I love theatre — live stage acting, musicals, choreography, well-planned sets — it’s mesmerizing from your seat in the audience. But if you look behind the curtains, you get an entirely different perspective.

In John 17, we get a different perspective of Jesus — not the Jesus rebuking wind and waves, or the Jesus healing the lame and blind, or the Jesus hanging out with sinners and tax collectors. This is “backstage Jesus” — in authentic and intimate conversation with his Father. It provides us with a genuine glimpse of Jesus in prayer and relationship to the Father.

In verse 1, Jesus prays, “Father… Glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.” When Jesus prayed the aim of his prayer (and his life) was always God’s glory. When I pray, it’s often… “God, protect me, help me, heal me. God give me power, give me boldness, give me comfort.” Is it for his glory? Or… is it kinda for my own?

Jesus prays, essentially saying, “Father, it’s for your glory, so let’s do this — I’m ready to die.” With Jesus, God’s glory was always the goal. In verse 4 of John 17, Jesus prays, “I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.” In every miracle and every problem, with every Pharisee and every follower. God’s glory was always the goal.

We’re on the other side of the old rugged cross, Hallelujah! But God’s glory is still the goal.

Every spiritual blessing I have in Christ… forgiveness, prayer, grace, salvation, peace, freedom, The Church, adoption, The Holy Spirit, heaven… it’s all amazing, and so, so good for me. But it’s not the goal. God’s glory is still the goal.

Glory is often visualized by light. We shine a light on a flag or monument or a musician on stage to say, “Hey, look here! This is good, important and worthy of honor.” What’s illuminated gets the glory. You can see this throughout the pages of Scripture from “Let there be light” on page one of the Bible to Moses and the burning bush, and Jesus’ Transfiguration. Light is a recurring metaphor that symbolizes importance, purity, and the absolute absence of darkness.

In John 8, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” But in Matthew 5, he tells us, “YOU are the light of the world… let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God’s glory was the singular goal for Jesus, the light of the world.
God’s glory is forever your goal for “you are the light of the world.”
May your light shine brightly today for the glory of the Father who has given us His glory. (John 17:22)

Donielle Winter
EFCC Member

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