"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 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. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them." John 17:20-26 NIV
Jesus, ever obedient to His Father in heaven, has come to earth on a mission to save the world. He does this willingly, for He loves His Father, and He shares His Father’s love for the world. He never falters in His purpose. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, in an agony of prayer that the cup would be removed from Him, His resolve stays firm; “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew 26: 42b.NIV
This is the picture of Jesus’ sacrifice that comes most readily to mind; the obedient, suffering Savior. But in the verses from John’s gospel above we see a different side of Jesus. Here is an animated Jesus. So in love with the Father; excited about revealing that wonderful Father to the disciples who, up to this point, have seen only a tiny glimmer of the Father’s wonder and majesty.
These verses show how eager Jesus was to tell the whole world of the wonderful Glory that He had seen. We see One who longs for men to realize the marvelous thing that has happened; that God so loved the world that He sent His only Son into the world for them.
The world has not known the Father, but “I have known You,” says Jesus, and He prays that the Father would reveal to men the joy of their salvation, that they might behold His glory.
And when they finally get it, finally see God for who He is, finally see Him as Jesus sees Him, then they may be one with Jesus and the Father just as Jesus and the Father are one! “That they may be one, just as we are.” Oh, happy day.
Doesn’t this prayer make you long for the day when we will know the Father as Jesus knows Him? Doesn’t this take the sting out of dying? Doesn’t it make you want to walk through that door of death right into the Father’s loving arms? Is this a picture of heaven, or what?
Jesus prays, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory.”
Me, too. I want that, too.
Thou art the Way, to thee alone
From sin and death we flee;
And all who would the Father seek,
Must seek him, Lord, by thee.
Thou art the Truth, Thy word alone
True wisdom can impart;
Thou only canst inform the mind
And purify the heart.
Thou art the Life, the rending tomb
Proclaims Thy conquering arm;
And those who put their trust in Thee
Nor death nor hell shall harm.
Thou art the Way, the Truth, the Life:
Grant us that way to know,
That truth to keep, that life to win,
Whose joys eternal flow.