Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jesus Shared the Glory with the Father Before the World Began (John 17)

When Jesus had finished saying all these things [about himself to the disciples] he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the time has come. Reveal the glory of your Son so that he can give the glory back to you. For you have given him authority over every man and woman in all the earth. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life – by knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth! I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to. And now, Father, reveal my glory as I stand in your presence, the glory we shared before the world begin
(John 17:1-5, The Living Bible, bracket mine)

As we read John 17, the time for Jesus’ glorification had arrived. If the Father would glorified the Son in the crucifixion and resurrection to come, the Son could in turn give eternal life to His followers [Remember: Eternal life is not so much as the longevity of life but the fullness of life, namely, life in fellowship with God]. In doing so, Jesus would glorified the Father. Jesus clearly stated that people could have eternal life by “knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth.” In this statement, Jesus affirmed that He had glorified the Father on earth by “doing everything” that the Father had given Him to do. This work would be accomplished through His death on the cross.

Then, what amazed me is, as Jesus looking beyond the cross to His resurrection and ascension, He asked the Father to restore the glory He had enjoyed with the Father “before the world begin.” Wow! There are two main proofs that Jesus’ prayer was answered: 1) Before Stephen was stoned to death, he exclaimed, “Look, I see the heavens opened and Jesus the Messiah standing beside God, at his right hand!” (Acts 7:56); and 2) After Jesus ascension to heaven, the Apostle Paul explains…
Though [Jesus] was God,
did not demand and cling to his rights as God,
but laid aside his mighty power and glory,
taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men.
And he humbled himself even further,
going so far as actually to die a criminal’s death on a cross.
Yet it was because of this that God raised him up to the heights of heaven
and gave him a name which is above every other name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow in heaven
and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father
(Philippians 2:6-11, The Living Bible)
To me, clearly, Jesus knew who He was: the Son of God. Today people have wide ranging of ideas of Jesus’ identity. Some see Him as an idealistic religious leader; others highlight His moral teachings and example. Some call Him a radical, a revolutionary, and others focus on His concern for the poor, a socialist. While some views may have a bit of truth, these are the most important facts about Jesus: He is fully human and fully divine; He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead; eternal life can be found only through faith in Him (that mean, for wrenched sinners like us, “the only way” is in fact, God’s grace to us). We can know a lot about various religious practices, the Scriptures, the exemplary of moral life and good works (of course, these are also important). But that means nothing unless we know Jesus.

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