High Priestly Prayer 1
The Hour Has Come
John 17:1-5 ESV
Jesus’ last act before going to the Garden of Gethsemane was a prayer to God the Father. In all the time I’ve spent in church listening to Sermons and Bible Study I don’t recall this text being used or taught in its entirety. Pieces of the text may have been studied, but not the whole prayer.
After studying it I believe Jesus knew what was ahead and what he would face before he was taken to the Cross on Golgotha.
This prayer was spoken not only for what He would suffer, but it would have been spoken for His beloved disciples.
Jesus would have thought of His Mother.
He would have remembered Mary Magdalene and the other women who followed Him.
We remember that In John 13:1b, “Jesus knew that his hour had come” and in John 13:2, “the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him.”
In John 13:11 we read, “he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
Jesus told the disciples plainly one of them would betray Him, but they didn’t seem to understand what that meant. The disciples even asked Jesus who would betray Him. In John 13:26-30 when the disciples took the Lord’s Supper, “Jesus gave them the answer, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.”
Clearly, Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas.
Still the disciples didn’t understand what the betrayal referred to that night.
According to scripture they thought perhaps because Judas was in charge of the moneybag he went out to but food or to give to the poor.
Jesus knew. Jesus knew He would wash their feet. He knew He would serve their last supper of wine and bread. He knew at the end of the supper Satan would enter Judas and he would leave to betray Jesus.
Jesus was fully human and fully divine. He knew. He would have been grieving because He knew Judas was meeting with the authorities to betray Him, He spoke to God the Father as God the Son. They were equal with one heart and mind.
In the beginning of the prayer in John 17:1-2, “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, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.”
Clearly this pray was different from the prayer Jesus taught them to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).
The tone was different. Jesus was speaking to Papa. We can almost picture a soldier fully trained and prepared to go to battle approach his dad to tell him it’s time for him to leave to go to fight in a war. The son going off to fight in battle is grown and trained. He has prepared for this moment for a while now. The son knew the moment of his departure would be difficult, but he also knew he had trained for this moment. The father, feeling older and ill prepared to let his son go to war knows how hard his son has worked. He knows his son is a trained soldier.
The father knows he cannot do what his son is about to do. He knows it’s not his calling, or his place. His son is the one who has been trained for this moment.
In that hour, not only is the son prepared to go to war, he knows he is the only one who can fight this battle. His father cannot do it for him.
He is the chosen one.
The father knows his son will be glorified by what he is about to do. He also knows what his son will do in battle will bring him glory, because this is his son…his only begotten son.
The father knows his son has been given authority to fight the most important battle of all time.
The father must let his son go fight.
In the case of a human father and son, the father can only think of his son in battle as the moments pass.
When God the Father sent God the Son into battle, He watched every moment. He felt everything his son felt. Every lash, every word, every drop of blood felt by His Son was felt by Him. They are ONE.
We know, we KNOW God the Father could have stopped it at any time. Jesus said it Himself in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
All things are possible with God.
God could have stopped the crucifixion, but they both knew blood had to be spilt. The price for eternal life had to be paid.
Jesus agreed to pay the price. He volunteered.
In John 17:3 Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
In His final prayer to His Father, Jesus the Son reminded Him that the price for our life was to be paid so we will KNOW life eternal in God. Because of what God the Son was about to do, we can know God and have eternal life in Jesus.
As Jesus spoke in John 17:4, “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
His words were not just reminding God the Father that through His sacrifice the price would be paid. God the Son was telling God the Father that He HAD to follow through. He had to complete the task. He was the chosen one.
So, in John 17:5, God the Son said, “And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.“
Jesus said to God, “Glorify me.” He was telling God the Father to fill Him with the glory of the Holy Presence of God the Father that had existed before time.
This wasn’t a moment when Jesus was seeking glory. He wasn’t looking to share the glory of God the Father.
God the Son was asking God the Father to shine His GLORY on Him…the eternal glory that is timeless, GLORY that has no beginning and no end because He NEEDED IT as He went to do battle for us. God the Son, yes fully divine, but also fully human was about to go into a battle that had never been fought before or since. Nothing like it had or has ever been done.
God the Son needed to know the presence of His own Holy God the Father was ON HIM as He went into battle.
The introduction of this High Priestly Prayer WAS a Holy moment in time.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Listen and Watch
Listen for the still small voice of God. Watch for God’s glory in your life.
In God, Deborah