John 17 – Glory (Notes)

Glory in John 17

(Unedited – Originally written as notes and as responses in forums several years ago; we hope, God willing, to later edit this and make it into a study.)

John 17:1 – Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you;
John 17:2 – even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him, he will give eternal life.
John 17:3 – This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
John 17:4 – I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do.
John 17:5 – Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.
John 17:6 – I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word.
John 17:7 – Now they know that all things whatever you have given me are from you,
John 17:8 – for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they believed that you sent me.
John 17:9 – I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
John 17:10 – All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
John 17:11 – I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.
John 17:12 – While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
John 17:13 – But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.
John 17:14 – I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:15 – I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.
John 17:17 – Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.
John 17:18 – As you sent me into the world, even so I sent them into the world.
John 17:19 – For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
John 17:20 – Neither for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,
John 17:21 – that they may all be one; even 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.
John 17:22 – The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;
John 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.
John 17:24 – Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
John 17:25 – Righteous Father, the world didn’t know you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me.
John 17:26 – I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Jesus uses several forms of the word “glory” in John 17, and unless one realizes that he is using these forms in contrast with each other to denote various shades of meaning, one can be become very confused when reading his prayer. The basic Greek word in the New Testament for “glory” is generally transliterated as “doxa”. The traditional and scriptural meanings of “doxa” are given as:

1. opinion, judgment, view
2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone
1. in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory
3. splendour, brightness
1. of the moon, sun, stars
2. magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace
3. majesty
1. a thing belonging to God
2. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
3. a thing belonging to Christ 3c
4. the kingly majesty of the Messiah 3c
5. the absolutely perfect inward or personal excellency of Christ; the majesty
1. of the angels 3c
6. as apparent in their exterior brightness
4. a most glorious condition, most exalted state
1. of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth
2. the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Saviour’s return from heaven
Thayer and Smith. “Greek Lexicon entry for Doxa”.
“The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon”. <a href=”http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1391&version=kjv”>http://www.biblestudytools.net/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1391&version=kjv</a>.
What is not expressly shown in the above is that there are different grades of glory in being (in body, as the apostle Paul refers to — 1 Corinthians 15:40,41). There is the glory in being the Supreme Being that only belongs to Yahweh, and which is not shared, or given to anyone else. (Isaiah 42:8) There is the glory of being as related to the angels, a glory that is higher than the glory that is given to man. (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:7) Thus, we have at least three levels of glory related to being as revealed in these scriptures. (1) The glory of the Supreme Being; (2) the glory of the angels; and (3) the glory of man, who was originally crowned with a glory a little lower than the angels.

“Glory”, however, also carries other variations in meaning. Generally, in English, most people appropriate these meanings without giving too much thought about doing so. However, at times one runs into error by crossing the meanings and coming up with a theory not intended in the scriptures. John 17 is one of those chapters that uses forms of the words “glory” and “glorify” in different ways, which may cause some confusion to some readers.

John 17:1 – Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you;

John 17:5 – Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.

What did Jesus mean by saying, “The time has come.?” What did Jesus mean by asking his Father to glorify him? How could Jesus’ glorification result in the Jesus’ glorifying his Father?

Jesus begins his prayer by stating to his God and Father, “The time has come.” Some translations have “hour” instead of “time.” This sets the scene for his whole prayer. By his usage of the word “time,” Jesus is not speaking directly of the very moment or 60 minutes in which he was speaking, but of the general “time” for the fulfillment of his death to be followed by his resurrection. He was referring to a time period of several days which time period has already begun. Thus, Jesus said even earlier, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” and “Now is the Son of Man glorified.” (John 12:23; 13:31) Jesus had not yet actually been glorified, but Jesus spoke of it as though it had already been accomplished, because the “time” period for that glorification had arrived. This kind of accounting is similar to what Paul wrote of God, that he “calls the things that are not, as though they were” (Romans 4:17), by which He could speak of Abraham as being counted as justified.

Some believe that the glorification that Jesus asked for here is simply that he be acknowledged as Israel’s Messiah. Of course, Israel to this day still does not acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah. A comparatively few have acknowledged him, but there has been no general acknowledgement of Jesus as the Messiah. There is no indication at all, however, that this is what Jesus meant, and the evidence we will examine would not fit such an explanation.

It should be obvious that the glorification that Jesus was asking for was a glory that he did not have at the time of his prayer, for why should he be asking for that which he already had? Can we compare spiritual revealment with spiritual revealment, so that we might come to an answer as to what Jesus was asking for? In John 7:39, we read that the holy spirit had not yet been given to this followers, because Jesus had not yet been glorified. Evidently this is the glorification that Jesus prays for. Jesus further spoke of this glorification as recorded in John 12:23 and John 13:31,32.

One claims that the glory Jesus had with the Father was that of the lamb slain. The claim is that it was upon the cross, when he offered himself as a lamb, that he was glorified (John 21:19), and that John the Baptist said of Jesus that he was the lamb of God that takes away teh sins of the world. Revelation 13:8 is appealed to in this connection.

However, John 13:31-35 connects the glorification with his going somewhere. And, Jesus spoke of returning to ****where**** he was before. (John 6:62) If the glory that he had and he expected to return to was the glory of being the slain lamb, then one would have difficulty connecting a “where” to that thought. Actually, ***where*** he was before, was with his God and Father, Yahweh, and it is this connection of his going to be with his Father that he is glorified. Where he returned to was in the presence of his God and Father. — John 1:1,2; 17:1,3,5.

The giving of the holy spirit spoken of in John 7:39 refers to the special giving of the spirit as the spirit of truth, as Jesus spoke of. (John 15:26,27) Jesus did not send that holy spirit until after he ascended to his God and Father, and sat down at the right hand of God (Acts 2:33), thereby indicating the glorification that John spoke of in JOhn 7:39 The scriptures say that Jesus was to go to his Father in order to receive that spirit of truth. Peter tells us that God “raised him from the dead, and gave him glory.” (1 Peter 1:21) This gives us reason to believe that the glorification Jesus asks for was given to him after his being raised from the dead. Paul speaks of this glorification as his being exalted. *****
Of course, Jesus is not, never has been, and never will be a literal lamb. “Lamb” is used as a symbol of his being sacrificed for sin. It was the man, Jesus Christ, who gave himself. (1 Timothy 2:5,6) It was his human flesh that he gave for life of the world. It was his human body and blood that he sacrificed for sin.

Obviously, Jesus was not a lamb before he came into the world of mankind, since it is his humanity that he sacrificed as the symbolic lamb, for the sin of the world, the world dying in Adam.

But doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus was the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”? The translation of Revelation 13:8 in the KJV is disputed.

The King James Version reads:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
The World English reads:

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed.
The New American Standard reads:

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain.

TERRESTRIAL AND CELESTIAL GLORIES

Jesus already had a glory in his fleshly being. As a human, he was crowned wiyh the full glory that Adam had, before Adam sinned. (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:9) Because of Adam’s sin, man fell short of that glory. “through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners.” (Romans 5:19, New American Standard) The many — the whole world of mankind through Adam — were made sinners because Adam had sinned. Jesus’ body, however, was prepared by God, and thus kept separate from the condemnation in Adam. (Hebrews 10:5) Jesus, unlike Adam, never once fell short of the glory of God by means of sin, and thus had the redemptive price needed to buy back what Adam lost. (John 6:51; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 5:21; 15:21,22; Hebrews 7:26; 10:20; 1 Peter 2:22,23; 1 John 3:5) By condemning all in the one man, Adam, only one obedient human would be needed to redeem all who were condemned in the one. — Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22.

Paul, in answer to the question as to what kind of body the dead are to be raised with (1 Corinthians 15:35), refers to the glory on the human level as the “terrestrial glory,” that is, the earthly glory. He contrasts that earthly glory with the celestial, heavenly, glory. (1 Corinthians 15:40,44) Thus he speaks of two general forms of glory. As applied to Jesus, it was the terrestrial glory, not the heavenly glory, that Jesus needed in order to redeem mankind. Thus God especially prepared a body for him.– Hebrews 10:5.

In John 17:1, we find that Jesus asked to be glorified. The purpose of his glorification, he says, is so that he may also glorify his God and Father. Jesus is evidently using the word “glorify” in two different ways. His reference to the “the time has come” does not refer simply to the very moment in time that he was speaking, but rather the “time” in reference to events taking place and that were about to take place, leading the time of the fulfillment of his being in hades and raised therefrom to a higher glory after three days. By sending Judas forth, Jesus began his three days and three nights in the belly of the earth, and thus the time of those three days had already begun.

John 17:2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, that to all whom you have given him, he will give eternal life.
John 17:3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
John 17:4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished [perfected] the work which you have given me to do.
John 17:5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.

Jesus said: “I have glorified you on the earth.” Jesus is not here speaking of glorifying his Father to a plane of glory (1 Corinthians 15:40), and the word “glorified” is being used in a different manner that John uses it in John 7:39, 12:16; and as Peter uses it in Acts 3:13. Jesus glorified his Father through the works. (Matthew 5:16) as Jesus was alway obedient to his God and Father, thus, he never fell short of the glory of God.(Romans 3:23) He fully maintained — unblemished — the human crown of glory that his Father had given. (Hebrews 2:9) Having been fully obedient, he says “I have perfected the work which you have given me to do.” Paul said something similar when he stated: “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:17) Jesus had earlier stated “I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) In other words, Jesus was stating that he brought the work of overcoming to perfection, completion, and thus, as Revelation 2:11 says: “He who overcomes won’t be hurt by the second death.” Jesus had already proven this faithfulness, and thereby he had put on incorruption. The experiences after this, the flogging, the suffering, etc., was not for the purpose of his putting incorruption, but for proving to the world the incorruptibility of the Son. Thus, Jesus could say that he had perfected the work which his Father had given him.

Jesus, unlike Adam, mantained the glory of God; he never once sinned, and thus n
ever fell short of the glory of God. Furthermore, unlike Adam, Jesus perfected the work that he had been given to do by showing his full trust and love in his God and Father. Thereby, he proved himself incorruptible.

6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word. 7 Now they know that all things whatever you have given me are from you, 8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

11 I am no more in the world, and these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. 14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, even so I sent them into the world. 19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.

20 Neither for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one; even 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 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;

the glory (kagw thn doxan).
Literally, “And I the glory,” with emphasis on “I.” It is the glory of the Incarnate Word (Bernard), cf. 1:14; 2:11, not the glory of the Eternal Word mentioned in 17:24. Bengel says: Quanta majestas Christianorum! Then verse 22 repeats the unity prayed for in verse 21.
Robertson, A.T. “Commentary on John 17:22”. “Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament”. <http://www.studylight.org/com/rwp/view.cgi?book=joh&chapter=017&verse=022>. Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960.

23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.

24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 Righteous Father, the world didn’t know you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

c. Thayer: a most glorious condition, most exalted state; a. of that condition with God the Father in heaven to which Christ was raised after he had achieved his work on earth: Lk. 24.26; Jn. 17:5 (where he is said to have been in the same condition before his incarnation, and even before the beginning of the world) (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, doxa, page 156).

Jesus did indeed have a celestial glory when he was with the Most High — the only true God (John 17:3) — before the world of mankind was made through him (John 1:10). This does not mean that the celestial glory he had was that which only belongs to the Most High who sent Jesus into the world that was made through Jesus. — John 1:10; 10:36.

   d. Thayer: of God exalting, or rather restoring, Christ is his Son to a state of glory in heaven; Jn. 7:39; 12:16, [23]; 13:31 sq.; 17:1, 5; Acts 3:13 (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, doxazw, page 157).

Yes, Jesus was restored the celestial glory, but his being exalted goes beyond his just being restored to the celestial gloryl. Before his exaltation, we have no reason to believe that he ever bodily possessed the might (theotes) needed to execute judgment and to rule in such a high position.

Regarding Hebrews 1:3:
2. TDNT: Here hypostasis is parallel to doxa. Both words are obviously describing God’s essence (8:585, hypostasis – Koster).

“Doxa” is the English transliteration of the Greek word that means “glory”.  Of course, the word hypostatis does indeed describe God’s hypostasis, for it is “God” as one person, not more than one person, who is being spoken of related to “hypostasis”. TDNT refers to “Koster” (whoever this is) with as giving the word “hypostasis” the meaning of “essence”. Whatever, however, is meant by “hypostasis”, it is “God’s” hypostasis, not Jesus’ hypostasis, and Jesus does not have God’s hypostasis, but Jesus is the expression of the “image” of that hypostasis. The problem is, should we look beyond what is written and take the words out of context so as to force the triune God assumptions into what is said, or should we look to the context and the rest of the Bible to see what is being is meant? I believe it is always best to use spiritual revealing as compared to spiritual revealing to properly appreciate the law and the testimony. — Isaiah 8:20; 1 Corinthians 2:13.

Adam, before he sinned, was representative of the glory of God; it is only because he sinned that he fell short of the image and likeness of God, and through him all his race has been made sinners and under a bondage of corruption, so that we do not yet see all things under subjection to man. — Genesis 1:26,28; Psalm 8:5-8; Ecclesiastes 1:2,13-15; 7:13; Romans 3:23; 5:12-19; 8:20-22; Hebrews 2:7,8.

Jesus, however, not only did not sin, but he brought life and incorruption to light (1 Timothy 1:10), being the first man to have proven himself incorruptible. If he had fallen short in the slightest degree, he would not have condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3), nor would he have been able to give himself in sacrifice to God for sin (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Luke 22:19; John 6:51; Romans 3:25; 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:2; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 9:11,12,14,24; 10:10,12,26; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2; 4:10), for he would have been sinful as all the rest of mankind who fall short of the glory of God. — Psalm 49:7; Ecclesiastes 1:2,15; 7:13; Romans 3:10,23; 5:12-19; 8:3,20-22.

If “essence” as expressed above is meant to say that Jesus has the glory that only belongs to the Most High (Genesis 14:22; Psalm 7:17; 47:2; 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; 48:11; Luke 1:32),  no, Jesus has never had, and never will have, the glory that only belongs to the Most High Yahweh. Jesus is depicted as the Son of the Most High, not as the Most High. (Luke 1:32,26) Since Acts 3:13-26 depicts Jesus as the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and distinguishes Jesus from the EHYEH (I AM) of Exodus 3:14,15, then Jesus is distinguished from the Most High, who raised up Jesus as the prophet like Moses. It was this same God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob of Exodus 3:14,15 who sent Jesus as His prophet, who spoke through Jesus, who raised Jesus up out of death, etc. (Acts 3:13-26) Any thought that Jesus has the exclusive glory that only belongs to the Most High has to be reasoned as such by means of the spirit of human imagination, assumed, added to, and read into what the scriptures states.

I have been sick most of today (Thursday).

I have been working on a verse-by-verse examination of John 17, especially as related to the various usages of forms of the word “glory”. Jesus uses forms of the word “glory” with different meanings throughout the prayer.

While it is possible that Jesus is not speaking of the same glory in John 17:22,24 as he was speaking of in John 17:5 (one he speaks as though he already has, while the other he prays for, and thus does not already have), as some commentators suggest, even if it is the same glory, I am not sure why this should be thought as meaning that Jesus had no prehuman existence. I tend toward the idea that the glory that Jesus was speaking of in John 17:22 is not the celestial glory for which he prayed in John 17:5, but rather it is the terrestrial glory that his Father had already given to him. (Hebrews 2:9; 10:5) If it is the same glory in both places, then he is speaking of that glory that he was to receive as though he had already received it, and of his giving it to his disciples as though they had already attained the prize of joint-heirship (although they had not actually done so at that time); he does something similar when he says he is no longer in the world. (John 17:11)

At the rate I have been going, it may be several days before I finish the study on John 17. God willing, I will post it when I am finished.

============

Note added 11/25/2014:
I remember working on this some time ago, and do believe I had posted it on this website. I did not realize until today that it was not on the website, for I thought I had added it to one of the existing studies related to John 17. However, it may have been lost when I switched hosts and had failed to back to the most recent work. — Ronald R. Day

 

 

         
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