1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
Jesus and the apostles had by this time probably left the upper room and begun traveling to the Mount of Olives. Having finished the discourse, Jesus now offered a prayer of intercession:
He prayed for Himself (17:1-5)
He prayed for the apostles (17:6-19)
He prayed for all future believers (17:20-26)
This is the longest prayer by Jesus in the Bible. He prayed two things for Himself:
(1) that the Father would glorify His mission on earth (17:1-3), and
(2) that Jesus would return to His eternal glory after His mission (17:4-5).
1 Jesus spoke these words,
“These words” refers to John 16:33, where Jesus finished His discourse in the upper room with an affirmation of victory—which was a declaration of success for paying for sins by His death on the cross.
The gospel of John does not include the pericope of His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mt 26:36-46).
lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said:
Jesus directed His prayer to where the Father was located. His gesture in prayer was to look to the sky to pray.
Jesus addressed the “Father” three times in this prayer (Jn 17:5, 21, 24). He also used the terms “Holy Father” (v. 11) and “righteous Father” (v. 25). Jesus spoke as a Son to the Father.
the hour has come.
Previously Jesus had said several times that His hour had not come (Jn 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20). Now the time had arrived for Jesus to die on the cross to execute the plan of salvation. This was the “hour” that the Father planned from eternity, the time for Jesus to die on the cross for the sins of the world. There was an air of finality here. The entire ministry of Christ was to climax at the cross. This was the appointed hour of dramatic change that introduced a new dispensation and ushered out the old.
Glorify Your Son,
Jesus’ request to “glorify” the Son was to manifest to the world His work on the cross, the resurrection, and the restoring of His coronation to eternal glory.
The word “that” shows the purpose of Jesus asking the Father to glorify Him—His glorification was not an end in itself; it was for the glorification of the Father.
Your Son also may glorify You,
The Son would glorify the Father by His work on earth. God’s glorious attributes were brought to focus at the cross, the resurrection, and the coronation of the Son in heaven. The ultimate end of the Son’s glorification is the glorification of the Father. The Son would glorify the Father by means of the cross.
There is a divine timetable for each believer.
Jesus lived on a divine timetable while on earth. The hour of His death was set in eternity past. He was the Lamb slain, arranged from the foundation of the world (Ga 4:4). Our times are also in God’s hands (Ps 31:15).
The mission of the Son equates with the overall purpose of God—that is, the glorification of God primarily and the salvation of man secondarily. We see the glory of Christ in both the cross and the crown. The world views the cross as something of shame, but Jesus deemed it as glory.
Jesus did not pray for Himself in a selfish way. He prayed that the will of the Father be done. He did not ask the Father to save Him from the cross but to glorify both the Father and Himself through it. The glory of the Son was also the glory of the Father. It was a prayer of sustaining grace.