7th week in Easter Time, Tuesday – 26th May 2020 — Gospel: Jn 17,1-11a
Prayer of submission and glory
Often we have found in the Gospels that Jesus prayed. Sometimes we read short pieces of His prayers (Jn 11,41-42; 12,27-28). But the whole chapter of John 17 becomes the longest recorded prayer in the NT, which Jesus prayed hours before He was arrested. In this prayer, Jesus prays for Himself, that He would be glorified (17,1-5); for His disciples, that they would be sanctified (17,6-19); and for the church, that it would be unified (17,20-26). This prayer teaches us about the nature of prayer, about God’s sovereign purpose and our place in it, and about the relationship between the Father and the Son. In the first part, Jesus views himself equal to the Father in terms of glory (17,5), and yet distinct from the Father and subject to Him in their relationship. This prayer, along with His subsequent prayer in the garden, strengthened Jesus to endure hostility of sinners against himself (Heb 12,3). Jesus not only teaches us that we need to be faithful witnesses in a world that is hostile to the gospel, but also to submit in prayer to God’s sovereign plan, who glorifies Jesus through the cross. Thus Jesus’ prayer reveals his source of courage in facing the cross. He was resolute because He knew God’s plan and He submitted obediently in prayer to that plan.