Summary: We have so many "wants" in life. But, as children of God, we need to realize what we really ought to want.
“After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’” (John 17:1-5, NIV).
Right now, what is in your heart that you really want to do or to have?
During the previous month, I wanted to attend the seminar conducted by Dr. Steve Lawson, who came to Manila. Also, I wanted to visit my niece in Licab, Nueva Ecija -- more than four hours travel by bus from Manila. My niece is married to a pastor, who planted the HIS (He Is Sovereign) Church in their place.
We have so many “wants” in this world. And many of them, we could afford to dispense away with. But, whatever we want in this world ought to be secondary to the greater desire that we ought to have as the children of the Living and Great God.
So, this time, let’s focus on…WHAT WE OUGHT TO WANT… as we deal with our text (John 17:1-5).
As, children of the Living God, what should we really want? Should we desire anything just anyone else in this world? If not, then, what should we really desire?
Our text is a part of the prayer of Jesus that he uttered after His last supper with His disciples. He prayed it before he went to the garden of Gethsemane, wherein He prayed privately with that well known line, “Not my will, but thine be done.”
The public prayer of Jesus in John 17 was recorded by John – the one who described himself as, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” He prayed it while Judas was no longer with them. For he already left in order to betray Jesus.
In verses 1-5, Jesus prayed for Himself, while in verses 6-26, He prayed for His disciples.
Now, in our text (verses 1-5), we could point out at least two things that, as children of God, we ought to want in our life. What are those?
First, TO GLORIFY GOD (verses 1 and 4).
Jesus said in verse 1, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you” and in verse 4, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.”
He said, “…that your Son may glorify you” and “I have brought you glory on earth…” Jesus wanted to glorify His Father.
In verse 1, we could see the longing of Christ to glorify His Father. In verse 4, we could grasp that what Christ did on earth brought glory to the Father.
As the only begotten Son of God, Jesus is fully aware of the Glory of His Father. He fully knows the Joy of His Father and He fully knows how joyful it is to be with the Father. He fully knows the Power of His Father and He fully knows that there is no limit of good things that His Father can do. He fully knows the love of His Father and He fully knows the width, the length, the height, the depth – the vastness, when His Father loves. He fully knows the Holiness of His Father and He fully knows that anyone who is tainted with any blemish will not survive in His holy wrath.
And Jesus would like to uphold, to advance, to promote, to proclaim the exceeding Glory of His Father. He would like that whatever He did on earth would exalt and not demean or taint the Glorious Name of God.
When Jesus mentioned, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work…,” He did not just refer to His particular work on the cross. He referred to the totality of His actions as the work of salvation.
So, should Christians today focus on just one or two actions to glorify God?
They should realize that aside from suffering and dying on the cross, Jesus made known the Father to the people whom the Father gave to Him, as we read in verses 6 and 26. Also, He has given them the Word of God, as we read in verses 8 and 13.
What else? In verses 9 and 20, Jesus was praying for them. In verse 12, He kept and have guarded them. His work was not just to die on the cross. Jesus also said in Luke 4:43, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”