John 17:20. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21. "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
23. "I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24. "Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25. "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26. "And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.''
As I read and meditate on this passage of Scripture, I find myself in awe of the profound truth of Jesus’ prayer. For many Christians it is hard to comprehend, much less receive. Yet, Jesus words are truth. Jesus is praying to the Father and He is declaring… 22. "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
This is not talking about some type of self glorification. We are not trying to promote ourselves, or glorify ourselves, God forbid. The Lord Jesus has graciously and wonderfully given us something we could never have gotten on our own, lets receive it as such, and begin to believe what the Word of truth is saying. Let’s start at the beginning and look to the Word, as always…
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.''
Man was created in the very image and likeness of God, and was put on the Earth to rule and have dominion over it. Dominion means to lord over. We were put here to be lords of this world, but with Adams fall we lost that distinction. Jesus the second Adam came to restore us to what we were originally called to be. God created this world for us and put all things under our feet. We’ve made a pretty big mess of things. We can't blame God for the mess this planet is in, as the responsibility was given to us. Sin brought with it a curse. Although Jesus has redeemed us from that curse, we are still only enjoying the first fruits of it. We have not seen the full benefit of it yet. Mankind will have to rise up to his place for that to happen. We have a part to play in this. Our part is to be obedient and to receive the things God has so graciously given to us.
After Adam sinned and the fall of mankind, the world itself was cursed. There will come a time when we are called to take it back. Creation itself is waiting for that to happen.
Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23. And not only they, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
Although as Christians we have born again spirits, our bodies have not yet been fully redeemed, we only have the first fruits of that inheritance. Lets take a look at what God has called us to be. How can we rise up to it if we don’t know what we are supposed to become in the first place?
Hebrews 2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6. But one testified in a certain place, saying: "What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? 7. You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.
This is referencing Psalms 8: . Lets look at it… 3. When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4. What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5. For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
6. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, 7. All sheep and oxen Even the beasts of the field, 8. The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas. 9. O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
Looking at vs. 5 it says, For You have made him a little lower than the angels. The word in this Psalm for angel in the Hebrew is 'elohiym, Pronounced el-o-heem'. I could not find another single reference in the Old Testament where the Hebrew word elohiym is used to reference angles. However, it is used throughout the Old Testament as a reference to God. I can only guess to the reasoning behind this single instance. The word for Angel is a completely different word entirely. I don’t claim to be a scholar but I do find it interesting that Christians today have a hard time coming to grips with this. The writer of this Psalm is asking God, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? 5. For You have made him a little lower than the angels (elohiym), And You have crowned him with glory and honor.
The question put foreword to God is this, who is this man that Your thoughts would be toward him and that you are thinking about Him. That’s what being mindful is isn't it? God’s thoughts are for and about us. There is a reason for this, He loves us greatly. We are His children. How much more does our Heavenly Father love us His children than even earthly parents love theirs? Much more than we can comprehend.
We read in Genesis that God created Man in His image and likeness. We were made to be like Him. We are not Him of course, but we are His offspring. We are God’s children.
If you talk to many believers, they would tell you that they are just sinners. They have believed on Jesus and they will get to go to Heaven someday and that’s about the end of it. The truth is we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God as Romans 3:23 tells us. however vs. 24 continues on… being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: We are not just sinners saved by grace we have been called to be much more, we have been called to be sons of the most High, sons of glory.
If we are just sinners saved by grace, then aren’t we minimizing what Jesus is saying through this passage of Scripture in John 17:20-26? Jesus is saying I have given them the same glory that God the Father gave to Me. Wow, this is not at all what religion teaches in many modern day churches, but they are the words of Jesus. I believe truth is absolute. It wouldn’t be truth if it weren’t would it? Shouldn’t we start to believe and act as if the words of our Lord and Savior are true, because they most certainly are. I would encourage you to say this out loud if for no other reason than to begin to declare this truth over yourself even as Jesus declared it. Say, Jesus gave me the same glory that God the Father gave Him. This will be an act of faith for many Christians but lets line our words up with the words of the master. Even if you don’t feel like you have the same glory that God the Father gave to Jesus, how are we ever going to receive the truth of God’s Word if we won’t align ourselves with what the Bible says. Sometimes we need to jumpstart our faith and start declaring the truth over ourselves, regardless of what we feel, regardless of what we were taught, regardless of how far beneath the truth we seem to be in the natural. God’s Word is true and He wants us to have and receive all that He has provided for us. We will never even begin to step out into that beginnings of truth, much less the fullness of it if we won’t take the first steps will we?
It takes faith to please God. If we don’t believe this truth, how are we ever going to walk in it. We are all growing, no one has arrived. We are all on a journey while we are here in the Earth, and I believe that for all eternity as well, we will never stop learning. Let's start where we are and continually press forward for everything God has for us.
During my time here, I want what ever God wants me to have, don’t you? This will take mind renewal for many of us to even begin to step out into this kind of thinking, however by simply acknowledging God’s Word as truth and asking God to reveal Himself to us is always a good place to start. This is what true humility is all about, admitting that we don’t have the answers and are totally open to the Holy Spirit to receive what ever He has for us. He has gone to great lengths to usher in the New Covenant and to give us His life and all that it includes. Shouldn’t we as His children be totally open to all that He has given to us? Yes we should.
If we are to develop into the children that He wants us to be then we have to say yes, show me, and then be willing and obedient with what He will show us. We have to learn of Him if we are ever going to step out in faith, as faith always starts with knowing the will of God. In order to know His will we have to know His Word as this is the very foundation for faith. We can never step beyond what we know. Having said that, here are some Scriptures to contemplate:
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Hebrews 2:7 You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands.
Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
1 Peter 5:1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
Peter was a partaker of this glory that he is saying will be revealed, a first fruit or down payment if you will of what is to come. Let us all become partakers of that same glory. Amen.
The Olive Branch