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14 June 2015

John 17 - Part I
A Glorified Father


John 17:1-3: 1. These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

The phrase power over all flesh would be better rendered as, authority over all flesh. Notice that it is the Father who gave the Son this authority, another subtlety in scripture indicating that the Father is greater than the Son, in their sphere, and all things come from Him. What does the phrase mean? John 16: 11, 33: 11. ...the prince (ruler) of this world is judged. ....33. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Jesus did not physically overcome the world. He did however, overcome the worldly way of thinking, or the flesh - the carnal mind (Romans 8:5-6), man’s way of thinking. Every person is ruler of their own spiritual world - you make the choices. To be “in” Christ is to be in his way of thinking, which brings an inward peace. Those of a worldly mind-set are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt, and they have no inner peace (Isaiah 57:20-21).

Eternal life (also called everlasting life) is a spiritual quality of life that comes only, from knowing the only true God - the Father, and the one He sent to save us - the Son of God. John 5:24: Verily, verily, I say unto you, the one hearing my word and believing the One having sent me, possesses everlasting life, and will not come to judgment; but is passed out of the death into the life (Greek Interlinear - compare this to the KJV & others). The word Jesus is speaking is that of the Father. Everyone goes before the judgment seat of Christ (2Cor 5:10) before he returns. However, only the wicked go through a final judgment - after the second resurrection.

John 17:4-8: 4. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do. 5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6. I have manifested thy name unto the men which you gave me out of the world: thine they were, and you gave them me; and they have kept thy word. 7. Now they have known (g1097) that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are [from] thee. 8. For I have given unto them the words which you gave me; and they have received them, and have known (g1097) surely that I came (out) from thee, and they have believed that you did send me.

The Greek words for the verb glorify (doxazo g1392) and the noun glory (doxa g1391) appear 6 times in this chapter. Strong really does not define doxa beyond the use in the KJ Bible. It is derived from dokeo (g1380), which is defined by Thayer and others as to think, be of opinion, imagine, consider, appear which is a similar meaning given to doxazo. It is to think, recognize a person or thing for what it is, and expresses the subjective mental estimate or opinion men form about a matter. Such recognition may be correct (Acts 15:25) or incorrect, involving error (John 16:2). To appear in glory is to manifest the character of self by one’s opinions and ideas. For Jesus to be glorified with the self of the Father is to receive His ideas and opinions.

Jesus glorified the Father on the earth (verse 4) in his teachings and his acts of compassion and kindness toward mankind by healing all of the diseases of those who came to him. Why would he say glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee (verse 1)? Consider the reason why it was 4000 years before Jesus came to earth. Jesus did not yet have a complete understanding of the nature of man, nor of his Father’s compassion and love toward mankind. (cp Hebrews 5:8-9). It took that long to convince him that his way of dealing with mankind was not working. So, he came to have an intellectual knowledge of God’s love for man, but not the experience of the weaknesses of man. While on the earth, in human form, he learned through experience by facing the same temptations. He came to understand WHY the Father does not charge us with our sins while we are ignorant of His character, which can be summed up in one word - love. (1Corinthians 13:5: love thinks no evil, or does not keep a record of evil). The proof that he believed the Father was to offer his life for man by going to the cross. So, the glory with which the Son could glorify the Father after his resurrection would be to display the same character of love and compassion toward mankind, which he did not display in ancient times. He was glorified by the Father’s own self. By the record in the Old Testament, it can be seen that by appearance, the Son misled humanity into believing in an angry and severe God. This attitude was depicted in the parable of the younger brother who left home and squandered his inheritance (mankind). Then coming home, the older brother (Christ) was angry that the Father (God) received him unconditionally (Luke 15:11-32).

The word for have known (ginosko g1097) indicates knowledge that comes by experience. The disciples, by their experience of walking daily with Jesus, came to understand that the things given to them by Jesus came from the Father. And they became convinced that Jesus came from, and was sent by the Father. It is by study, as we are led by the Spirit, that the scriptures reveal the difference in the Father and the Son, and we too can enter into the same compassion and love for fellow humans.

John 17:9-11: 9. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

The closeness of the Father and the Son is especially revealed in these and other verses in this chapter. What is thrilling to me, is that we too, can enter into the same closeness with both the Father and the Son. For Jesus to be glorified in the disciples indicates that they would be teaching the same ideas and opinions, and manifesting the same character as did Jesus when he was among them. THIS is how they were one with Jesus and the Father.
It is the character of the Father’s love that we are obtaining and learning to practice toward others as we share the gospel, and interact with those with whom we come in contact.

Lamentations 3:22-24: 22. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. Amen.


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