us a helper (Holy Spirit)
God’s timing is perfect, His redemptive work is complete, and His position and authority as Redeemer is absolute. Have you responded to His love? Today is the perfect time for you to respond to Him.