Now Available on Kindle Living The Life!: Daily Reflections

On The Upper Room Discourse Re-Release For Lent 2024

The Seventeenth Day of Advent- December 13

PREPARATION: lighting the candle and readying myself to listen.


“The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me…Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I   will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
John 17:22-23, 25-26

“Not even half had been told me!” exclaimed the Queen of Sheba upon seeing the glory of King Solomon and his kingdom (1 Kings 10:7). What the Queen of the South saw with her own eyes far exceeded anything she had heard about Solomon’s glory. She could not have imagined the riches and wisdom of such a king.

As I write these Advent reflections, I feel something like the Queen of Sheba about the glory of Immanuel; not even the half has been told! There is so much more to say. And amazingly, the glory that is Immanuel’s, He comes to share with us!

We read of Immanuel’s glory in today’s scripture as Jesus talks with His Father “on behalf’ of all who believe in Him (John 17:20). Jesus tells His Father of His completed mission; the glory that the Father gave to Him, Jesus has imparted to every believer. Theologian Michael Reeves comments on God’s astonishing bestowal of glory: “For the Father gives all his glory, his love, his blessing, his very self exclusively to his Son – and he then sends his Son to share with us his fullness, ‘I have given them the glory that you gave me.’” (Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity)

Jesus then explains the glory He has shared: “so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me…”. We learn here that God’s transcendent glory is manifested in oneness: the oneness He has with His Father is the oneness He shares with us. God’s purpose in creating us in His image is now achieved. We live forever in the glory of the love that is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our oneness with Jesus means that we belong to His Father even as Jesus belongs. Thus we pray: “Our Father who art in heaven…”. This means bold access to the Father and sharing in His very life (John 17:3).

As Jesus talks about the glory that has been given to us, we remember, “It is not the future glory of the heavenly state, but the secret of that present unity just before spoken of; the glory, therefore, of the indwelling Spirit of Christ; the glory of an accepted state, of holy character, of every grace.” (Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, David Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible)

For now, we see this as “in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). The intimacy and security of our oneness with Jesus right now is but a faint foretaste of what is coming. As we have been made “participants in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), so then, when we see Jesus “we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). This is the believer’s glorious future as “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).

Finally, Jesus prays that we might know that the Father loves us as He loves His own Son, Jesus. He asks His Father “that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Rodney Whitacre writes about Jesus’ prayer in his commentary on John’s Gospel: “In other words, the amazing transcendent love evident between the Father and the Son is not an exclusive glory that humans must be content only to admire from afar. The love the Father has for Jesus is the same love he has for believers, indeed for the whole world (John 3:16).” (Rodney Whitacre, John: The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

Oh, the wonder: God so loved the world that He gave His Son to make us one with Him. Who can comprehend the glory of Immanuel, the oneness of God with us and we with Him!

CONVERSATION: I talk with God about the thoughts and feelings stirring within.

REST: I take time to be present to Immanuel who is present to me.

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