What Jesus Really Wants

Read: John 17:24-26

To see my glory . . . (v. 24)

The Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfills the wishes of children with critical illnesses. Some ask for a family trip to Disney World. Others want to be a firefighter for a day. Imagine a child’s joy when the wish is granted! If you were near death, what one thing would you ask for?

Within 24 hours, Jesus would be crucified. His prayer returns to the theme of glory where it began (17:1). His ultimate desire is that you and I be with him and see his glory that the Father gave him “before the foundation of the world” (v. 24). No one has been able to see this glory fully since sin entered the world. When Moses did catch a glimpse of God’s glory at Mount Sinai, he had to cover his shining face because people were afraid (Exod. 34:30). When Peter, James, and John witnessed the glory of Jesus’ transfiguration and heard the voice from heaven, “they fell on their faces and were terrified” (Matt. 17:6; see 2 Peter 1:16-18).

Verse 3 of the hymn “Crown Him with Many Crowns” captures the impossibility of this for even angels: “No angels in the sky / can fully bear that sight, / but downward bends their burning eye / at mysteries so bright.” For Jesus’ prayer to be fulfilled, the one thing necessary would be his own death on the cross. Because Jesus died, we will see him in glory and forever worship his majesty. Oh, what a day it will be! —Jon Opgenorth

As you pray, thank God for the cross of Christ.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Jesus' Last Prayer