READ: Psalm 113, Habakkuk 1, John 17, Colossians 3


Our work is to glorify Jesus (John 17:4). Even as Jesus lived to glorify the Father, we live to glorify the triune God. When God is glorified to the maximum, our little lives can give, our work is finished, and it is time to go home. But for as long as we are not home, we are to manifest God’s character to our disciples–our children and our colleagues, those we lead and those we follow (v. 6). It is critical to remember that Jesus is a person. We can so mystify our Lord that we lose sight of the fact our emotions, longings, and desires are sourced in His. We have dignity because we bear the divine image of an eternal person. Jesus has joy, Jesus has prayers, and Jesus has longings, and in having these personal expressions, He dignifies them in us.

Jesus’ Joy. Not only does Jesus have joy, He also wants us to have His joy fulfilled in us (v. 13). Both concepts are revolutionary. The great Lord of all creation has a bubbling fountain within Him that giggles, delights, celebrates, twinkles, and shines. God has the most incredible belly laugh, the keenest and gentlest sense of humor, the brightest twinkle of eye, the highest bounce of step. This divine, happy energy is made available to us. Jesus wants us to be fulfilled by participating in His joy, Jesus’ joy.

Jesus’ Prayer. It is somewhat strange to think of Jesus as praying, for we have come to understand prayer as the actions of the needy–and Jesus is not needy. When Jesus prays (vv. 20-22), it is simply a communication of His will.  Jesus prays what He wants to happen, and what Jesus wants is for multiple generations of faith to live and rejoice in unity. We should be struck at how important our unity is to Jesus, unity across generations of faith. Jesus wants us to be unified with those that have discipled us and those that we disciple. When there are generations of faith in unity, powerful things happen in the kingdom and in spiritual realms. Jesus passionately wills this, so He prays for it.

Jesus’ Longing. Jesus desires us to be with Him in heaven (v. 24). The fierce attraction Christians have for earth and life on it must puzzle and frustrate Jesus the person. Jesus longs for us to be with Him in His glory, that we might be bedazzled and enveloped in the love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We, however, cling doggedly to health as we know it (delaying perfect wholeness), life as we know it (delaying complete fulfillment), and family as we have found it here on earth (delaying utter acceptance). If we would but realize how passionately Jesus longs to be with us, we would both enjoy Christian funerals that much more and eagerly anticipate our own.

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