Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.
The basic concept of the Lord’s prayer in John 17 is glorification. In verse 1 the Lord said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” This is the subject, the central point, of this prayer.
The best illustration of glorification is the blossoming of a flower. A carnation seed, for example, is sown into the earth. After it grows up out of the earth, it blossoms. This blossoming is the glorification of the carnation seed. The carnation seed contains the life element and the life shape of the carnation flower. The style, color, and beauty of the flower are all contained in a little carnation seed, but no one can see this style, color, and beauty until the seed grows out of the earth and blossoms. The blossom is the glory of the seed. The blossoming is the glorification of the seed, for it is by blossoming that the seed is glorified, that is, expressed.
When Jesus Christ came in the flesh, He was like that little carnation seed. In Him, that is, in His human form, His human shell, were all the beauty and shape of the divine life. All the colorful aspects of the divine life were concealed and confined in that little Nazarene. One day, He was sown into the earth. After He died, He grew up and blossomed in His resurrection. In His resurrection, the beauty, form, style, color, and riches of life were released and expressed. That was the glorification of the Son. Since all that God the Father is has been embodied in the Son, when the Son is glorified, the Father is also glorified in the Son’s glorification.
The concluding prayer of the Lord was for the glorification of the Triune God. The fulfillment, the answer, of this prayer for the glorification of the Triune God has three stages…The first stage of the fulfillment was the resurrection of Jesus. By His resurrection, the Lord Jesus has been manifested and glorified, and by this glorification the Father has also been glorified. The second step of its fulfillment is in the church. From the day of Pentecost to the day of the Lord’s second coming, the Holy Spirit has manifested and will continue to manifest Christ through the saints. In other words, the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ through the church. When Christ is glorified, the Father also is glorified in the Son. The last stage of the fulfillment of this prayer will occur when the fullness of time comes. At that time, all the redeemed ones of both the Old and New Testament will be composed together as the complete expression of the Triune God. In this complete expression, Christ will be the lamp and God will be the light. Christ will be manifested and glorified through the New Jerusalem, and God the Father will be manifested and glorified in the Son as well as through the New Jerusalem. That will be the complete fulfillment of the Lord’s word, “Glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” (Life-study of John, msg. 38, section 2)