“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. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:1-3)
Who writes or speaks like this? This prayer is the fullest account of Jesus communion with the Father. It is a glimpse at the glory and harmony that existed between the members of the Trinity before the world began.
We are never likely to plummet the full depths of this prayer, but there are two things that stand out for me at this time.
First is the Dignity with which Jesus Christ carried Himself. All flesh has been given to this God-Man. The keys of heaven and earth are in the hands of Jesus Christ and He governs the time and seasons of our lives. Every soul and the eternal destiny of every living thing is in His power. And we are invited by Him to enter in to that Communion which He has shared with the Father for all eternity.
And this is eternal life. Entering in to this Fellowship with the Godhead.
Jesus came in to the world as the Christ. The Saviour of Humanity and He did it with dignity. He did it with joy and with a glory that this world will never fully comprehend. He came in to the world as Ruler and King.
Jesus is not like Krishna who spends his days dipping his toes in butter and then putting his foot in his mouth. When Go entered in to this world as a man He did it with Grace and Glory. Given His Office, we are warned to tread carefully before Him. Here is a Saviour whose place in History, whose government of this universe, whose dignity, glory and power all combine to prove that He is divine and worthy of all reverence.
Because He is true dignity invested in humanity, He alone is able to bestow dignity.
Jesus knew that the disciples were misfits. Uneducated and often undignified. Yet he chose to bestow on them true dignity. He regarded them as faithful to the word (17:6). He regarded them as separated from the world (17:14). He regarded them as clean (17:17-19). And He welcomed them in to the hallowed ground of joyful fellowship with the Father (17:20-21) and glorified them (17:22) by revealing His glory to them (17:24).
What kind of God does this? What kind of God invests His people with this kind of undeserved dignity?
Our motivation for worshipping Jesus Christ is the overwhelming awe we have for the way He fulfils His office for mankind. Our motivation for extending that dignity to others is His willingness to remove our shame and call us who had no dignity, dignified.
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