1. Jesus' final sermon to His disciples (Jn. 13:31-16:33) is followed by His high-priestly prayer (Jn. 17:1-26). This sermon is a beautiful summary of the Gospel which He had taught His disciples and this prayer is for Himself (vss. 1-5), the disciples (vss 6-19), the church of all ages (vss. 20-23), the everlasting, security of all of His children (vss. 24-26). Jesus is the great High Priest, the Mediator between God and man. Hebr. 7:25; 9:24; I Jn. 2:1; Rom. 8:34; Is. 53:12; Lk. 23:34. The Bible does not tell us to pray to the saints nor does it say that they pray for us. But Jesus does pray for us.
2. Six times in this prayer Jesus says, "Father." (vss. 1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25). Twice on the cross He said "Father." (Lk. 23:34.46). And because of Jesus we can say "Our Father."
3. Jesus here says "The hour has come." Which hour? The hour for Him to suffer, die, rise and ascend into heaven. The hour to save mankind. Previously He had said that His hour had not yet come. Jn. 7:30; 8:20. But at Jn. 13:1 Jesus knew that His hour had come. And He repeats it here.
4. It is His hour to be gIorified, that means His selfless service to His Father and all people. It is His hour to glorify the Father, to serve Him by saving all people. It is His hour to glorify sinners, to die for them and take them to heaven. The word "glorify" or "glory" appears five times in these five verses. As true God Jesus had this glory from eternity (vs. 5). As the incarnate God- man Jesus' human nature received God's glory to save mankind. Now He is sitting at the right hand of the Father in glory and will glorify us when we die.
5. In vs. 1 where Jesus says "Glorify" He must mean glorify My human nature" because He had the glory of God before the world began (vs. 24). Likewise in vs. 5 when He says glorify ME" He must mean His human nature because the divine nature already had this glory before the world began. And the word "Son" in vs. 1 refers to His divine nature. Therefore, both natures, human and divine, are mentioned side by side. The same is true in many, many passages. For example: Jn. 1:14; Acts 3:15; I Cor. 2:8; Gal. 4:4; I Tim. 3:16. The Council of Chalcedon (451 AD) spoke of Christ this way: "One and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably." He is true God, begotten of the Father from eternity and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary.
6. How does Jesus glorify the Father? He answers that in vs. 2: the Father has given the God-man rightful authority over all of mankind so that everything which the Father has given to the God-man may have life eternal. The Father gave me to the Son as a gift. And the Son gives me eternal life. I did not choose Him. He chose me. I did not save myself. He saved me. Nobody makes a decision to be saved.
7. In vs. 3 Jesus explains what eternal life is. It does not begin when I die. Eternal life means to know God, the only genuine God now already. The verb "to know" is the same as Jesus used at Jn. 10:14: "I am the Good Shepherd and I know those who are mine and those who are mine know me." "To know" means the intimate knowledge between Redeemer and the redeemed. See also Jn. 10:27-28 and II Tim. 1:12.
8. In vs. 4 Jesus speaks about glorifying the Father, clothing, the Father in splendor. The angels sang of it when they said: "Glory to God in highest and on earth Peace, good will toward men." Jesus glorified God by completing the work which the Father gave Him to do. What is that? Everything from conception until the ascension. He came not to be served, but to serve, to give His life as a ransom. Mk. 10:45. Men glorify themselves because of their sinful pride. Read Jn. 5:41-44; 8:48-50; 12:41-43. "The glory of men" is sin and sinful pride. "The glory of God" is salvation and everlasting life. We always say in the Lord's Prayer: For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever." Jn. 1:14 says: "We beheld His glory." Every believer has seen Jesus' glory and will see it forever in heaven.
THEME: Jesus' Hour Of Glory
At Jn. 7:30 no one laid a hand on Jesus because His hour had not yet come." The same is said at 8:20. No one killed Jesus. He died willingly. At Jn. 10:18 He said "No one takes My life from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have the authority to give it up and I have authority to take it again." In our text Jesus says: "Father, the hour has come." His hour of glory was the hour of death and the cross.
I. GOD'S GLORY IS THEE CROSS. St. Paul said: "We preach Christ crucified ."The cross was the center and consummation of His life. Christians identify with Christ by crossing themselves.
JESUS PRAYED,"GLORIFY YOUR SON SO THAT THE SON GLORIFIES YOU."
1. The incarnation glorified the Son. Jn. 1:14 says "The Word was made flesh and lived among us and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only- begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." God glorified His Son by giving Him as a gift to all men. As true God Jesus had the splendor and glory of God from eternity. Vs. 5. This glory was given to the human nature of Jesus to save sinners. People seek glory by getting wealth, power and a big name. God is glorified by giving His only Son. When He was born, the angels sang "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace."
2. The work of Jesus glorified both the Father and the Son. Jesus asked the Father to glorify the Son so that the Son could glorify the Father. How did He do that? By giving the Son authority over all of creation not to rule it, but, to give eternal life. In vs. 4 Jesus says: "I have glorified You on earth by completing the work which You gave Me to do." What was this work? Jesus revealed the true God to us, the God of everlasting mercy. Jesus took the sins of man upon Himself. Jesus became poor so that man might become rich. The God-man suffered and died, became a curse, to remove death and curse from mankind. In the Person of Christ God died. The God-man, Jesus Christ, truly died and rose again.
II. OUR GLORY IS THE CROSS.
At Gal. 6:14 we read: "God forbid that I should boast of anything except the cross of Christ through which the world is crucified to me and I am crucified to the world." Jesus' cross separates me from the sinful world and the sinful world from me.
A. The cross gives me knowledge of the only, genuine God. The works of nature give natural man a knowledge of His power and Godhead so that man is without excuse. Paul discusses this at Rom. 1:19-20. The invisible things of creation are clearly seen from the creation of God. But this knowledge of God does not save man. The unbelieving Jews at Jesus' time had a natural knowledge of God but they remained dead in their unbelief. Many people today have a natural knowledge of God but they do not have a saving knowledge of God. Why did Jesus come? Why did the Father glorify Him? So that people could know the only genuine God through Jesus Christ. Vs. 3. Natural knowledge of God frightens man. Jesus gives knowledge of God which comforts. He said: "I know My sheep and My sheep know Me. My sheep hear My voice and I know them and I give them eternal life."
B. The cross gives eternal life. Vss. 2-3. God gave His Son, God glorified His Son, so that everyone who believes in Him has everlasting life. Why does a Christian rejoice? Because he has life eternal now already. To know God and Jesus is to have eternal life. It's like a check which God has addressed to each of us and signed with Jesus' blood. The saved thief on the cross is a picture of every believer. The most important thing on Mt. Calvary was the gift of everlasting life to all men.
How are the Father, the Son and all mankind glorified? By the coming of the God-man, Jesus Christ, Who met death and conquered it, Who took away the sins of the world, Who says: "Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavily-laden and I will give you rest."