The Perfect Work
John 17:4
I have glorified you on the earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do.

Even good men, when they approach the close of life and take a retrospect of the past, are constrained in candour to admit that they have failed to realize their own ideal, to satisfy their own conscience, to approve themselves to their God. They have to lament and confess infirmities and negligences. Christ alone could look hack upon life without discovering any cause for reproach. Addressing the Father himself, he claimed to have accomplished the work which had been given him to do.


1. In his view this was a work to be done. The serious and sacred nature of this earthly life was never realized by any as by him. "I work," said Jesus, with a sublime simplicity; and the record of his labors proves the truth of his assertion.

2. In his view Christ's ministry was a trust from his Father. Every true servant of God can speak of the work which Divine authority has assigned to him as his vocation. Of this the Son of God, who became the Servant of God, has given us the most glorious example. Obedience and subjection were characteristic of the Savior's earthly ministry.


1. From the beginning our Lord had possessed a clear conception of the nature of the work to which he had been designated and commissioned by the Father.

2. Our Lord had been conscious of the possession of all the qualifications necessary for the fulfillment of his work. He was well aware that his mission would not fail through any deficiency on his part.

3. Amidst all his labors and sufferings Jesus had been sustained by the conviction that his work was advancing to its completion. The very circumstances which to another mind might have seemed fatal to his great enterprise, were to his clear knowledge the conditions of its prosperous issue.

4. The approaching sacrifice was regarded by the Redeemer as if already offered; it was so in intention and resolve.

5. The results of the Savior's work were present to his holy and benevolent mind. By anticipation the results were already reaped - a glorious harvest from the seed sown and seemingly perished in the earth.

APPLICATION. The example of Christ is a rebuke to all desultory views of life. Those who regard this existence as an opportunity for personal pleasure, enrichment, or aggrandizement may well ponder the spirit displayed by the Lord Jesus, who looked upon his life here as sacred, as allowing of a consecrated service to the Father. Christ's spirit can animate his followers so that they may both undertake and complete some good work for the Divine glory. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

WEB: I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do.

The Messianic Purpose
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