Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
I want to draw your attention to the phrase "be with me where I am". Ask yourself this question. When Jesus prayed this prayer, where was he? Now, think not just in a physical sense, but what was he facing? What position in life was he in?
This scripture is part of a prayer Jesus prayed to the Father before entering the Garden of Gethsemane, before being betrayed, before being executed. The Bible tells us that He knew what He was facing. During the Passover celebration, Jesus had stated, "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified." (1) And again in verse 27...
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. John 12:27
So why, you ask, "Why would He pray for me to be with Him?" Because just as He knew what was put before Him, He knew the sacrifice, He also knew the reward. In the verse we read previously, notice the phrase "that the Son of Man should be glorified." He knew that the "glorified" part would come. If we read into the next verse, we see further proof of this.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24
The "fruit" is us! (2) It's every man who accepts Jesus as his Savior. The Seed was Jesus. (3) We find further proof of Jesus mindset in the book of Hebrews.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2
Joy! Despite all that He knew, despite a cruel, humiliating death on a cross, despite physical pain and mental anguish, despite total separation from His Father, none of which He had yet endured, Jesus saw joy.
John 17 is a beautiful prayer and in much of it Jesus is praying for you and me. He repeatedly uses words like "for their sakes", "that they may be", and "that they might know". This is really something for us to think about, that Jesus would want us to be where He was. He was facing so much that is bad and painful and cruel, yet with such joy in His heart.
Hebrews 12:3 takes this thought yet one step further.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Consider Him. Think about Him. Think about the joy, the reward, the prize. (4)
That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” John 17:21-26 NKJV
(1) John 12:23
(2) John 15:5
(3) Galatians 3:16
(4) 1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 3:13
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.