Lord Jesus, allow us once more to hear thee pray for us. Amen.
John 17, 20-26. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
This text is so beautiful, and its every word so precious, that we should keep it in our innermost heart, and rejoice in it as in a priceless treasure. Jesus prays for us also, who now live and believe in him; and in the Father and the Son we are one with his apostles and with all the saints. The love with which the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father, is in us also; and thus we are in the Son and in the Father together with all them that believe. How blessed a truth this is! “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them.” Note this: He has given us the glory which the Father gave him. By reason of the fall in Adam we lost the glory of God; but we have found it again; found, indeed, more than we lost. For the glory which the Son received from the Father he has given us. We have it already, though we do not see it; we do not need to see it, since Jesus has said it. — Let me ponder this: Jesus has given me, a poor worm and a wretched sinner, the glory which the Father gave him! Is it not merely a dream? Jesus in us, even as the Father in him! Even though it be supported by no evidence whatever in myself, I have his word for it; and that is sufficient to dispel every dark doubt. In his early childhood Jesus himself was unconscious of his glory; and yet, was he not even then the Lord of glory? But now we have already begun to feel in our hearts this divine glory. We know of a certainty that Jesus loves us, and we know that we love him in return; we long after him, rejoice in him, grieve because of our sins against him, serve him, trust in him, live in him. There is in us a holy life of love, which is not of the flesh, but of God; we love the brethren, and have pity on our enemies. Is not this the image and glory of God in Christ Jesus? What is it, indeed, but that very love of which John says: “God is love; and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.” Therefore Jesus also says in our text: “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” When we reach the home to which he is gone before us, and see that which we now believe, this glory in us shall become perfect. Then we shall become like him, and look into this mystery which now is but faintly reflected in our love toward the brethren: into this depth of mercy, that the Father has loved us, as he has loved his only begotten Son. Incredible as it seems, this is what Jesus says: “Thou hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
My God, what shall I say of this? I believe, and worship, and live of this love. Lord Jesus, have mercy on thy people; there are contentions and factions among those who are to be one in thee. Unite in thyself as many of us as believe in thee. Let thy love knit us together and make us one in heart. Let our whole life be love. This we ardently desire. Lord Jesus, let the love with which the Father loved thee be in us; and be thou in us, thy poor, unworthy brethren, for whom thou didst pay so great a price. Amen.
Praise to God, immortal praise,
For the love that crowns our days!
Bounteous source of every joy,
Let thy praise our tongues employ.
All to thee, our God, we owe,
Source whence all our blessings flow.
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