(Article for publication week of 10-8- AD 2015)
"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which Thou hast given me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world" (John 17:24).
Our text is found in the Real Lord's Prayer. The prayer the Lord taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 should actually be called "the Disciple's Prayer", or "The Model Prayer." What we call "The Lord's Prayer" is not a prescribed prayer, per se, but rather an outline of prayer to help us in our prayer life. It is a prayer for us to pray, not a prayer that our Lord Himself needed to pray, or ever did pray. We know this because of one expression- "forgive us our debts" ( or sins, i.e. Luke 11:4). Our Lord Jesus Christ never had to ask for forgiveness of sin, for He was without sin, and could not sin (Hebrews 7:26). The 17th chapter of John is truly "The Lord's Prayer," for here we have the Eternal Son praying to the Eternal Father. Our text is proof of what we call the Doctrine of the Trinity, for here we see the Second Person of the Trinity praying to the First Person of the Trinity. Our Great God is One in Three, and Three in One (I John 5:7) and we see that plainly in this text. John 17 is a death blow to both Arianism and Modalism.
The seventeenth chapter of John is our Lord's High Priestly prayer for His people. Our Great High Priest continues to intercede for all those for whom He died (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). After he died for our sins, He was laid in the grave, but He arose the third Day, and after He had shown Himself alive after many infallible proofs, He ascended back to the right hand of His Father where he continues to plead our cause in the high court of heaven. The Levitical priesthood has been abrogated and there will never be any more need for it. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Person in the universe who is a priest. Any man (or woman) who claims to be a priest is an imposter and should be rejected. There is only one Mediator between God and man, the God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2:5). It will thrill your soul (if you are born again) to go and read the 17th chapter of John, and see what wonderful things our Great High Priest prayed for His people.
Now, our text here in John 17:24 tells us one of the glorious things that Christ prayed for His people-- that we may be with Him! Oh! I can hardly contain myself as I write these words! We shall be with Christ when this life is over! That my friends is what heaven and the glory world is all about. As one of the Puritans put it, hell would be heaven if Christ were there! We shall be with Christ to behold His glory. We see that glory now by faith, but the day is coming when faith shall be changed to sight and all those who love the Lord Jesus Christ shall see Him in all His glory. That glory is the same glory as that of the Father, for Christ is indeed one with His Father (John 17:5; 1:14), and is of the same essence as the Father. To see Christ will be to see God, for Christ is both God and Man (John 14:9). (See also II Corinthians 4:6). All the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in the Lord Jesus Christ(Colossians 2:9). So when we are glorified we shall see God as our Lord promised in Matthew 5:8. Dear Reader, do you long to see the Lord Jesus Christ? If you are a child of God I know you do.
Rest assured that God the Father always hears the prayers of His Eternal Son (John 11;42). You can be sure that this is one prayer that will be answered. Not one that God the Father gave to His Son in eternal election shall fail to be with Christ. Christ will not lose any for whom He died. All those whose names were written in the Lamb's Book of Life before the foundation of the world shall surely be with Christ, eternally beholding His glory.