The Son’s Request
Sermon Theme: God gets the glory, and we get the good.
1. God’s Glory
“This is truly, beyond measure, a warm and hearty prayer. He opens the depths of His heart, both in reference to us and to His Father, and He pours them all out. It is so deep, so rich, so wide, no one can fathom it.” – Martin Luther
“It was offered on the eve of the greatest event of history; it is found in conjunction with the greatest message ever heard in history; and its contents involve the greatest experience that history can ever provide. Furthermore, every sentence within the prayer is bound up with the honour and glory of God.” – Mark Johnston
“The entire ministry of Jesus has been directed to this moment in time, and now in this prayer of consecration just before the events of the ‘hour’ begin, Jesus places this ‘hour’ before the Father, from whom the Son was sent and for whom all the work of the Son was intended.” – Edward Klink
And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. – John 12:23-24
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. – John 12:32-33
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” – John 12:27-28
“By describing the ‘elect’ not by their act of faith but by the action of God, Jesus emphasizes that this entire event is ‘from above’; not only is the Son’s glory and authority given to him by God but so also are those for whom he was sent.” – Edward Klink
2. Our good
“It is life knowing the Father and the Son. Eternal life is in essence quality of life rather than quantity of life. True, it participates in the victory over the grave which the Son has won through his death and rising, and is therefore ‘endless’, but that is certainly not its most important feature. It is life ‘knowing God’. ‘Eternal life is not so much everlasting life as knowledge of the Everlasting One.’ We were made to experience this and in the absence of it the human spirit is forever unsatisfied. Augustine expressed it memorably: ‘You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless till they rest in you.’” – Bruce Milne
God is clothed in splendour in the eyes of those who perceive what has been achieved by God himself in the cross, resurrection and exaltation of his Son. To see God’s glory, to be given eternal life—these are parallel, and, lest the reader miss the point, the two themes are drawn together in v. 3. Eternal life turns on nothing more and nothing less than knowledge of the true God. – D.A. Carson
“if our joy is going to reflect the glory of God, then it must flow from true knowledge of how God is glorious. If we are going to enjoy God duly, we must know him truly.” – John Piper
When the Word became flesh (1:14), this new condition was not designed to be temporary. When Jesus is glorified, he does not leave his body behind in a grave, but rises with a transformed, glorified body which returns to the Father and thus to the glory the Son had with the Father ‘before the world began’. – D.A. Carson
6 And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. 8 And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” 14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
— Revelation 5:6-14
Questions for Discussion/Application
- Re-read Matthew 17:1-5. What initial insights and observations do you have from reading this passage?
- Jeremy reminded us that “The glorification of the Son starts with the cross. Jesus is high and lifted up on the cross.” In what ways does the Cross of Christ reveal the glory of Christ?
- What steps might we take practically to grow in our own personal awe and wonder at the glory of who Jesus is and what He has accomplished for us in the gospel? How might “preaching the gospel to ourselves daily” help us to grow in this way?
- What has been helpful to you personally over the years in seeking to grow in your grasp of Christ and His glory? What role does personal Bible reading and prayer have in this? What role does gathering with the saints for corporate worship on Sunday have in helping is to grow in these ways?
- Consider taking time to pray, asking God to help us to grow daily in our awe and wonder at who Jesus is and what He is done and that as a result we would live our lives wholeheartedly for Him.