17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
Traditionally ch 17 is known as the prayer of the High Priest – Jesus. It is probably the most important prayer uttered by Jesus as a human. He first prayed for Himself and the glory of the Father (1-5), then for His disciples (6-19), and then for all believers (20-26).
1. First thing first – Glorify God. No wonder the ultimate vision of Oakland church is set to be “Glorify God”. Glorifying God means acknowledging His greatness and giving Him honor by praising and worshiping Him. In this passage, the act of glorifying God is Jesus crucified on the cross, which was what He came for. But none of us will be nailed on the cross, so how do we glorify God? By doing what exactly God made us do. May I suggest that if God makes you be an athlete, you train, you practice, you endure and do your best to be one, you are glorifying God? If God makes you a construction worker, you learn how to do your job, do it well, and build good quality homes for people… you are glorifying God. So, are you doing what God made you to do and doing it with the best you can with the talents God gave you? If so, YOU ARE GLORIFYING GOD!
2. I sometimes prayed “Dear God, glorify your church so that your church may glorify you.” Do you know what went through my mind? Quite the opposite of the cross. I was thinking, “God, make us a great mega-church, with beautiful facilities, amazing services, and awesome programs so that we can let people know how good it is to believe in You.” Am I wrong? Not totally, but often God has a different idea than mine. The cross was the greatest means to Glorify God. Suffering the cross was an act of worship. The disciples bearing the cross are also a must to give God the glory. Suffering and glory often go hand in hand.
Dear Lord, I pray that you will be glorified by how we live and what we build. Amen!