Summary: Have you ever wondered what God expects Jesus disciples to be? Do you know what Jesus saw as THE purpose of his mission here on earth? Do you know how Jesus planned keep your faith safe? Be as One is a sermon script based on Jesus prayer from John 17 whic
When you were a child, did people ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? And what did you answer? Is what you are now what you planned to be then?
And if I asked you what is the primary thing that God wants his children to be what would your answer be? Perhaps loving, good, serving, a people who live God’s way?
At the time described in The Gospel of John chapter 17, Jesus had just spent the best part of 3 years working hard with his disciples. He had taught them about God in words and by the way he lived. They had seen the power and wisdom, love and goodness, holiness and purity of God in Jesus day by day. And so Jesus himself had become their purpose and direction in life. Jesus presence with them had empowered them to live as people of God. But they were still young in their faith and Jesus knew that his disciples focus and direction was still dependant upon his physical presence with them. And he knew that he would not be with them physically for much longer. He also knew that they were about to go through a time of great turmoil and testing as he was arrested, tried and crucified. And at that time they would all abandon him and each other to varying degrees. The unity and purpose they had so far experienced with him as their leader was about to disintegrate. If they were going to continue as God’s people, they needed a stronger and more permanent tie to God than simply Jesus physical presence had provided. Jesus knew his disciples each needed a mature faith in God; a faith like his.
So when Jesus and his disciples had finished their passover supper Jesus spent some time teaching to prepare his disciples for his arrest and crucifixion. Then last of all, just before they go to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prays this prayer out loud:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said: “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify you.” (All biblical quotes are from the Revised Standard Version with the ’thee’ and ’thou’ changed to you.)
Now says Jesus, the full purpose of my ministry on earth is to be revealed. And at this time, this time of crisis, the most important thing for Jesus to do was to bring glory to God through himself. Everything he had ever done as a man was leading up to this chance to glorify God with his life.
So what does glorification actually mean? What is this principal purpose of Jesus life?
A large section of our media industry is occupied with glory. Waiting rooms and homes are full of magazines and other publications that seek to display the beauty, the talents and the glory of actors, singers and other famous people. Whether it is the Woman’s’ weekly or dancing with the stars, you know the sort of thing I mean. People have an innate desire to be associated with glory, no matter how distantly.
Glory is the honour given as a result of a good opinion. So to glorify God is (in the words of author Bruce MilneMilne, B ( 1982) “Know the truth” IVP Leicester UK, p84-85.) “to pour out our beings before him in worship, thanksgiving and praise, delighting in him, blessing him; rejoicing in his truth, beauty, purity, and faithfulness; glorying in his grace, mercy, kindness and steadfast love; exulting in his sovereign freedom and boundless power; magnifying him for his majesty and glory; recognizing in him the ultimate reality, the truth of all truth, the joy of all joys, the love of all loves, Father, Son, Spirit, ever adorable Trinity.” That is glorifying God.
And through the hours and days to come, the betrayal and arrest, the trials and abandonment, the scourging and the crucifixion, through death and resurrection and ascension, Jesus purpose and prayer was that he bring God glory. Though we can all mouth words of glory, genuine glorification of God has to be lived as much as it is spoken and can only result from a clear knowledge of and experience of God himself. As John 1:18 says: “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only [Son], who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.”
So Jesus is saying that the time has come for God to reveal himself and his nature through Jesus so that God will be given the praise and honour due to Him. As God reveals the fullness of Jesus, the glory of Jesus, Jesus glorifies God because Jesus is God. And it would be easy to think that the glorification Jesus was praying for was limited to his own life and actions if it was not for the fact that Jesus continued with: