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. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. John 17:1-15
In the chapters just before John 17 Jesus had just participated in the Passover Meal with His disciples and shared His poignant message with them about the importance of staying rooted in Him. Next, He offered a beautiful the prayer on their behalf in John 17. That prayer began with the verses above, which begin with a declaration about who he was.
The hour has come…
Jesus was preparing Himself and His disciples for the events that were about to take place. These events would be terrifyingly horrific. They would lead to almost all of His disciples either betraying or abandoning Him. Jesus was left alone to accomplish the task for which He came. And this was fitting because Jesus could accomplish this task - none other and by no other's help.
Only Jesus could fulfill the demands of the Cross because...
He was worthy.
Verse 1 tells us that Jesus prayed to receive glory for the Father. This might was based on His personal worthiness. The theme of this entire passage centers on Jesus’ request for the Father to glorify Him. Jesus has been obedient to the Father in His ministry and now requests that God will glorify Him.
He glorified God.
Jesus' worthiness came in part on account of His glorification of the Father. Jesus constantly brought glory to the Father through his teaching, acts of service, healing ministry and love for all people. His goal was to give God glory in all things. When we take a closer look at Jesus’ request for the Father to glorify Him, He asked the Father to glorify Him so that He can return that glory back to the Father. This dance of bringing glory to the Father and the Son began before God created the world (17:5), continued while Christ was on the earth (17:4) and will once again resume once Christ is reunited with the Father in heaven.
He held all authority.
Verse 2 tells us that Jesus possessed all authority. He had power over all things. Colossians 1:17 tells us even all the universe is held together by His authority.
He offers eternal life.
Jesus was more than just a great teacher. He offers us more than a moral example for how to live our lives. Jesus gives us eternal life. And he defines what it means to have eternal life, “knowing the one true God and Christ whom He sent.” Eternal life is so much more than living forever in the hereafter. It was knowing God here and now.
He accomplished the work of God.
Jesus accomplished the work that the Father had given Him. He was obedient even until death on the cross. He did what He was supposed to, unlike us.
He was Divine.
Returning back to the theme of the exchange of glory between the Father and the Son which God began before the creation of the world, this passage grounds our theology in the person of the Father and the relationship between Him and the Son. The purpose of the Passion Week is to expose the Son for who He is, the obedient, Son of God, both capable and willing to satisfy God’s justice on earth, while simultaneous pointing to His own divinity. Proper Christian theology recognizes the relationship between the Father and the Son as opposed to only recognizing the aspect of Christ’s ability to live a righteous life.
The hour has come…
for Jesus to ascend onto a cross.