Jesus is on the brink of being arrested. He knows the hour has come for Him to experience hell on earth. His friends are about to betray and deny Him. What’s running through His mind? What does He desire most? What does He pray for?
John 17:1 — Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You. (NIV)
Jesus was consistent. His desire was always to see His Father glorified — to be revealed in His fullness.
Do you also want to glorify God and reveal Him in His fullness?
Perhaps it’s time to pray like Jesus.
My hope is that by the end of this article you’ll be able to pray with confidence, “Father, glorify me so that I can glorify You.” I know that probably feels uncomfortable right now, but let’s dive into the Scriptures on the matter.
In the same prayer as above, Jesus prayed for all future believers with these words: “I have given them the glory that you gave Me, that they may be one as We are one—I in them and You in Me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.” (John 17:22-23, NIV)
Jesus has given us His glory!
Jesus’ glory is technically the fullness of God’s presence. He gave us the glory that He shares with the Father — the glory that enables Jesus to be “the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus gave us the same glory that He shared with His Father — the same glory that enabled Him to reveal the fullness of the Father in the earth — the same glory that enabled Him to say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (See John 14:6-11).
Look back at verse 22. It says that Jesus has given us the same glory that his Father gave Him so that we would “be one” just as Jesus and the Father are one — Jesus in us and the Father in Jesus. God’s desire is to reveal His fullness — His glorious presence — through ordinary Christians like you and me. Jesus didn’t give us a mere part of Himself. He gave His “all” for us. And He invites us into the fullness (or the “glory”) of God through union with Him.
Ephesians 1:23 says that God put everything under Jesus’ feet and “appointed Him to be head over everything for the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way” (emphasis added). You and I — as the Church — have become the embodiment of His glory. We are His “fullness.”
Second Peter 1:3 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” In the Amplified Bible, it says that God has called us “by and to His own glory and excellence” (AMP, emphasis added).
Jesus gives us His glory for a purpose: “I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are one.” Jesus gives us His glory to bring unity to His body (the Church), enabling us to reveal the fullness of the Father.
Our Lord’s goal is unity — specifically, a unity that reveals the fullness of God in the earth.
Jesus lived a life of open communication with His Father in Heaven — perfectly united with His will. He said that He only did what He saw His Father doing (John 5:19). And He wants to unite us with Himself! Jesus’ greatest desire before being crucified was that all believers, saturated in His glory, would be one — just as He and the Father are one.
The Glorious Church
What would it look like if people were drawn to the Church simply because they saw that we were united? I’m not talking about being united to a certain political party or social agenda — that wouldn’t even make sense since the Church is international. I’m talking about being truly united in Christ!
God has never been a divided God, and neither should His Church be a divided Church. Jesus isn’t coming back for a dismembered Bride. True unity only happens through love.
John 13:34-35 — A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (NIV)
Jesus did not say, “Everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love them.” He said “if you love one another.” Am I saying we’re not supposed to love everyone? Of course not. In fact, we’re commanded to love even our enemies (take a look at Luke 6). What I am saying is that there should be such an expression of humble self-sacrifice and mutual submission among us that the fullness of God’s nature is revealed in the earth. The same way each member of the Trinity seeks to honor and promote the others, we are to honor and promote each other in the name of Jesus (thereby revealing the nature of God). This sort of love is glorious, and it opens the eyes of the world to the fullness of God.
“Glory is the fullness of God, and that is a subject too high for our finite minds. Yet, we do know in part. When God gives His glory, He gives Himself. He cannot parcel Himself out in pieces — no man receives a portion, but all. The one who receives His love also gets His mercy, His holiness, and His strength.”
If God’s glory is the fullness of who He is, then we share in His glory when we are in Christ. Being “in Christ” and being “glorious” are not two separate things. It’s not like I’m in Christ, and now I have to strive to reach some point where I share in His glory. These are one and the same. When we’re hidden in Christ, we share in His glory. We share in everything He has for us. We become expressions of the fullness of God through Christ.
His plan is to glorify Himself as He glorifies you in Christ. He wants to glorify and unite us together so that all may come to know Him; to see Him in His fullness.
My prayer is that people see God for who He is through you and me. I want to be united with you through Christ, and I want to glorify God. This world is dying, and they need to see the One who gives life.
Matthew 5:16 — In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV)