We are examining Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17 over the next few posts, asking what prayer meant to Him. Let’s continue our thinking on the first few verses. We saw that prayer prepared the Lord Jesus for His “hour.”
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus then focuses on the issue of glory. He asks that the Father “glorify” the Son. There is a mutual glorifying that Jesus desires. He states that He had brought the Father glory on earth by finishing the work the Father gave Him to do. But, wait. The work of atonement was just beginning, right?
What was the work the Father gave Him to do that He says He had “finished”? He had lived out the perfect human life, resisting the temptations of the Evil One, and revealing the Father to His disciples. He had faithfully taught the truth, healed the sick, and even raised the dead. These “works” were important, but were signs leading up to His great work, giving Himself for the sins of the world.
We are to be like our Lord. We are to “finish” the work He has given us to do. What work has He assigned to you? Of course, there is always more work to do. But take the time in prayer and thank the Lord for the work He has empowered you to finish. (to be continued)