Jesus Prays for His Glory – John 17:1-5

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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
April 21, 2019 (Resurrection Sunday)

Jesus Prays for His Glory
John 17:1-5


He is risen! Today is Resurrection Sunday and the celebration of Jesus Christ rising from the dead just as He said has been the focus of our worship this morning. The music, Scripture reading and even the baptisms have all been in celebration of Jesus’ resurrection which is the most glorious event in human history. When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved His claims to be the Messiah are true and that He will fulfill all of His promises. That includes the offer of forgiveness and eternal life to those who will believe in Him.

(As a quick cultural note. This day is commonly known as Easter, but it is better to refer to it as Resurrection Day. Easter is not a Biblical word and does not convey the importance of the day. The term, “Easter,” became associated with Jesus’ resurrection due to a cultural reference that mistranslated Acts 12:4 in the old King James Bible. In that verse Passover is mentioned as a time reference, but the translator stuck in the word, “Easter,” instead since that particular pagan holiday of fertility among the English occurred about the same time as Passover. The English speaking world has been pretty much stuck with the word ever since. I prefer to refer to this as Resurrection Sunday because it puts the emphasis back on the importance of the day – Jesus Christ is no longer dead. He has risen just as He said!

The Resurrection of Jesus

Jesus Christ was crucified on Friday fulfilling His role as the Lamb of God. He became the substitute sacrifice that payed the penalty of our transgressions of God’s laws. He made atonement for our sins. He was then buried in the tomb of Joseph of Aramathia. Because the chief priests and Pharisees were concerned about Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead, they had the tomb sealed and guards stationed to make sure that no one could steal the body. The guards began their duties Friday evening and continued all day Saturday and into the early morning hours of Sunday when something occurred they did not expect. They were prepared for someone trying to sneak in to get Jesus body. There were prepared for a group of people trying to do so. They were not prepared for what actually happened. Matthew 28:2-4 records the event as follows:

“And behold, a severe earthquake had occurred, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. 3 And his appearance was like lightning, and his garment as white as snow; 4 and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.” They were willing to fight people who might want to steal the body, but how do you fight an angel? And what would you do if you saw someone who was supposed to be dead walk out of the tomb? Jesus kept His promise. He was alive again!

There are those that would like to deny Jesus’ resurrection as being a myth or wishful thinking, but it is a documented fact of history with many eyewitnesses attesting to it. Jesus appeared to Mary, the two on the road to Emmaus, to the eleven disciples, and eventually to more than 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:5-6). The change in the disciples from cowering men hiding when no one was looking for them to towering men who boldly proclaimed Christ regardless of the persecution they received also demonstrates the reality of their claim to seeing Jesus’ risen from the dead and alive again. People are not willing to undergo persecution and be martyred for what they know is a lie. They proclaimed the gospel and Jesus’ resurrection from the dead because it is true.

Jesus’ Prayer in the Upper Room – John 17:1-5

This morning I want to take a look back to something that occurred just prior to Jesus’ death and resurrection in order to understand its purpose. Turn in your Bible to John 17. On the night before Jesus was crucified, He had celebrated the Passover meal with His disciples. During the course of the meal He had washed their feet as a very practical example of the humble service that His followers were to have to one another. After Judas had left to carry out his evil deed of betrayal, Jesus instituted the ordinance of Communion by taking some of the elements in the Passover meal and giving them new meaning as representations of Himself and the sacrifice He was about to make in order to free them from the bondage of their sins. He then sought to prepare them for the events that were about to occur. (See: The Final Passover, Part 1) & Part 2).

Jesus not only warned them again that He was about to depart, but detailed how that it would be to their advantage. He would be preparing a place for them in His Father’s house and promised to return again for them that they might ever be with Him (John 14:1-4). (See: The Promise of Heaven). Jesus explained their relationship to Him and therefore also with the Father. He gave them several promises concerning answered prayer and also His promise that they would have His peace and His joy if they would abide in Him and demonstrate their love for Him by their obedience. (See: Comfort for Those Who Believe, Part 1 & Part 2, and  Abiding in Christ,  and Loving One Another). He also  instructed them on the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, and the ministry He would have to them personally and to the world. Jesus was direct that they would face tribulation in this world, but they could be of good courage because Jesus would overcome the world. (See: Persecuted by the World & (See: The Ministry of the Holy Spirit Present Sorrow; Future Joy).

In John 17 Jesus prayed after He has finished His discourse to His disciples. They would leave for the Garden of Gethsemane at the conclusion of this prayer which is often referred to as The High Priestly Prayer for in it Jesus not only prays concerning what He is about to face Himself, but He also intercedes for the disciples and all those that would become His followers in the future. This morning we will be looking at the first section of this prayer which concerns His crucifixion.

1“These things Jesus spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, 2 even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent. 4 “I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do. 5 “And now, glorify Thou Me together with Thyself, Father, with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.

After Jesus finished what He wanted to say to His disciples, He directed His attention to His heavenly Father. He assumes the common position of prayer among the Jews. Our common practice is to bow our head and close our eyes so that we do not become distracted in prayer, but their practice was to lift their head and look up toward heaven. They would often have their hands raised too. That is the reason for Paul’s comment in 1 Timothy 2:8 “that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands.”

The prompting for this prayer is because the hour had now come upon Jesus. The word “hour” here is not a reference to 60 minutes on a clock, but to a short time period when definite things were going to happen. Jesus has spoken about this time period coming throughout His ministry. This was the time for which Jesus had come into the world (John 12:27). His hour was not the public ministry He had throughout Judea and Galilee. Jesus specifically said “My hour has not yet come” when He turned the water into wine in Cana of Galilee (John 2:4). His hour would not be the many miracles and casting out of demons. His hour would be marked by something even more marvelous than those. Jesus specifically said in John 5:25 that “an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. Those who hear shall live.” It was an hour that was set by God and could not be forced to come earlier. That is why all the efforts that had been made to kill Jesus earlier failed (John 7:30; 8:20). Jesus said in John 12:23 and 13:1 that His hour would be marked by His glorification and departure from this world. His hour would be a time in which His disciples would desert Him and He would be arrested, tried, crucified, and buried and then reach its climax in the resurrection and culminate in His ascension.

Glorify the Son and the Father – John 17:1

Jesus’ stated request is that the Father would glorify the Son, but this was not from a selfish desire, but for the purpose of the Son then being able to glorify the Father.

Many years ago in our study of Titus 1:2 I noted that the Father and Son had made promises to one another even before time began. While we cannot comprehend the full nature of the inter-trinitarian relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we should be able to grasp the concept that they have perfect love for one another and exist in perfect harmony being one godhead.

The Father’s plan for mankind was set before man was even created according to Ephesians 1:4-5. Mankind, or at least those who would be redeemed, would be for the Son’s glory and the Father would give them to the Son. We will see this in some detail when we get to John 17:23-26. In response, as Jesus states in John 6:37-40, the Son would lose none of those given to Him by the Father, and as Jesus states in John 10:17-18 & 14:31, He would willingly redeem man from sin through His own shed blood as a demonstration of His own love for the Father. Paul points out in Philippians 2:9-11 that this love will be demonstrated further in heaven when the Father exalts the Son bestowing on Him the name which is above every name to which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and all of that done to the glory of God the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:28 reveals that when all things have been subjected to Him, then Jesus subjects Himself and all that belongs to Him to the Father that God may be all in all.

Stated succinctly, every saved person is a love gift from the Father to the Son who does the work of redemption and in return gives everything back to the Father. All this was promised and confirmed between God the Father and God the Son before the world was created and time began. The redeemed are part of an eternal covenant demonstrating the love between two members of the Godhead. (How silly that some people think their existence is purely the chance collision of molecules over billions of years!)

Jesus’ prayer is for this to happen. Jesus was about to pay the price of sin so that He could redeem man as a love gift to the Father. In doing so the Father would glorify Him, and Jesus in turn would glorify the Father.

Glory Through Giving Eternal Life – John 17:2-3

Both the Son and the Father would be glorified through the redemption of man that grants eternal life to believers. The source of this eternal life would be in Jesus and its nature would be found in the relationship with God that salvation would bring.

Its Source – John 17:2. The source of eternal life is brought out in Jesus’ prayer. The Father gives to the Son authority over all mankind. Jesus would state this again after the Resurrection in Matthew 28:18 – “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” It is on the basis of this authority that Jesus gives the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations by going and baptizing those who respond to the gospel in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that He commanded.

Jesus’ authority over all flesh gives Him the right to both save and to condemn. The emphasis in this passage is upon salvation since He was about to purchase that salvation through the shedding of His own blood. But it should be kept in mind that this authority is also for judgment. As early as John 5:22 Jesus taught that the Father had committed all judgment to the Son.

The gospel message is a two-edged sword. It is a message of life to those who believe and turn from their sin to faith in Christ, but it is a message of condemnation to those who will not believe. Again, the emphasis here is that all that the Father gives to the Son will be given eternal life by the Son, however, keep in mind that this same authority means those who will not believe will be judged by the Son.

Its Nature – John 17:3. The nature of eternal life is bound up in the relationship with God that redemption restores. Too often our tendency is to think of eternal life as a quantity of life instead of a quality of life. The fact is that even the wicked will exist eternally. The difference is the nature of that life, not the extent of it.

Jesus speaks of the judgment of the sheep and the goats, the righteous and the unrighteous in Matthew 25. Those who do not do not believe and follow Jesus are the goats to whom He says in verse 41, “‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.” Those who do believe and follow Him are the sheep to whom He says in verse 34, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Jesus brings in the time element of both heaven and hell in verse 46 stating, “And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Eternal life is not a reference to how long a person exists, but of the quality of that life because the person is brought into a loving relationship with their Creator. Here in John 17:3 that is brought out by describing eternal life as knowing the only true God and Jesus Christ whom the true God sent. The word for “know ” here (ginwvskw / gin sk ) is knowledge gained by experience. Life is not found in academic knowledge about God, but in the living knowledge of having a relationship with God. Even the demons have a good theology of God, but salvation is not brought about by having an intellectual understanding of good theology. That theology must be believed and applied in a personal relationship with Christ brought about through His sacrifice for your sins. That is eternal life.

Those that are given this eternal life will then exist to the praise of the glory of both the Father and the Son. The eternal promises made between the Father and the Son will be accomplished in the redeemed. True Christians find their eternal purpose in the glory of God and will continue in that forever. While we cannot understand why God would choose to do all this or why it would please Him when He is self-sufficient and not in need of us in any manner, way, shape or form, we can be grateful that He has, out of His own character, extended His love to we who were dead in our transgressions and make us alive together with Christ and save us by His grace (Ephesians 2:5).

Glory on Earth – John 17:4

Jesus glorified the Father while on earth by accomplishing the work the Father had given Him to do. Jesus did the will of the Father and manifested Him to the world. That is why the apostles can later say that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15), and “the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus’ own claim in John 14:9 was that to have seen Him was to have seen the Father. In John 14:10 Jesus’ declared His teaching, His very words, were from the Father abiding in Him doing His works. Jesus’ miracles in which He demonstrated authority over sin, disease, demons, nature and even death manifested the Father’s power and majesty (John 14:11).

Jesus’ obedience unto death and the subsequent resurrection from the dead Himself would be the culmination of glorifying the Father on earth, for it would be the display of not only the Father’s power to raise Him, but also of the Father’s righteousness and justice in accepting Jesus’ sacrifice for sin as stated in Romans 3:25-26.

Glory That Was Before the World Was – John 17:5

Jesus concludes this section of the prayer in verse 5 by asking the Father to restore Him to the glory He had with the Father before the world even existed. Again, this glory is not for Himself alone, but that the Father might be glorified in it too. Jesus is the perfect example of humility, for even in such a prayer to simply be restored to what He had previously had, the glory is not centered on Him, but includes the Father as well. Jesus is never self-centered.

What a thought it is then that God is conforming believers into the image of His Son as Paul states in Romans 8:29! As you mature in your walk with the Lord, you too become less self-centered and more centered upon Him and doing His will. This directly corresponds with an increasing faith in Him, for it is that faith that causes you to step forward in trust of His promises to do His will instead of seeking your own will. It is as increasing faith that makes it possible to willingly submit your will to His.

We cannot imagine the full glory that Jesus had with the Father before the world began simply because we cannot comprehend the full majesty of God’s glory. We know that Moses’ face radiated from it for a long time after just seeing the “afterglow” of God’s glory after already passing by (Exodus 34:29). God could not reveal His full glory to Moses, for no man could even withstand the glory of God’s face and still live (Exodus 33:20). We know from 2 Chronicles 7 that when the glory of God filled the Temple that it drove everyone outside. When the glory of an angel causes a man like Daniel to fall on His face (Daniel 10), then how much greater is the glory of God?

The description of heaven given in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 is also beyond our understanding. What kind of creatures are the Seraphim that have six wings and fly about crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,” and which have eyes around and within? What is this throne which is high and lifted up with a rainbow around it like an emerald in appearance? What amazement there must be to behold a throne from which proceed flashes of lightning and peals of thunder and upon which sits someone who is described as a jasper stone and sardius in appearance? What majesty is there in seeing not only these living creatures with their different appearances, but also the 24 elders present around the throne clothed in white garments and wearing crowns on their head who call out “Worthy are Thou, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for Thou didst create all things, and because of Thy will they existed, and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Can we really understand the glory Jesus had with the Father before the worlds began? Can we really understand what it must have been like for Him to set that glory aside to become a man, dwell among us and then willingly die for our sins? Obviously not. Yet, as Philippians 2 points out, that is exactly what He did and why the Father “exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in the heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Jesus prays here that this former glory would be restored as He completes the final aspect of the redemption plan. That is why Hebrews 12:2 can state of Jesus that “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down on the right hand of the throne of God.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer here. The rest of it is fulfilled in His ascension to Heaven. God the Father glorified God the Son, and God the Son glorifies God the Father. In the process of this, the Son paid the redemption price of man’s sin, and it was accepted as sufficient as proven by Jesus’ resurrection. He now the just and the justifier offering the hope of eternal life to all who will believe in Him. His resurrection and ascension proving the truth of His claims and promises.


If you have placed your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, then proclaim your joy to everyone. Jesus Christ is alive! Your sins are paid for and forgiven. You have been clothed with His righteousness that you may be adopted into God’s family. You have a personal relationship with the Creator of everything that will last throughout eternity.

If you do not have the confidence that if you died today that you would be with the Lord in Heaven, then I have good news for you. You can! 1 John 5:13 sates, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.” Please talk with me or one of our other church leaders before leaving. We would love to show you how Jesus’ resurrection not only brought about glory for Himself and the Father, but enables you to have eternal life.

Sermon Notes – 4/21/2019
Jesus Prays for His Glory – John 17:1-5


The Resurrection of Jesus – Matthew 28; 1 Corinthians 15:5-6

______were placed at Jesus’ tomb for fear that His body would be stolen and then claimed to be resurrected

Matthew 28 – the guards were prepared to fight people, but they never expected to meet an _________

1 Corinthians 15:5-6 – The resurrected Jesus was seen by many people individually & in ________up to 500

Jesus’ Prayer in the Upper Room – John 17:1-5

After the Passover meal was completed & Judas had left, Jesus ______the disciples about what was to come

At the conclusion of His teaching, Jesus offers what is knows as The High Priestly __________

Jesus followed the common ___________ practice of prayer – lifting up His eyes to heaven (See 1 Tim. 2:8)

This prayer was prompted by the “_________” for which He had come arriving – John 12:27

His “hour” would be marked by His ______________& departure – John 2:4; 5:25; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1

Glorify the Son and the Father – John 17:1

Titus 1:2 reveals the Father & Son had made _____________to one another even before time began

The Father’s plan for mankind was set ___________ man was even created – Ephesians 1:4-5.

Every saved person is a love ____from the Father to the Son who does the work of redemption & then gives everything back to the Father. (John 17:23-26; 6:37-40; 10:17-18; 14:31; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:28)

Jesus’ prayer is for this to ___________though it also meant His crucifixion

Glory Through Giving Eternal Life – John 17:2-3

Its Source – John 17:2. The Father gives to the Son ____________over all flesh

All authority – including both salvation & ___________- belongs to the Son – Matthew 28:18-20; John 5:22

The gospel is a two-edged sword bringing life to those who _________& condemnation to those that do not

Its Nature – John 17:3. Eternal life is bound up in the ____________ with God that redemption restores

Matthew 25 – both the righteous and unrighteous will ___________ eternally

Eternal life is a reference to the __________ life a person has in a loving relationship with their Creator

Good theology cannot lead to salvation unless it is believed and ____________ to life

Eternal promises made between the Father & the Son are accomplished in the ___________who praise Him

Glory on Earth – John 17:4

Jesus glorified the Father while on _____doing His will & manifesting Him to the world (Col. 1:5; Heb. 1:3)

Jesus revealed the Father by His words and miracles which came from the ____________(John 14:9-11)

Jesus death & resurrection glorified the Father displaying His _____, righteousness & justice -Rom. 3:25-26

Glory That Was Before the World Was – John 17:5

Jesus prays for His _____________to be restored including the Father in that glory

God is working to conform you into the ___________of His Son – Romans 8:29

The full glory that Jesus had with the Father before the world is _________ our imagination

His full glory would _______man (Ex. 33:20) and even its “afterglow” caused Moses’ face to shine (Ex. 34)

The description of heaven given in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 is ___________what we understand

We cannot understand the glory Jesus left behind to become a man – yet He was __________and did it

The joy set before Jesus that enabled Him to endure the cross included this future _______________to glory

Jesus’ _______________is partial fulfillment of His prayer to be restored to glory


If your faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ – ______________Him to others!

If you are not certain you will be with Christ in heaven when you die – _________________ – 1 John 5:13

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:1-5. God the Father glorified God the Son and God the Son glorifies God the Father. In the process, the redemption price of man’s sin is paid and we are offered the hope of eternal life. Do you have this life? He who has the Son has the life – 1 John 5:12-13

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times the word “glory” is used 2) Talk with your parents about how Jesus is glorified and how He glorifies God. How can you glory Jesus?

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is the meaning of “Easter” and how did it come to be associated with the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus? Recount the events of the resurrection of Christ. How does the presence of the guards at the tomb verify the resurrection of Jesus? What historical evidence is there that Jesus was raised from the dead? Why do people try to discount this event? What is the context of John 17? What was the common position of prayer among the ancient Jews? What does “the hour” in John 17:1 refer to? How does regenerate man fit into the plans made between God the Father and God the Son? How does the Son glorify the Father? How does the Father glorify the Son? What is the source of eternal life? What is the result of proclaiming the gospel for someone that will believe in Jesus? Of someone that will not believe in Jesus? How long will those who are sent to hell exist? What is the nature of eternal life? How did Jesus bring glory to God while He was on earth? How would His death bring glory to God? What was Jesus’ glory like before the world was? What are some of the Biblical descriptions of God’s glory? What is your relationship with the Lord Jesus like? How can it improve? What steps will you take this week to implement those improvements?

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