John 17:1 Father, the Hour Is Come 7/25/2010 ßą
#1. Glorify Thy Son (John 17:1, Isa 53:10, John 12:27-28, Heb 5:7, Acts 2:27)
#2. Christ’s Power Toward His Elect (1Pet 3:22, Rom 8:33-34)
#3. By Grace Alone (John 6:44, Rom 9:11-13, Acts 13:48)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to John, John 17:1 (2X). Today is a Lord’s Supper service; that is why I am again in John 17. As you know, this is the Lord’s prayer shortly before He went to the cross. This was Thursday evening after the Lord Jesus and His disciples had eaten their last Passover meal, and now they were walking toward the Garden of Gethsemane. All these words recorded in John 15, 16 and 17 were spoken while they were walking to Gethsemane. And then we read
Joh 17:1-10 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
This was the time when the Lord Jesus would be betrayed and delivered into the hands of His enemies. A short time ago Judas Iscariot left the band of disciples when the Lord Jesus pointed him out as the one who would betray Him. Judas left, and it was night. We should realize that the nights were very dark in those days, for street lanterns were not yet invented. But Judas knew his way. He went immediately to the scribes and Pharisees and told them that he was discovered. He could lead them to Jesus this night, but hereafter he would be of no use at all. And so, even though it was not according to their plan, for they said in Matt 26:5, “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people”, the scribes and Pharisees decided to arrest Jesus that night, with the result that the Lord Jesus would be crucified on the Passover, according to God’s plan. That is why the Lord Jesus said, “Father, the hour is come”, and that is why the title of this sermon is, “Father, the Hour Is Come”. It was the hour when the Son of man had to terminate the labors of His important life by a death still more important and illustrious. It was the hour when the Lord of glory, the judge of all the earth, would step down from the judge’s bench and pay the penalty that was required by the law of God for millions of bankrupt sinners who cannot discern between their right hand and their left. It was the hour for fulfilling hundreds of prophecies and types and symbols, which for thousands of years had been pointing forward to this hour. It was the hour when events took place which in the history of this universe can find no parallel: when Satan was permitted to bruise the heel of Christ, although this should be understood in the symbolic sense, for Christ’s heel was not pierced with nails. The Lord Jesus clearly said, “They pierced My hands and My feet”, unlike what is shown in the fake Shroud of Turin where the nails were driven in the wrist and in the heel bone of the victim. It was the hour when the Law of God, the sword of Divine justice, smote the suffering Servant of Jehovah; when the sun was darkened by the wrath of God like it will be on the last day; but when the elect company were redeemed, and when heaven was gladdened, and which brought glory to God in the highest to all eternity. And what glory is this? It is a glory that claims victory over sin. It is a glory which claimed victory in a spiritual battle which Satan began in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve and then Adam, and conquered this world. This is truly great glory, for the Devil that ruled the world with sin is very great and mighty. And now the Lord Jesus prays, “Father”,
#1. Glorify Thy Son (John 17:1, Isa 53:10, John 12:27-28, Heb 5:7, Acts 2:27)
Joh 17:1 ¶ These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. (Please put a sticker here in John 17:1.)
What did the Lord Jesus pray for when He said, “Glorify Thy Son”? All we know from this passage is that the Lord Jesus would be crucified, and that this entire scenario was orchestrated by the Father, for we read in Isa 53:10, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief.” But we find a little more information if we go back to John 12:28. Please turn a few pages back to chapter 12 in this Gospel of John, John 12:27 (2X). This was Monday, the 10th day of the first month, the day the Passover lambs were selected by the congregation of Israel, and God pointed out His choice of selecting His Lamb, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” The Lord Jesus prayed in John 12:27, “Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” Notice that there is a direct connection between John 17:1 and John 12:28. In John 17:1 the Lord Jesus said, “Father, glorify Thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee”. In John 12:28 the Lord Jesus said, “Father, glorify Thy Name”, implying that to glorify the Name of the Father, the Father would glorify the Name of His Son. But now let us turn our eyes to the context of John 12:28. We read in verse 27, “Father, save me from this hour”. What is the Lord Jesus asking for? He is not asking the Father to save God the Son from death, for God the Son cannot die, for “in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” But He is asking the Father to save His human side from death. But then He answers His own petition. Paraphrased we read in John 12:27, “But no! for this cause came I unto this hour.” On the one hand He asked the Father to save His human side from death, for it was in His human side that He atoned for our sins. On the other hand He recognized that His atonement was the wages of sin, and God’s law stated that the wages of sin is death; no, not just physical death, for the death that God has in view is the second death of an eternity in the lake of fire. There is another verse in the Bible which points to exactly the same petition to save Him from death. Please put a sticker here in John 12:27 and please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Heb 5:7 (2X). The Lord Jesus prayed this prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane when He pleaded with the Father if perhaps this cup could pass from Him. He was in agony. Three times He prayed this prayer, but apparently there was no answer from heaven. But then we read in Heb 5:7, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” Christ offered up prayers and supplications unto the Father who was able to save Him from death, and was heard in what He feared. Did the Lord Jesus fear physical death? Absolutely not! Many times He told the disciples that He had come to this earth for the express purpose to give His life as a ransom for many. What did He fear then? He feared the second death, which was truly a full payment for all of our sins. But what do we read in Heb 5:7? He was heard in what He feared. The Father saved Him from that death. Can we have confirmation of that fact? Yes, we can find it in Acts 2:27, where we read, “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption”, which is literally taken from Psalm 16:10. It means that the Lord Jesus indeed died in His body, and indeed on the cross He was suffering the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, but the Father did not leave His human soul in Hell but saved Him out of that predicament. Before His body died the Lord Jesus said with a loud voice, “It is finished”, which means that His suffering the equivalent of an eternity in Hell was finished. Let us now return to John 12:27. All this now is in view when we consider the words of the Lord Jesus in John 12:27, and the answer of the Father in John 12:28. All His preparations for the cross are in view when the Father said, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” And now connect this again to John 17:1. Please turn to John 17:1. When the Lord Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour is come” He did not refer to one hour, but to an undefined time period. He is referring to the time period that the Father is going to glorify the Son by nailing Him to the Cross, and by raising Him from the dead, and by taking Him into Heaven. And therefore, what do we see here in the meaning of “glorifying”? From God’s perspective it means: Christ has crushed the head of the Serpent, and Christ is receiving His Kingdom! He had labored for it perfectly every inch of the way, in order:
For after He has completed His assignment and has judged the earth, He will offer the Kingdom to the Father, as we read in 1Cor 15:28, “And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” We read in
Joh 17:1 ¶ These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
This entire chapter deals with glorifying the Lord Jesus and the Father being glorified through the glorification of His Son. We find in this chapter those things that glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, and we find also the things that do not glorify Him. For example, let us drop down to verses 9-10. John 17:9-10,
Joh 17:9-10 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
In verse 9 the Lord Jesus said, “I pray for these disciples, for these are the ones that Thou, Father, hast given me. And then the Lord Jesus said, “I pray not for the world.” We could adopt the meaning that this applies only to the context: In this portion of Scripture the Lord Jesus prayed only for the disciples. But when He said “I pray not for the world” He did not indicate the words, “not now”, or “ever in the past”, or that He might pray for the world in the future. When we read “I pray not for the world” we understand that the Lord Jesus will never pray for the world, not even in the future. We can understand this when we consider verse 10. We read in John 17:10, “all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.” Paraphrased He says: “All those persons Thou hast given me are mine, and all mine are thine, and it is for them alone that I came to give my life a ransom for many. I did not come to atone for every one in the world, but alone for those whom Thou, Father, hast given me.” This is glorifying to the Father, for this was the plan of the Father in giving the Lord Jesus these disciples. To atone for the sins of all those who are going to spend eternity in Hell is not at all glorifying to the Father. Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Ephesians, Eph 1:19 (2X). We must understand that we are honoring God when we give Him thanks for what He has done for us, and when we thank Him for what He has not done for us we are not honoring Him at all, for this is ignoring His wisdom. We must try to understand Him from the actions of God He has recorded for us in the Scriptures. God says in Eph 1:19-21,
Eph 1:19-21 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
We must realize the greatness of Christ’s power to us-ward who believe. And who are those who believe? The whole world is immersed in unbelief, for God says in John 1:10, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” Only those whom God first has made alive are able to hear and believe that the Lord Jesus has died for them. And thus the first act of salvation is done by God in selecting whom He shall make alive. You see that we always arrive at the subject of election and reprobation. We, the elect, are the only ones for whom the exceeding greatness of His power is working to save us from our sins. We are the only ones who were crucified with Christ, and we died with Christ, and we were buried with Christ, and we were raised with Christ, and we ascended with Christ and are seated with Him in the heavenlies. This is what He has done for us. And He has done it for us and to us because He loved us from before the foundation of the world, and He had pity on us because we could not help ourselves, and we could not pay for our own sins. Let us then look at:
#2. Christ’s Power Toward His Elect (1Pet 3:22, Rom 8:33-34)
Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of Peter, 1Pet 3:22 (2X). If we think of Christ’s power toward His elect we must realize that God the Son, who is also called Christ before the incarnation, was active on our part before the foundation of the world in selecting us as His elect and placing our names in the covenant of grace that He designed. We then see that after His incarnation, and after His death and resurrection He ascended to heaven in glory, and God was pleased to give Him, the man Christ Jesus, great power and glory. We read then in 1Pet 3:22, “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” When we think of Christ we think mostly of His work of atonement for our sins. But of equal greatness is His function as our great High Priest which has now been going on for almost 2000 years. His work on our behalf has been and still is immensely great. Please turn to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 8:33 (2X). After the Lord Jesus atoned for all the sins of His elect He was not done with us, but He continually cares for us as a loving Father cherishes His children, or as a Bridegroom loves and cares for His bride. We need a great deal of care continuously, since we are basically of a sinful nature. And so we read in Rom 8:33-34,
Ro 8:33-34 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Christ makes intercession for us because He is our great high priest according to the order of Melchisedec. His defensive and preserving power so operates that His elect shall never be deceived or fall away. His enemies can attack only under the direction of Christ, and only to the extent that Christ permits them. The affairs of men are so directed that all of world’s history serves to save His elect and to preserve His elect. The unsaved world remains a house divided against itself, for the preservation of the church and His elect. Christ shall preserve and defend His own against Antichrist and against all those who seek their life, until He shall have consumed them by the sword that proceeds out of His mouth. This is His commitment to the Father, and this is His commitment to all His elect.
Please turn again in your Bibles to the Gospel of John, John 6:37 (2X). When we think of the charge, or the assignment, we think of the charge that was given to the Lord Jesus at the time of His incarnation. When we think of a commitment we think of the charge and of the reward for keeping the commitment. What was the charge that the man Christ Jesus received at His incarnation? He was told that God the Son, who indwelt Him, made a commitment before the foundation of the world that He would build a temple of God from living stones that are utterly defiled by sin. And now it was the task of the man Christ Jesus to atone for all those sins on the cross of Calvary. We read in John 6:37, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” It means that the Father has given to the Lord Jesus Christ the souls of all those whom the Father has elected before the foundation of the world. All those then who will be drawn by the Father to come to Christ, He will not reject, because He will be true to the commitment that God the Son has taken upon Him. Please turn again to John 17:12 (2X). Of all those who are drawn by the Father to come to Christ, the only one who was not elect from before the foundation of the world was Judas Iscariot. The Lord Jesus said in John 17:12, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” The son of perdition, otherwise known as the son of Hell refers to Judas Iscariot. That the Scripture might be fulfilled refers to Psalm 109:8, which describes that the apostleship of Judas Iscariot shall go to another. And what is the reward of the Lord Jesus for fulfilling His commitment. Please turn to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 53:10 (2X). This OT prophecy actually must be seen with NT eyes. The entire chapter of Isa 53 deals with the suffering and death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus on the cross. It is an amazingly accurate prophecy, and it is an amazing testimony of the stubbornness of the nation of Israel that they have rejected the Lord Jesus as their Messiah. We read in Isa 53:10-12,
Isa 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
What is the reward of the Lord Jesus? We read in verse 12, “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong”, which is a veiled reference to us being joint heirs with Christ of the NH&NE. That is an entire new universe where only righteousness dwells. We cannot adequately describe such a new place, for it will be a universe where there is no decay, which means no entropy, which means time is no more. And we will be reigning with Christ over this entire universe. And what have we done to deserve such a great reward? Nothing! It is all a free gift.
#3. By Grace Alone (John 6:44, Rom 9:11-13, Acts 13:48)
Please turn again to John 6, and now we turn to John 6:44 (2X). There are only three passages that I want us to remember; three passages that are among the most hated passages in the Bible; passages that are hated by those who preach a gospel of free will; those who preach a gospel where eternal life is well deserved for those who have made a decision to follow Jesus. The first one is John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” Indeed this verse says no man CAN come to Jesus, except the Father draw him to Jesus. Therefore our salvation and our great inheritance is all freely by grace. The apostle Paul and the thief on the cross get the same reward, for it is all by grace. Please turn now to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:11 (2X). Here is perhaps the most hated passage in the Bible, for it deals with little children. People speak of little children as innocent children who are never inclined to do evil. Let us hear what God says in Rom 9:11,
Ro 9:11-12 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; It was said unto her,
The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
And God said this before the children were born, before they could have done any good or evil, before Jacob could have deceived his brother Esau with a bowl of lentil soup, and before the deceiver Jacob could have stolen the final blessing of Esau from his blind father. God said, Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated a long time before they were even born. And God did not reverse His decision for Jacob as well as for Esau ever in their lifetime, for salvation is entirely by grace, a totally free gift. Please turn now to the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 13:48 (2X). Paul and Barnabas were evangelizing the Gentiles at Antioch in Pisidia. The Jews rejected the witness of Paul and Barnabas, but the Gentiles heard them gladly. And then we read in Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” As many as were ordained to eternal life believed, or as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And those that believed were saved, for salvation is freely by grace, and is not earned or deserved. What do we conclude? We conclude that salvation is all by grace. God has done 100% of the work, and we have done nothing. But in connection with this let us now look at:
Please turn to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 28:18 (2X). After the Lord Jesus rose from the grave He appeared to the disciples to give them His last instructions, their marching orders, before He was taken up into heaven. This is called the Great Commission. We read in Matt 28:18-20
Mt 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Where is the emphasis in this passage? The Roman Catholics and many of the Baptists say, “We must baptize them in water”. But where do we see water in this passage? There is no water here. The baptizing that the Lord Jesus referred to can just as well refer to “spiritual washing”, and the following verse actually supports this view by saying “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” When people claim that we are dealing here with “God Given Ceremonies”, we would do well to recognize that what is done outside the body, like washing with water, does not synchronize with what God does in our soul. These are two different things which do not occur at the same time. And if they do occur at the same time, then God is a liar, for this makes salvation dependant on our works. Then salvation would no longer be free. Today we are celebrating the Lord’s Supper. I would like us to remember that what is done outside the body, like eating the bread and drinking the grape juice, does not synchronize with what God does in our soul. The ceremony is only a shadow of the real thing that God does in our soul, and the two are not synchronized.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.