by Arnie Cole & Michael Ross
"'Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.'" John 17:1-5, NIV
This prayer, more than any other in the Bible, captures the heart and deepest yearnings of Jesus. He lets the disciples (and us) eavesdrop on His most intimate conversation with His Father.
Jesus knows that He is about to face more agony than any human being has ever faced in the history of the world--not just the pain of the cross, mind you, but the suffering and punishment for all the world's sins. And He knows He can back out and call it quits anytime He wants. So He prays for the strength and courage to go through with it, to succeed. If He does, there is no more perfect demonstration of God's love for us--or of His Son's immense glory.
Next, He prays for His friends. First, He asks for unity. It's as if He already knows the centuries of arguments and fights that are going to plague the church. Then He prays that even though the world may hate them, His followers will have the "full measure" of His joy. Again Jesus makes it clear that real joy doesn't depend on outward circumstances. Real joy comes from the depth of our relationship with God.
Excerpt from Growing in Christ. If you enjoyed today's devotional, check out more from goTandem Books.