Lord, Glorify Yourself Through Me
“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 to Him.” John 17:1-2
The Gospel of John, known sometimes simply as The Fourth Gospel, is different from the other three. John alone accounts for certain events in the life of Christ, while only he leaves others out. For example, the other three gospels record Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane as the final moment of intimate and personal preparation for the Awful Errand that awaited Him. But John is different. He records what the others leave out, namely, The High Priestly. It’s a sacred moment of a veil being pulled back and we are granted front row privilege into the heart of the soon-to-be-betrayed Jesus. When He is done, Jesus will walk out of that upper room, across the Kidron Valley and into the appointed place where Judas will bring his friends.
It’s a weighty moment for our Lord. So He prays. Even a cursory glance at John 17 reveals that Jesus first prays for Himself, then for His disciples, and then for all of us. But there is an apparent burden that undergirds all of it. Like a foundation beneath the house, if you like. Jesus is committed to the glory of His Father through His own glorification, which will come through sacrifice. “Glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.”
To give glory to God means, among other things, to ascribe Him worthiness through our worship and devotion. That is, God is worthy of all praise and adoration, and a lot of it. An eternity-full of it. To give glory to God is say to Him, “You, O Lord, are worthy of my praise and devotion, and I must decrease so that my affection for you may increase.” To do so is to put God squarely at the center of our considerations in this life.
This is Jesus’ concern in The High Priestly Prayer. He wants the Father to be exalted, or lifted up, because He is worthy. And what He wants for Himself is to be used up by God in that endeavor. “Glorify Me, so that I may glorify You.” Everything for Jesus, even His own sufferings and His own glory, centers on and flows toward the majesty of God.
If you keep a prayer journal (I don’t, but it’s a good idea!), look back and see how often your prayer life centers on this: “Lord, glorify yourself through me.” God is glorified in the intentional, selfless undoing of our own interests for the sake of His kingdom purposes. These kingdom purposes include the mundane and the ordinary, which is often the most difficult place to trust God, isn’t it? This decreasing of the self (John 3:30) comes only through prayer and by the power of the Holy Spirit, as God pours out His grace in your soul. The hour has come for God to be glorified in you. Is your soul prepared to glorify Him by advancing His purposes through the defeat of your own? This is my prayer for our beloved church this week.