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A systematic reading of the Scriptures, portioned to complement your daily time spent with God.
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John 17 : 1 - 26 "THE LONGING OF JESUS TO BE WITH HIS FATHER"
Day 256 – John 17
THE LONGING OF JESUS TO BE WITH HIS FATHER
What was Jesus wishing for when He uttered these profound words as part of His prayer?
“And now, O Father, glorify Me together
with Yourself, with the glory which I had
with You before the world was.”
Was He just thinking of enjoying “glory”? Was that what He had in mind? Or could He have meant something else?
A WELL-HIDDEN GLORY
In order to understand this deep and profound statement, we have to look at some of the observations John made concerning Jesus.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt
among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory
as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace
John the author was most conscious that Jesus possessed a special glory that no one else had. However this glory of His was well-hidden. When Jesus became incarnate and out on flesh, in order that He might live among men, only glimpses of His glory could be seen. The most prominent aspects of that glory were “grace” and “truth”.
The point to be made here is that John knew that there was a special glory that Jesus possessed before He put on flesh to walk on this earth! How hard it must have been for Jesus to set aside that glory that was rightfully His, and hide that glory!
IN THE BOSOM OF THE FATHER
We must not think that Jesus was being vainglorious when He uttered this prayer. He was not asking His Father to be allowed to bask in glory! We need to look at another text to comprehend what Jesus meant.
“No one has seen God at any time.
The only begotten Son, who is in the
bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
When Jesus spoke of enjoying the glory of the Father, He was in fact saying, that He longed to be in His Father’s bosom once again. How close that relationship must have been, between Father and Son. We could never fully fathom how deep and real that relationship was! But John knew that Jesus enjoyed a special relationship with His Father, and that it was the most natural thing for Jesus to long to be with His Father again.
THE NATURAL LONGING OF THE BELIEVER TO BE WITH JESUS
How can we understand this sense of longing that Jesus had in his heart? Can we ever understand that in our life? Let us take time to read what the Apostle said in the following texts. In a lovely and tender letter written to the Philippians Church, Paul wrote openly about how he felt concerning life and death.
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit
from my labour; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
For I am hard-pressed between the two,
having a desire to depart and be with Christ,
which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in
the flesh is more needful for you.”
Every mature believer longs for the day when he can see his beloved Saviour! Every child of God would long to see his Father in heaven. Paul had that deep and natural longing. If we had the same kind of longing, we would understand just why Jesus spoke about longing to see His Father and to enjoy His glory. To see His Father face to face is to enjoy the fullness of His glory!
In another epistle, Paul wrote about this same subject. Let us consider this text.
“…We also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly
waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”
Having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ may save us. However, we are still subject to all the laws pertaining to human life on earth. The truly born-again believer longs for the day that this sinful body would be exchanged for an immortal, sinless body. Paul called this “the adoption, the redemption of our body”.
While Jesus did not have a sinful body, nevertheless, He had a human body, and that was subject to many physical limitations! However, He looked forward to the Day when He would be given a glorified resurrected body and He would be able to stand in His Father’s glorious Presence!
Let us take a look at a third passage that would give us even greater understanding as to why Jesus longed for the Day when He would be glorified.
“For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened,
not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed,
that mortality may be swallowed up by life…
We are confident, yes, well-pleased rather to be absent
from the body and to be present with the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:4, 8
As we grow in our faith, may we also long to see our precious Saviour!