The Finished Work (John 17:1-4)
John 17:1-4, 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: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
A preacher closed a sermon with these words, "Virtue is so attractive that, if she were to become incarnate, and walk the world in human form, men would fall down and worship her." The pulpit of that church was occupied the same evening by another preacher, a humble evangelical man, who loved the gospel of a crucified Redeemer. He preached Christ crucified, and at the close of his sermon reminded the congregation of the statement made in the morning by the previous preacher, and then added, "I am sorry to say that Virtue did once walk the world in human form, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and men, instead of falling down and worshipping Him, crucified and nailed Him to a tree."
John 17 is one of the greatest chapters in the Bible, and certainly one of the most treasured. Some have referred to it as the "Holy of Holies of Sacred Scripture." This is Christ’s final public prayer to the Father before He went to the cross. In this prayer, Christ gives an account of His performance. Despite the opposition on earth, Jesus’ will was to glorify God.
Jesus set His glory aside when He came to earth as man (Philippians 2:7). On the cross, Jesus glorified God by revealing how much God loves us. Without the cross, we could never understand how much God loves us (John 3:16). The reason Jesus was now ready to be glorified is simply stated: He had finished the work God had given Him to do. In doing the work God had given Him to do, He had glorified God on earth. "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4). This is the prayer we all should want to be able to pray when it comes our time to die.
Jesus prayed to His Father and said that He had glorified Him during His earthly presence. His example remains for us today. He finished the work God gave Him to accomplish. He spoke to His disciples three years earlier and stated that His very ‘meat’ was to do “the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). He now had. Again, He has left an example for us. He finished His work. So should we. The only way a person can glorify God on earth is to do what God says. If a man is interested in glorifying God, he will obey Him. Now the most important thing that you could do, that I could do, that anyone else could do would be to do what God wants us to do. Just as God had a purpose for His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; He has a purpose for you as well.
PRAYER: Father in Heaven, though I often struggle, help me to never lose sight of doing Your will. Your Son loved me enough to die for me, the only reasonable thing that I can do is present myself a living sacrifice. Your will is good, perfect and acceptable. And Lord, we know through prayer, we'll find it. May You have Your own way. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.