While I think I pretty well get it, I’m sure I pretty much do not fully grasp it.
Finished up John 17 as part of my morning readings. “Christ’s High Priestly Prayer” is how it’s summarized in my Bible. Jesus’ final discourse. Directed this time not to those around Him but to Him who had sent Him.
And I get to eavesdrop. I’m the proverbial fly on the wall as Jesus lifts His eyes to heaven and talks with the Father.
“Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You” ~ Jesus
(John 17:1b ESV)
What’s at stake is the glory of God. His divine glory made manifest through “the hour.” The hour of Jesus’ death for the sin of mankind. The hour of His once for all atoning sacrifice. The hour when He bears the wrath for our transgressions. The hour when, with His last breath, He declares, “It is finished.” The hour of His burial.
And then, on the third day, the hour of His triumphant resurrection from the dead. Exhibiting, for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear, that He has conquered sin and has vanquished death. Glorify Your Son, Father . . . that the Son may glorify You!
Wonder of wonders!
But then, get this, the glory is linked to a people. First, tied to those who were with Jesus, those to whom He directly manifested the Father’s name. Those the Father had given Him. And, as I continue to eavesdrop, not to them alone.
Jesus then also prays for those who would believe in His name through their witness and word. And that would be me. That would be us. All who have come to faith in Christ. Believing the truth of that hour. Receiving the forgiveness offered through the finished work of the cross. And Jesus great supplication for us? That we be woven into the tapestry declaring the glory of God.
“The glory that You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one even as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved Me.” ~ Jesus
(John 17:22-23 ESV)
I get it, I think. But do I fully grasp it? I’m guessin’ not.
Those redeemed by the Son, bearing, in some manner, the glory of the Son as they are brought into relationship with one another. A unity which Paul says is through the Spirit (1Cor. 12:13, Eph. 4:3). A unity which reflects the essence of the Triune God, “one even as We are one.” And a unity which actively binds not only believer with believer, but believer with the God of their belief–Jesus in us, the Father in Him. Perfectly one.
And, here’s the beyond fathoming part for me this morning, “So that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You love Me.”
Loved of the Father as the Father has loved the Son. What is that?!?
We have been brought into an eternal Triune love. The same love the Father has had for the Son since before the foundation of the world (17:24b). Divine love. Eternal love. Perfect love. The love of God.
And Jesus, before going to the cross, looks to heaven and intercedes for His people, Father, let’s show them that love . . . let’s love them with that love . . . let’s bring them into such love. That they might share in Our glory. That they might bear Our glory.
Loved with the love of God. I get it. But I don’t fully grasp it.
Oh, that through the Spirit’s illuminating work I might, more and more, know the power “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19).
To know that which surpasses knowledge. To not only understand the fact that great love has been shown to us. . . . but to grasp the essence, nature, and implications of His divine love. And then, to live in the light of being enveloped in such love.
Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit, breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so.
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
His forever, only His:
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss
Christ can fill the loving heart.
Heaven and earth may fade and flee,
Firstborn light in gloom decline;
But, while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.
– George Wade Robinson (1838-1877)
Because of grace. For His glory.