John 17:5
And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
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(5) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self.—These words are exactly parallel with the commencement of the previous verse. “I,” “Thou,” “Thee—Me,” “on earth,” “with Thine own self.” (Comp. John 13:31-32.)

With the glory which I had with thee before the world was.—This clause admits of but one meaning—viz., that Jesus claimed for Himself the possession of the divine glory in His pre-existent state before the world was; and that He claimed this in personality distinct from, but in essence one with God. (Comp. John 1:1; John 1:18, and on the whole passage, Notes on Philippians 2:4-9.) The special importance of the thought here is that it is uttered in the words of Christ Himself, and that these words are a prayer to the Father. There can be no explanation of John 17:1-5 of this chapter, which denies that our Lord Jesus Christ claimed for Himself that He was divine, and co-eternal with the Father.

17:1-5 Our Lord prayed as a man, and as the Mediator of his people; yet he spoke with majesty and authority, as one with and equal to the Father. Eternal life could not be given to believers, unless Christ, their Surety, both glorified the Father, and was glorified of him. This is the sinner's way to eternal life, and when this knowledge shall be made perfect, holiness and happiness will be fully enjoyed. The holiness and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of Christ, and of his Father, which was the joy set before him, for which he endured the cross and despised the shame; this glory was the end of the sorrow of his soul, and in obtaining it he was fully satisfied. Thus we are taught that our glorifying God is needed as an evidence of our interest in Christ, through whom eternal life is God's free gift.With thine own self - In heaven, granting me a participation of the same honor which the Father has. He had just said that he had glorified God on the earth, he now prays that God would glorify him in heaven.

With the glory - With the honor. This word also includes the notion of happiness, or everything which could render the condition blessed.

Before the world was - There could not be a more distinct and clear declaration of the pre-existence of Christ than this. It means before the creation of the world; before there was any world. Of course, the speaker here must have existed then, and this is equivalent to saying that he existed from eternity. See John 1:1-2; John 6:62; John 3:13; John 16:28. The glory which he had then was that which was proper to the Son of God, represented by the expression "being in the bosom of the Father" John 1:18, denoting intimacy, friendship, united felicity. The Son of God, by becoming incarnate, is represented as "humbling himself" (Greek: he "emptied himself"), Philippians 2:8. He laid aside for a time the external aspect of honor, and consented to become despised, and to assume the form of a servant. He now prays that God would raise him up to the dignity and honor which he had before his incarnation. This is the state to which he is now exalted, with the additional honor of having made atonement for sin, and having opened the way to save a race of rebels from eternal death. The lowest condition on earth is frequently connected with the highest honors of heaven. Man looks on the outward appearance. God looks to him that is humble and of a contrite spirit.

5. And now—in return.

glorify thou me—The "I Thee" and "Thou Me" are so placed in the original, each beside its fellow, as to show that A PERFECT RECIPROCITY OF SERVICES of the Son to the Father first, and then of the Father to the Son in return, is what our Lord means here to express.

with the glory which I had with thee before the world was—when "in the beginning the Word was with God" (Joh 1:1), "the only-begotten Son in the bosom of the Father" (Joh 1:18). With this pre-existent glory, which He veiled on earth, He asks to be reinvested, the design of the veiling being accomplished—not, however, simply as before, but now in our nature.

Let the glory which, as to my Divine nature, I had with thee before the foundation of the world, be communicated also to my human nature, that my whole person may be made glorious. From hence is easily concluded, against those who deny the Godhead of Christ, that Christ was glorified with his Father before the world was, which he could not have been if he had not been eternal God. He here begs of his Father, that that glory might shine upon his person as Mediator.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self,.... Not with his perfections, these he had, they dwelt bodily in him; or with his nature, in which he was one with him; but as Mediator, with his glorious presence in heaven, by setting him at his right hand, and crowning him with glory and honour. The Jews have a notion that God will give to the King Messiah, , "of the supreme glory" (g): the glory Christ prays for is, as he says,

the glory which I had with thee before the world was; the same phrase with or , used by the Jews (h). This is not to be understood of the glory of the human nature of Christ, abstractly considered; for that is no person of itself, but what is taken up into personal union with the Son of God; and therefore cannot be intended by this personal character I; nor did it exist from eternity; it was indeed written in God's book of predestination, even all its members, when as yet there were none of them in actual being; it was set up in God's thoughts and counsel, as the pattern and exemplar of human nature; it had a federal union with the Son of God, or a covenant subsistence with him; and in the Old Testament Christ was often spoken of as man, because of his frequent appearances in an human form, and because of the certainty of his incarnation; but he did not really and actually exist as man, until he took flesh of the virgin; for Christ, as man, is the seed of the woman, the son of David, Abraham, and Adam; he is called the last and second Adam, and was not as man before the first: the Old Testament speaks of his incarnation as future, nor is it possible that a creature can exist before time; for as soon as a creature exists, time begins, which is nothing else than the measure of a creature's duration; nor was the human nature of Christ with the Father from eternity; nor had it a glory before the world began, neither in whole, nor in part: nor is the glory of the divine nature abstractly considered here meant; this glory indeed Christ had from everlasting; he had it with his Father, in common with him, being in union to him; and it is true that it was in some measure veiled and covered in his state of humiliation; for though there were some breakings forth of it in that state, these were seen but by a few; wherefore he is thought by some, to pray here for the manifestation of this glory; but this glory was essential to him, was his natural right, and not to be prayed for, and which he then had as much as ever, and of which there could be no suspension: but this designs the glory of him as Godman, and Mediator; he was not only predestinated to be a Mediator, but was really set up as such from everlasting, and had a mediatorial fulness of grace put into his hands, and had the honour and glory of that office given unto him by the other two persons; and now that he might appear to be what he was, to be made, that is, made manifest that he was both Lord and Christ, he here prays; which was to be done, upon his ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God, by the pouring down of the Holy Ghost.

(g) Midrash Tillim in Psal. 20 apud Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 3. c. 9. (h) Gloss in T. Bab Pesachim, fol. 54. 1.

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
John 17:5. καὶ νῦν δόξασονσοί. The precise character of the glorification He looks for is here presented. It is παρὰ σεαυτῷ, and it is a restoration to the glory He had enjoyed πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι. By παρὰ σεαυτῷ it is rendered impossible to understand παρὰ σοί of an “ideal” pre-existence; because these two expressions are here equivalents, and Christ cannot be supposed to have prayed for an “ideal” glory when He asked that God would glorify Him παρὰ σεαυτῷ. “There is, consequently, here, as in John 6:62, John 8:58, a continuity of the consciousness of the historical Christ with the Logos.” Tholuck. On this verse Beyschlag remarks (i. 254): “The possibility of such a position was first won by Jesus through His life and death on earth, so that, in point of fact, it forms the divine reward of that life and death; how then could He have possessed it realiter before the world was?” But the representation given by Paul in Philippians 2 is open to the same objection. Christ is represented as leaving a glory He originally enjoyed and returning to it when His work on earth was done and as the result of that work. The humanity was now to share in and to be in some way the organ of that divine glory; and this it could not be until it had been perfected by the experience of a human life. Wendt (Teaching of Jesus, ii. 169) says: “According to the mode of speech and conception prevalent in the N.T., a heavenly good, and so also a heavenly glory, can be conceived and spoken of as existing with God, and belonging to a person, not because this person already exists, and is invested with glory, but because the glory of God is in some way deposited and preserved for this person in heaven”. The passages, however, on which he depends for this principle do not sustain it. Such expressions as John 1:14, John 2:11, which indicate that already while on earth a divine glory was manifest in Christ, in no degree contradict but rather confirm such statements as the present.

5. And now] When the ministry is completed.

glorify thou me] The pronouns are placed side by side for emphasis, as in John 17:4, where the Greek runs, ‘I Thee glorified.’ The two verses are parallels; ‘I Thee glorified on earth; glorify Me Thou in heaven.’

with thine own self] In fellowship with Thee. The following great truths are contained in these two verses; (1) that the Son is in Person distinct from the Father; (2) that the Son, existing in glory with the Father from all eternity, working in obedience to the Father on earth, existing in glory with the Father now, is in Person one and the same.

I had] Imperfect tense, implying continual possession.

John 17:5. Εἶχον, I had) Here He does not say, I received. He always was having it, was in possession of it; He never began to have it.—πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι, before that the world was) In the appellation, “the world,” in this place angels also are included. Even before that the world was made, the Son was having that glory; John 17:24, “Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world;” but when the world was made, that glory began to put itself forth. Herein is implied the eternity of the Son of God. The beginning of the world and of time were coincident. Whatever is before the world is before time. Whatever is before time is eternal.—παρὰ σόι, with Thee) because there was then nothing external to God. Construe the words with εἶχον, “I was having with Thee.”

Verse 5. - And now (νῦν) - the very point of time has come - glorify thou me, O Father, explaining the opening of the prayer, "Glorify thy Son." He identifies his own Personality - "me" -with that of "the Son," and "thy Son." With thy own self (παρὰ σεαυτῷ); in closest connection and fellowship with thy-self - a relation which has been arrested or suspended since have been "Jesus Christ," and glorifying thee amid the toil and sorrow of this earthly pilgrimage. This immediate glorification of the Son embraces the glory of vicarious death, the triumphant resurrection, the mystery of ascension in the strength of his human memories to the right hand of God (John 13:31, 32). He still further defines this wondrous prospect, as with the glory which I had with thee before the world was - before the being of the κόσμος παρὰ σεαυτῷ... παρὰ σοι Παρὰ in John represents local relationships (see John 1:40; John 4:40; John 14:25; Revelation 2:13) or intimate spiritual associations (John 14: ). So our Lord remembers and anticipates a "glory with the Father." That which he refers to as before the existence of the world has been softened down by Grotius, Wettstein, Schleiermacher, and some moderns to mean the glory of the Divine thought and destination concerning him; but the expression παρὰ σοι ισ far from being exhausted by such a rendering. He who wrote the prologue (John 1:2, 18) meant that, as the Logos had been πρὸς τὸν Θέον and εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ Πατρός, and at a special epoch "became flesh," the beamings forth of his glory on earth were those which belonged to human life, to the form of a servant, and were profoundly different from that μορφὴ Θεοῦ in which his innermost self-consciousness, the center of his Personality, originally dwelt. And now he seeks to carry this new appanage of his Sonship, this God-glorifying humanity, up into the glory of the pre-existent majesty (cf. Philippians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:8, 13). The δόξα which was visible to the disciples on earth (John 1:14) was glory limited, colored, conditioned, by human life and death; but so complete was the Lord's union with the Logos, that it did not quench his memory of the glory of his omnipresent, eternal Being, nor his remembrance of absolute coexistence with the Father before all worlds. He would lift humanity to the very throne of God by its union with his Person. This stupendous claim both as to the past and future would be utterly bewildering if it stood alone; but the Old Testament has prepared the mind of the disciples for this great mystery (Proverbs 8; Isaiah 6.). The theophanies generally, and John 8:25 and Hebrews 1, with numerous other passages, sustain and corroborate the conception that the Logos of God was throughout all human history on the verge of manifestation in the flesh. The record of the extraordinary God-consciousness of Jesus does transcend all human experience, and baffles us at every turn; but the human consciousness of Jesus appears gradually to have come into such communion with the Logos who had become flesh in him, that he thought the veritable thoughts and felt the emotions of the eternal God as though they were absolutely his own. In addition to this idea of his resumption of his own eternal state, Lange and Moulton, in opposition to Meyer, lay emphasis on the answer to this prayer, consisting in such a manifestation of the premundane glory in his flesh, that it should perfectly establish the relation between the glory of the Father before all worlds, -rod the glory of utter and complete self-sacrifice for the redemption of the world. The glory of omnipotence and omnipresence is lost in the greater glory of infinite love. Thus the glory which he had with the Father would be best seen in the completion of his agony, the τετέλεσται of the cross. John 17:5With Thyself (παρὰ σεαυτῷ)

In fellowship with Thyself. So with Thee (παρὰ σοί).


Actually possessed.

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