John 17:1 “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. . .”
When Jesus prayed the words above to his Father, He was on His way to the cross. This was the “hour” that had come. This one Who “had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him . . . who was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:2-3)” was now asking God to glorify Him. He was asking the Father that the true glory that was inside Him would be manifest to all the world. Peter, James and John had had the special privilege of already seeing this glory, not just in all the miracles and words of Jesus in His time with them, but also when His inner majesty was revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was there that “he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light (Matthew 17:2).”
Jesus always possessed this inner glory, but it was in a sense hidden from men by His own human flesh. Most people only saw a Jewish man from a small town Who had no formal education and little money. They saw only what they believed was the illegitimate son of Mary. They mocked this One Who claimed to be the very Son of God, but Whom they saw as far inferior to themselves. How blind they were, and how blind most are today.
But here in John 17 Jesus asked the Father to glorify Him by a means of which He was fully aware, but in a way that others would see as the ultimate humiliation, i.e., an ignominious death on a cross. Yet it was in this ultimate rejection of the world that His glory would be revealed in a way like no other. Here this glorious Son of God manifested the glory of the love of God by allowing Himself to be mocked, tortured, and murdered for the sole purpose of paying the penalty for the sin of his murderers. Here He made a way for the forgiveness of any sinner who would receive this gift of His death as the sacrificial penalty for their own sin so that they might live. Here the glorious, incomparable Christ died for us while we were yet sinners, to make it possible that as many as received Him, to then give them the power to become sons of God (Romans 5:8, John 1:12).
And to think that Jesus asked for this in His prayer. Surely with this act Jesus was glorified by the Father, as Jesus glorified Him. And just as this prayer was answered, so will the rest of Jesus’ prayers be answered, including this wonderful request that was made possible only by His death: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world (John 17:24).”
Do you want to see His glory? Do you see His glory now?