That they may behold my glory - That they may enjoy eternal felicity with me in thy kingdom. So the word is used, John 3:3; Matthew 5:8. The design of Christ is, that all who believe should love and obey, persevere unto the end, and be eternally united to himself, and the ever blessed God, in the kingdom of glory.
I will - This expression, though it commonly denotes command, is here only expressive of desire. It is used in prayer, and it was not the custom of the Saviour to use language of command when addressing God. It is often used to express strong and earnest desire, or a pressing and importunate wish, such as we are exceedingly anxious should not be denied, Mark 6:25; Mark 10:35; Matthew 12:38; Matthew 15:28.
My glory - My honor and dignity when exalted to the right hand of God. The word “behold” implies more than simply seeing; it means also to participate, to enjoy. See the John 3:3 note; Matthew 5:8 note.
Thou lovedst me - This is another of the numerous passages which prove that the Lord Jesus existed before the creation of the world. It is not possible to explain it on any other supposition.
20, 21 (Matthew 25:14, 15; Mark 13:34). Unity in Diversity—[John 17:20, 21 quoted.] What kind of unity is spoken of in these words?—Unity in diversity. Our minds do not all run in the same channel, and we have not all been given the same work. God has given to every man his work according to his several ability. There are different kinds of work to be done, and workers of varied capabilities are needed. If our hearts are humble, if we have learned in the school of Christ to be meek and lowly, we may all press together in the narrow path marked out for us (Manuscript 52, 1904). 5BC 1148.1
20-23. No Destruction of Personality—Christ is one with the Father, but Christ and God are two distinct personages. Read the prayer of Christ in the seventeenth chapter of John, and you will find this point clearly brought out. How earnestly the Saviour prayed that His disciples might be one with Him as He is one with the Father. But the unity that is to exist between Christ and His followers does not destroy the personality of either. They are to be one with Him as He is one with the Father (The Review and Herald, June 1, 1905). 5BC 1148.2
[John 17:20-23 quoted.] What a wonderful statement! The unity that exists between Christ and His disciples does not destroy the personality of either. In mind, in purpose, in character, they are one, but not in person. By partaking of the Spirit of God, conforming to the law of God, man becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ brings His disciples into a living union with Himself and with the Father. Through the working of the Holy Spirit upon the human mind, man is made complete in Christ Jesus. Unity with Christ establishes a bond of unity with one another. This unity is the most convincing proof to the world of the majesty and virtue of Christ, and of His power to take away sin (Manuscript 111, 1903). 5BC 1148.3Read in context »
(Matthew 27:51.) Satan Fell Like Lightning—When Christ cried, “It is finished,” God's unseen hand rent the strong fabric composing the veil of the temple from top to bottom. The way into the holiest of all was made manifest. God bowed His head satisfied. Now His justice and mercy could blend. He could be just, and yet the justifier of all who should believe on Christ. He looked upon the victim expiring on the cross, and said, “It is finished. The human race shall have another trial.” The redemption price was paid, and Satan fell like lightning from heaven (Manuscript 111, 1897). 5BC 1150.1Read in context »
Before the ransomed throng is the Holy City. Jesus opens wide the pearly gates, and the nations that have kept the truth enter in. There they behold the Paradise of God, the home of Adam in his innocency. Then that voice, richer than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, is heard, saying: “Your conflict is ended.” “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” GC 646.1
Now is fulfilled the Saviour's prayer for His disciples: “I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” “Faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24), Christ presents to the Father the purchase of His blood, declaring: “Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given Me.” “Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept.” Oh, the wonders of redeeming love! the rapture of that hour when the infinite Father, looking upon the ransomed, shall behold His image, sin's discord banished, its blight removed, and the human once more in harmony with the divine! GC 646.2Read in context »
4-10. Glorified in Those Who Believe—In the intercessory prayer of Jesus with His Father, He claimed that He had fulfilled the conditions which made it obligatory upon the Father to fulfill His part of the contract made in heaven, with regard to fallen man. He prayed: “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [That is, He had wrought out a righteous character on earth as an example for men to follow.] And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” In this prayer He further goes on to state what is comprehended by the work which He has accomplished, and which has given Him all those who believe on His name. He values this recompense so highly that He forgets the anguish it has cost Him to redeem fallen man. He declares Himself glorified in those who believe on Him. The church, in His name, is to carry to glorious perfection the work which He has commenced; and when that church shall be finally ransomed in the Paradise of God, He will look upon the travail of His soul and be satisfied. Through all eternity the ransomed host will be His chief glory (The Spirit of Prophecy 3:260, 261). 5BC 1146.1
5. Let the Veil Be Removed—[John 17:1-5 quoted.] Christ is not praying for the manifestation of the glory of human nature; for that human nature never had an existence in His pre-existence. He is praying to His Father in regard to a glory possessed in His oneness with God. His prayer is that of a mediator; the favor He entreats in the manifestation of that divine glory which was possessed by Him when He was one with God. Let the veil be removed, He says, and let My glory shine forth—the glory which I had with Thee before the world was (The Signs of the Times, May 10, 1899). 5BC 1146.2
5, 24 (Hebrews 1:6; 1 John 2:1; see EGW on John 20:16, 17; Hebrews 3:1-3). Public Reinstatement of Christ in Heaven—The prayer of Christ was answered. He was glorified with the glory which He had with His Father before the world was. But amid this glory, Christ does not lose sight of His toiling, struggling ones upon earth. He has a request to make of His Father. He waves back the heavenly host until He is in the direct presence of Jehovah, and then He presents His petition in behalf of His chosen ones. 5BC 1146.3Read in context »