“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
This passage is part of a lengthy prayer of Jesus called the “high priestly prayer.” And of His prayer, these are among the most comforting of His petitions. Here Jesus assures us of what we are to finally receive and where we shall find our rest and confidence. In this world we find no place to abide because we are often rejected and hated, but in Christ Jesus our Savior we find great encouragement and hope because He promises to prepare a great place for us where we will be with Him, that we will be as happy and joyful as He is with His Father.
In other words, Jesus is saying, “Do not worry about your abiding place! Let the devil and the world scream and yell and hurl insults and threats at you because you will be taken care of and enter into the place you long for, where you may rest forever in spite of all the evil done against you. Consider my prayer for you as a restful bed for your souls, and when your final hour comes you will be freed from sin, the world, and every power of the devil. Go therefore with hearts of joy and eyes always looking to that great day!”
We will be with Him, and we will see Him and His glory as clear as day. Upon this earth we see only by faith because of sin. We see dimly what awaits us as we study His Word, as we gather for Word and Sacrament each week, but our vision is hazed and short-sighted. Our knowledge is obscure, sort of like a dark cloud overcasting the bright sun. Christ’s glory cannot be known today, not fully, though we can know it enough by faith.
Knowing that what is to come is far greater than what is today, ask yourself: What harm can this world do to you? How can this world deprive you of anything, be it property, honor, acceptance, fortune, popularity, even life if in Christ you shall forever behold His glory to the full? Yet we are slow to believe this because it is beyond reason. We see and feel our worn-out bodies and our decaying flesh, and we doubt, and we run to soak ourselves in the world’s preservations, letting lust and possessions and stimulants fool us into believing we can have glory now.
But if our Lord Christ prays for us, that we one day have what He has, then let us repent daily of our doubts and fears and pursuits of worldly fulfillment, and instead abide in Him and His Word and trust that He keeps His promises.
Heavenly Father, I know I too often fall for the doubts and fears of my mind and soul and do not rightly abide in You. Keep me steadfast in Your Word and in the sure promises of glory and a better life that will surely come to all who believe and trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.