Eyes to Heaven – John 17:1-5 ESV, Tom Bradwell Assistant Pastor

We join Jesus and the apostles in the school of prayer.

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

v 1 “He lifted His eyes towards heaven”  God is omnipresent. He cannot be contained in one physical location.

Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Psalm 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?

2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

2. “Glorify your Son”   Jesus re-defines glory here.

To glorify is to make manifest and to acknowledge the worth or value of a person. 

Rev. 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And how then can we glorify Jesus? How do we manifest His value or worth?  By valuing Him above all else.

Luke 9:23-24 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.

Matt 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

3.   v. 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him

Jesus is declaring that He is both Savior and Lord. This is an exclusive claim. There is no other way to eternal life than through Him. 

Phil 2:10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

4.   v 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Jesus defines eternal life not as a place or destination, but as a relationship.  The moment you receive Jesus as your Lord and the Holy Spirit comes and dwells in you, you have been translated from eternal death, which is separation from the Father to eternal life, which is restored relationship with Him. Eternal life begins at that moment you receive Jesus.

1 John 1:2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–

5. v 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

We glorify God on earth by radically surrendering to His calling or purpose for us.  He has called each and every one of us to join Him in His work, by playing the part that he has ordained us to play.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

And all of our individual work has a singular corporate purpose, to glorify God. Which means, Lord forbid, we can rob Jesus of some of His glory through refusing to surrender to the work that he has called us to do

 6.  v 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

The world is not our home. Jesus is returning to the right hand of the Father.  Which brings us full circle…He lifted His eyes to heaven. Lord grant us the grace to do the same..