GARDEN of GETHSEMANE PART I, 15.04.19
THE GARDEN PRAYER
Got Questions?org, https://www.gotquestions.org/glorify-God.html
The Son Glorifies the Father, John 17:
1 Yeshua spoke these things; then, lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, so the Son may glorify You.”
2 Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him.
3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent.
4 I glorified You on earth by finishing the work that You have given Me to do.
5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be.”
Most believers are familiar with John 17, and view it as the ultimate and final prayer of Yeshua before going to His crucifixion. This is certainly true; however; there is so much to be gleaned from this prayer, this sharing from the Son’s heart, as He pours out his passion to His Father.
Notice that just in the first five passages of this chapter, 5 times, some variation of the word, “glory/glorify” appear. Let’s probe a bit more on the word meaning and its context here:
“To “glorify” God means to give glory to Him. The word glory as related to God in the Old Testament bears with it the idea of greatness of splendor. In the New Testament, the word translated “glory” means “dignity, honor, praise and worship.” Putting the two together, we find that glorifying God means to acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor by praising and worshiping Him, primarily because He, and He alone, deserves to be praised, honored and worshipped. God’s glory is the essence of His nature, and we give glory to Him by recognizing that essence” (https://www.gotquestions.org/glorify-God.html). So when Yeshua asks the Father to glorify Him (Yeshua), in order that He (the Son), may glorify His Father, that would translate into His having been elevated completely to equal status with His Father. Because how else would His Father’s glorification of Him be achieved, in order that He may glorify the Son?
Yeshua says: “glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world came to be” (John 17:5). If ever there were any doubt about Yeshua’s Deity, this singular statement substantiates, along with (John 10:31), “I and the Father are One,” His position as an equal part of the “Plural/Singular Godhead. Since He “glorified You (the Father) on earth by finishing the work that You (the Father) have given Me to do” (John 17:4), we can conclude that glorifying the Father is achieved through finishing whatever work He has assigned us to do, thus it “involves agreement, obedience, submission, and rehearsing His attributes or extolling Him” (https://www.gotquestions.org/glorify-God.html), submitting and surrendering, “valuing our own lives not even unto death” (Rev.12:11), just as Yeshua did, for Yeshua “humbled Himself—becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil.2:8). In His prayer to the Father, He is actually providing a model for His followers.
One wonders why Yeshua would even need to ask that He be glorified by the Father. . . . . Wasn’t this the intention? i.e., would not the Son necessarily and automatically be glorified through His sacrifice on the tree? So why did He even ask/pray for this? Do you think perhaps this is to demonstrate to the rest of humankind, that we are called to communicate, to supplicate, to bring it to the Lord in prayer, and that this is what we would need to do as followers of Yeshua, whether or not it is something which the Father has instructed us to do? He demonstrated the need to pray about it, regardless of whether He already knows about it, whether it is in His will and plan, we still bring it before Him. If Yeshua did it, we must need do likewise. This also serves as a model of surrender.
“You gave Him authority over all flesh, so may He give eternal life to all those You have given Him” (John 17:2). Doesn’t the Father know what He did/sent Him to earth to do? Clearly this statement is made for our benefit, isn’t it? Did Yeshua really need to make this statement to His Father? He is reiterating that He was given authority over all flesh, so He may grant eternal life to those the Father gave Him (there is Deity in that). This was a statement which gave validation and substantiates Who He was/is. If He Himself were not all God as well as all man how could He grant anyone eternal life? Yet there are those who call themselves “christians” who do not believe that Yeshua was all God as well as all man. It is verified by His own Words.
He proceeds to give the entire Gospel Message in a nutshell when He says:
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah, the One You sent” (John 17:3). Eternal Life has three prerequisites: (1) Knowing HIM/the Father and the Son; (2) Knowing/Acknowledging that He alone is the one true GOD; and that (3) He Himself, Yeshua Ha-Mashiach, was the One the Father sent to: (a) represent the Father, (b) save humankind. And whose benefit is this for, if not ours – His believers/followers? It is not for Himself; it is for our benefit.
“I glorified You on earth . . . .” (John 17:4) – so should we also now glorify HIM, as He glorified the Father. Just as He came to reveal the Father to us, we must now also reveal Yeshua, the Son, to others around us. He was our model; now we must also, in taking up our cross and following HIM, be a model to others.
When He refers to “the glory which I had with You before the world came to be (John 17:5),” He is revealing to us: (1) His previous/present/future, eternal existence; for He is “the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last” (Rev.1:8;22:13); (2) His position with the Father; and that (3) He is in fact One with the Father, for He in fact shared all glory with the Father even before He came down to earth to become the perfect sacrifice. This revelation was for the sole benefit of humankind, not for any personal benefit to Himself; He had all this before. When put into perspective, His sacrifice becomes even more profound,
So much of this prayer was not for Himself, but for us, as we will see as we continue to study the remainder of this prayer in the Garden. To be continued . . .
© 2017, 2018, revised 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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