24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
The last petition of Jesus to the Father was about fellowship.
Jesus’ address to the Father indicated the introduction of another petition. The idea of Father implied a filial relationship.
The word “desire” here carries both the ideas of delight and determination.
that [purpose] they also whom You gave Me
Those whom the Father “gave” Jesus were those who believed the apostles’ message (Jn 17:20). People given by God are those who respond to His initiative and supernatural work.
Jesus was still praying for future believers. They were not His yet, but they would come to believe on him. This phrase is proleptic. The believers that the Father gave to Jesus refers to the sum total of all future believers; these are those who will throughout the ages trust Christ as Savior.
may be with Me where I am,
Jesus’ desire was that His followers would be “with Him” in eternity. This is the believer’s ultimate destiny. That destiny involves fellowship in the presence of Christ.
that [purpose] they may behold My glory
The “glory” of which Jesus spoke here is His eternal glory as God. He asked the Father that His future followers would come to understand the immensity of His deity expressed while He was on earth. The ultimate purpose for Jesus’ disciples was to see His ineffable glory in His exalted state.
Jesus’ glory was already apparent during His earthly ministry. He existed as the preexistent Son in the Logos (Jn 1:1).
which You have given Me;
The glory here was the Son’s exalted glory where He had completed His work on earth. It was the glory of His work as the Messiah yet to be appreciated (Php 2:9).
Nowhere in the Bible was Jesus’ glory before the creation of the world “given” to Him (Php 2:6; Co 1:15; 2 Co 8:9). The reference here is to the same “glory” as in 17:22.
for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
The Father loved the Son from eternity. “Before the foundation of the world” means in eternity. The love of the Father did not originate in time but in eternity. The Father-Son relationship existed in eternity.
Believers are to be prisms of Jesus’ glory in time and eternity.
The ultimate reward for believers is the definitive revelation of Christ in His glory. Our vision of the glory of Christ begins on earth (2 Co 3:18) and continues into eternity, where we will delight forever in the wonder of who Jesus is.