I know who “them” is . . . both specifically and generally. “Them,” specifically, are those who, in the time of Jesus, believed in Jesus. Those who on the night before Jesus was betrayed listened as He gave His “going home” speech. They are those who had followed Him for the past three years and, while others fell away and stopped following, they hung in there . . . believing He was the Son of God . . . though not fully appreciating all that the Son of God would be asked of the Father to do. “Them” were kind of a rag tag bunch . . . mostly blue collar types . . . the “professional” among them being a tax collector. Not the elite of society . . . not so accomplished that they stood head and shoulders above the crowd . . . but “them” were those who believed. And since then, generally, “them” are those who have believed in the Christ and His saving work throughout the ages. And in them, He is glorified.
For I have given them the words that You gave Me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from You; and they have believed that You sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom You have given me, for they are Yours. All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. — Jesus praying to the Father (John 17:8-10 ESV)
I like reading John 17 as if I’m kind of eavesdropping on Someone praying for me. My soul stirred . . . my spirit humbled . . . as I hear again that I have been given of the Father to the Son. That somehow in the horizon of eternity, the seemingly parallel railroad tracks of my choosing to believe and His choosing of Me come together in the fullness of the mystery of salvation. I chose Him . . . but He first chose Me. I love Him . . . because He first loved Me. I have received the gift of salvation . . . the Son has been given those who believe. Do I quite get how the whole dynamic fits together . . . not really. But that doesn’t keep me from liking the sound of the Savior praying for those given to Him by the Father.
Do I somehow think I merited such favor? . . . absolutely not . . . I know me better. Do I wonder at the grace and calling of God . . . pretty much! Do I like being prayed for by the Savior . . . music to the ears.
But what’s really pushed the awe-o-meter over the top is the declaration by the Creator of all things that in “them” He is glorified. Like I said . . . I know who “them” were. None of them would be able to stay awake and pray with Him on the night before He endured the cross . . .all of them would flee and abandon the Master . . . one of them would even deny, three times, that He even knew the Messiah. And yet Jesus says He would be glorified in them.
And I know who “them” is today . . . “them” be me. A sinner saved by grace still trying to fully figure out this pilgrim way. Though brought into marvelous light, continually battling that which would seek to draw me back into the darkness of this world. Though made a new creation in Christ, daily doing battle with the old man . . . the Spirit within me arm wrestling the flesh . . . often winning, but not always. And in the “them” that is me . . . Jesus says He would be glorified. Unreal!!!
O the grace of God! For not many of them “were wise according to the worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth” . . . but God chose them . . . that with mustard seed faith they might believe . . . and be grafted into Christ “who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” . . . that in them He might be glorified. Therefore, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1Cor. 1:26-31).
Do I fully get it? . . . not yet, but one day. Do I fully desire it? . . . that He would be glorified in me? Yes, Lord!
Be glorified in “them” . . . be glorified in me.