Father, the time 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.John 17:1b-2
We have reached the climax of the Upper Room Discourse as we look at the prayer with which our Lord concludes. It is one of the most profound passages in the New Testament. It has been called
the holy of holies of Scripture, and volumes have been written about this one chapter alone. Our Lord and His disciples had left the upper room and were making their way into the shadows of Gethsemane's garden. It was here that our Lord began His prayer. He prayed aloud in order that the disciples might hear what He had to say to the Father.
Jesus' first request is that He might be glorified. If we prayed that we would be exalted or magnified or glorified in order that the world might see how important we were, it would be a selfish request. But our Lord immediately adds,
that your Son may glorify you. So the ultimate end of His request for glory is that the Father may be glorified.
This is always the ultimate purpose for all existence: that it might glorify God. Glorifying means to manifest or display a person's hidden virtue or wisdom or power or beauty, to bring out that which is hidden away in him or her. And here our Lord is asking that He be glorified, that things hidden in Him might now be made manifest in order that He in turn might manifest the beauty and the glory and the wisdom of the Father.
Our Lord now tells us why He needs this additional glory. The Father had already glorified Him and would glorify Him again in His death. But the Lord is looking on beyond the cross. And He needs additional glory for the reason he gives in verse 2:
For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. He needs it in order to fulfill the additional work that was given to Him--that of giving eternal life to all whom God had called.
Our Lord is pointing out that in His resurrection and ascension, He will have power over all flesh. As He Himself said just before He ascended to the Father,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matthew 28:18b). The writer of Hebrews says that the Son upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3). So here it is evident that Jesus is aware He is Lord over the entire universe.
Jesus is Lord, whether people know it or not. He controls all the events of history and all the ordinary events of our circumstances. This is what our Lord means when He says here that He has power over all flesh, over all the nations. All the events of history and those reported in our newspapers have been allowed by the Lord as He regulates and runs the affairs of earth, in order to give eternal life to all those whom God has given Him.
I bow before you, Lord Jesus, as the One who has been given all authority in heaven and earth.
Can our finite knowledge bring lasting peace? Do we seek to know the One in whom we may have this peace?