After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began. John 17:1-5
For the past few weeks, I've played the part of early morning chauffeur for my daughter who is running cross country. On the car rides home after practice, she's exhausted (rightfully so), but also excited because this is her first venture into the world of athletics. I'm already picturing the moment she gets handed her jersey and puts it on.
Responsibility comes from being part of a team. While running in the woods on race day, she represents the school whose name appears on the front of her shirt. In victory or defeat. Whether she achieves a personal record or if an injury takes her out, from the moment that gun goes off until the time she crosses the finish line, she represents her school.
John 17 captures the final prayers of Jesus before His betrayal and death on the cross. What we witness from this intimate pulling back of the curtain is the mindset Jesus had knowing adversity awaited Him. He didn't pray for relief from the pain, to be let go of the responsibility, but rather, that He would represent His Father well in the moments to come. His focus wasn't on Himself but rather that through everything He experienced, God would receive glory.
This shouldn't catch us by surprise. Every step Jesus took on earth centered on pointing people to the Father. Every twist and turn along the path focused on encouraging the crowds to see God in their midst. Jesus revealed His Father's glory.
When people witnessed Jesus, they caught a glimpse of God. Through His words, actions, and demeanor, Jesus prayed that God would receive honor. And right before Jesus crossed the finish line by saying, "It is finished," He wanted nothing more than to esteem God.
Jesus invites us to utter the same radical prayer in Matthew 6:9 - "Our Father in heaven, HALLOWED be your name." To hallow something means to "make it holy." The race marked before us, better known as life, provides endless opportunities to hallow His name.
In the trials, praise Him. During those moments of blessings, display humility. At all times, and in everything you do, glorify God by the way you respond. Today, remember that you live to honor the name on the front of your jersey, not the one on the back.
What is one small step you can take today to glorify God in your situation?
God, I praise You for You are good. You are gracious and loving, forgiving and kind. I pray that I would reflect Your heart in everything I do. I hope that through the way I spend my days that You would get the glory and recognition that only You deserve. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.