By Tyshawn Gardner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, Samford University
Does It Honor God?
The Gospel of John presents Jesus in a similar, but different light than the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John’s Gospel, Jesus is presented as God, the Word made flesh. Much emphasis is placed on the divinity of Christ in this special gospel.
In this week’s lesson passage, Jesus alludes to His divinity by bringing attention to His preexistence with the Father. However, as divine Son of God, Jesus still seeks to glorify God.
As a member of the Godhead, in His divine identity, Jesus’ focus is not on Himself, rather He is intentional and passionate about bringing glory and honor to God. If Jesus can ensure His works point to God, surely we can too.
We honor God when we share about the eternal life Christ offers. (1–3)
In Chapter 17, the time draws nigh for Jesus to give His life to purchase our redemption. Of all the matters and concerns around Him at the critical time in His divine assignment, Jesus has the discipline and awareness to share about the eternal life He offers. Even though it is He who is laying down His life, His desire is for humanity to know God as “the only true God.”
Where is our focus in times of suffering? When we are called upon to make deep sacrifices, do we desire for others to acknowledge and give credit to us?
Jesus teaches a valuable lesson in this prayer. The lesson is that in everything we do, God must get the glory. There is glory beyond this life. The greatest glory we will experience is a life of eternity with the Father.
We honor God when we continue the work He has given us. (4–5)
In this prayer, Jesus gives thanks to the Father for allowing Him to complete the work the Father gave Him. Moreover, He does not expect nor desire an earthly reward for His sacrifice, but rather looks to be glorified in the presence of the Father.
We are prone to talk about ourselves and make ourselves look good. We are encouraged to “look out for No. 1” and “toot your own horn.”
Although Jesus has been despised and rejected and is now on His way to Calvary, He is faithful to continue and finish the work.
In similar manner, we bring honor to God when we complete the work He has given us.
Many Christians and churches give attention to the results of the work. Thus their commitment to the work is often driven by results. If the results look unfavorable, we rarely continue in a work that looks doomed.
We must learn to measure our success not by results, but by faithfulness.
We honor God when we pray and disciple others. (6–9)
In this prayer, Jesus is also focused on His disciples and those who will come after them.
God has called each of us to a life of selfless devotion and sacrifice. Jesus served as the supreme example on earth of how to honor God. When we disciple others, we set in motion a perpetual cycle of servants who are committed to honor the Lord.
Prayer is also hearing from God. God’s voice always leads us to glorify Him and accomplish His purposes. We are in the best place possible when we do that and live for His glory.
Christian discipleship also teaches Christ followers to honor God in the hardest times in our life.
We should be reminded that when we suffer, others are watching. We often produce disciples unknowingly. We are ever on display, even in the most difficult seasons of life.
When others see us worship, serve and obey God in our tough places, they too will be disciples that honor God in the good and bad times of their lives. The things God calls us to will point to His honor and glory.
Share with others: