JOHN:The Book Of Heartfelt Belief
Jesus Prays For Himself
Jerry A. Collins
This passage has been described as the Ďholy of holiesí of the NT. First, it is the longest recorded prayer of Christ. It opens a window into Jesus most intimate concerns and thoughts. Second, it is a prayer for Himself that He may be glorified, for His disciples to be protected and sanctified and for the church that she might be unified. Jesus prayer for Himself is introduced in 1-2 and fleshed out in 3-8. The first request of Jesus is that he might be glorified. Four times in this section the word glorified is used. What does it mean? It means to manifest and display something about someone that may have been hidden or unknown. Today we would advertise this. Jesus prayer is for the hidden or unknown virtues and qualities of God to be advertised. That the character, wisdom, beauty, plan, and resources of God be manifested. We are to glorify God vs 10. This is the chief end of mankind (Rom 11:36; 16:27; 1 Cor 10:31; Eph 1:6, 12, 14). The chief purpose of our lives is to manifest and advertise the character, virtue and beauty of our God that has been previously hidden or unknown. What kind of advertising are you doing? What has been advertised about God in your eating habits, decision making, spending priorities, parenting, use of words, handling of difficulty. What is being said about God to the world around you as you live your life every day? Whatever we do whether we eat or drink to all to the glory of God. Now Jesus is concerned about Godís glory. Twice Jesus asks to be glorified in 2 different ways and for 2 different reasons.
1. GLORY IN AND BY MEANS OF THE CROSS 1-4
Once again Jesus is praying. The
disciples had seen Jesus do miracles and had heard Him teach but apparently Jesus prayer life was what impressed them more. I say that because in Luke 11:1 they asked Jesus to teach them to pray after listening to Him pray. They never asked Jesus to instruct them on how they could teach like He taught or do miracles or confront the Pharisees or be compassionate. RELATIONSHIP The prayer begins with Father. We can pray to God our Father because we have access to Him just as Jesus did. 6 Times Jesus refers to His Father and as the prayer intensifies so does the description about the Father. From Father to Holy Father vs11 to O Righteous Father vs26. Here is the only perfect relationship that exists. His relationship with the Father was such that it was appropriate, legitimate and valuable to ask Him to grant a request.
CRISIS Jesus says the hour has come and it begins as soon as the first events occur which initiate the process leading to Jesus death. (12:23; 13:1) use same phrase. Everything is moving toward this climax and it is this crisis that Jesus prays will be the means of glorifying God.
GLORY So the cross with its agony, blood, grief and loneliness he is asking will glorify both He and the Father. That by means of the cross something hidden to the world will be advertised. What he wants to be advertised is (1) that God has given Him power over all flesh. So by means of the cross Jesus has the right to be Sovereign over all the nations and people of the earth. That means he is in charge of everything and (Matt 28:18; Phil 2:9-11; Col 2:15) all confirm that this has and will happen. Jesus is Lord whether men know it or not. In control of all events of history, all things in our lives. (2) that He will gain the right to give eternal life to all whom the Father brings Him. Because of the cross only Jesus can give eternal life. There is no eternal life without Jesus because His sacrifice was the only possible remedy for our sin to be removed so that we can have access to God. Sin cannot exist in His presence and separates from life with God. What is this eternal life? Eternal life is not simply endless existence. Everyone will exist somewhere forever. It is knowing God vs 3. So eternal life is being in relationship with God the Father. We will be in relationship with Him forever in eternity. Family, for example, is being in relationship by sharing in the knowledge of one another for life. The knowledge of one another that grows throughout a lifetime makes the family life a rich and full relationship that is ever expanding and increasing with deeper understanding and fellowship. This is true of our eternal life with the Father and the Son in intimate contact and relationship with our innovative, imaginative and creative God without sin to ruin that relationship forever. So the cross advertises Jesus as both as Lord and Savior.
2. GLORY BY MEANS OF COMPLETING THE WORK 4, 6-8
What was this work given to him that he know has completed that advertised His Father. First I manifested your name to the men. A lot has been written about life of Christ, multitudes following, miracles performed, teaching done but Jesus is telling us that all of that was designed to instruct eleven men. He manifested Gods name to them. Your name stands for everything you are and have. He revealed all the resources of God, the priorities of God, the wisdom of God, the plan of God. His attitudes and actions told the story for them. As Jesus drew from and depended upon the Father now they would draw from Jesus example and teaching and depend upon Him. The result of this insight was that they have kept your word. This is always the measure of our commitment. Our response to the Word of God will make us or break us. These disciples believed Jesusí word and though not perfect obedience they had the correct commitment to it. Second, I have given then your words. He came to teach these eleven disciples a different way of living that was counter-cultural. It was kingdom living. The sermon on the mount, the parables and stories, the rebukes, the example of prayer, the miracles, the personal instruction revealed an entirely different approach to life than anything the world could have known. The disciples were beginning to catch on 16:29-30 even though they still had a ways to go. This was the work He came to do convince 11 men. The crowds abandoning Him were no concern.
3. GLORY BY MEANS OF RETURNING TO HEAVEN 6
Before He came to earth he was not a redeemer but a creator. The One behind the mysteries of nature who invented the marvels of the universe. His prayer is to resume the complete manifestation of His deity and work. That has been laid aside for awhile but now that work is finished so prays for the return to his original status as Son.