“Before the World Was”

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself,
with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

John 17:5

This verse from Jesus’ prayer to His Father in John 17 gives only a glimpse of God our Father and His Son together before the creation. We have to study the whole chapter for more details of their union as one. Even so, words, even Jesus’ Words, limit the glory to which He refers.

“Before the world was,” there was only their glory ~ their oneness and their love for each other. They planned to share that glory with those who would be created in their image

It would come through the fulfillment of their covenant of redemption.

“But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10)

Jesus speaks of His and the Father’s glory several times during His prayer to the Father in John 17. By the time we get to the end of His prayer, we are caught up in a limited vision of this glory so as to long for the same oneness they had together ~ the oneness He prays for His people. The degrees and the oneness of their glory are to be shared with us in His timing. (We will speak of this later in our study, An Excavation of John 17..) Rejection of God’s Word by our first parents and disobedience to His will removed any possibility of our seeing His glory on this earth.. The truth by which He is bringing us together and sanctifying us in Him now is preparing us for His glory.  

We do not have the tools, nor could we by a lifetime of digging into the Scriptures, know the relationship God, our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ had before they created the world. The glory they had together is unsearchable. In God’s Word, we get only an inkling of what their world was like before they made the lower heavens and the earth. This universe is only a means for us to desire to know who they are and what they can do. We have to continue reading and searching the Book He has given us and pray for spiritual enlightenment of the things He wants us to know.

Moses asked to see His glory in Exodus 33:18.

“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, Exodus 34:6

“But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock.  So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:20-23

His glory is revealed to us through Christ in His mercy, graciousness, longsuffering, abounding goodness and truth

The love of the Father for the Son and the Son for the Father is the essence of their glory which we cannot see with human eyes but will see and know when He comes again to deliver us from the darkness and suffering of this world.

As we continue our study of Jesus’ prayer, He will unearth more of His glory, joy, and love, that we may begin to understand what it means to be “perfect in one” through Christ’s atonement.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,
 who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Hebrews 12:2

What was the joy that enabled Him to endure the cross for us. Was it not the anticipation of returning to the oneness of love, joy, and glory with His Father and bringing us to them?

 “But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”
Romans 8:25

Gracious Father, knowing that you have planned all things for your glory, I pray for your Holy Spirit to continue to reveal all you want us to know of you, your glory, and your kingdom. We praise you that you chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before you, in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Yourself, according to the good pleasure of your will, to the praise of the glory of Your grace, by which you made us accepted in the Beloved. We praise you for the glimpses of the glory you are revealing through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Fran

An Excavation of John 17 ~ Unearthing the Truths of the Atonement

As I have read through the Bible every year for years on end, grace has abounded to me in wisdom and understanding. With the aid of the Holy Spirit, the finger of God pointed out certain truths. Light was shone on the things that seemed to matter each year as I read.

In the Old Testament, the chapter I could not get through without lingering and memorizing was Isaiah 53.

In these last days, even as I meditate on other parts of God’s Word, I have not been able to get past John 17.

Memorization and meditation have required me to stop so as to know that I am standing on solid ground. That is not enough. This hard surface needs to be broken up. There are layers here, a covering over of the truth hidden for centuries. The atoning work of Christ has been trampled underfoot. Buried deep within the world’s way of education are the nuggets of truth we now have to dig for.

John 17 is a source of one of these truths, but without this main one, revealed in Jesus’ open prayer to the Father in heaven, none of the others are explainable. And now, at this point, I am not able to speak of what is hidden here. I just know at this time in my life, in this new age and stage, I cannot go anywhere, be anywhere ~ even alone ~ without having my Father’s revelation in the twenty-six verses of this chapter of John’s gospel.

I have for weeks been eating, drinking, sleeping with these words recorded the last night of Jesus’ life before His crucifixion. I sense here the means of finishing my course with joy ~ the treasures hidden here are worth every moment of my thought and time, meditation, memorization and documenting.

I invite you to pray, to join me in reading, studying, meditation and memorization. Lend me not only your ear but share whatever you uncover of this lost treasure so that I can record our findings. I have read commentaries, but so far, these do not speak of the deeper truths I am looking for. Sometimes, we are the few our Father puts to the task.

As I venture to be a part of a small prayer group in our church and to perhaps begin a ministry for Christian widows, I believe this project of John 17 will be a major source of wisdom and knowledge and also, for our other series and books. I will post again on this subject as the Lord leads. Thank you for your prayers and comments.

Gracious Father, as you woke me this morning, you reminded me how we begin each week. “Now upon the first day of the week, ….. they came to the sepulcher, bringing the spices they had prepared, and others with them. And they found the stone rolled away.” I come from the empty tomb having worshipped my risen Lord and Savior yesterday. I come to this day with pick and shovel, to be “about my Father’s business.” I desire to find in this day those truths needful for faith and obedience and, as those who are taught, “to speak a word to the weary.” I pray we all seek to discover the truths of life you have given us through your written Word and your precious Living Word, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.