“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.”
- Jesus, John 17:22-23
I meet with a group of men every Tuesday night. We call it “Man Church”. I love these men. We’re all just trying to walk the path, travel the journey that God has us on. So, last night, one of the guys (Brad) points out these verses. The more I read this, the more it blows my mind and stretches my heart.
These are the words of Jesus in a prayer to His Father, in the presence of His disciples. Let me say that again; these are the words of Jesus. So, read that again. Now read it one more time. Let this soak into you really good here. Seriously, stop reading and just think about this, meditate on it for however long it takes.
Jesus says that God loves you as much as He loves his own son. Do you feel that? God loves you as much as He loves Jesus!! Wow. Let’s just break this down a bit here.
Ok, first of all, Jesus says that He has given us the same glory that God gave Him. Did you hear that?! If we have a relationship with Christ, if we are living with Him, we have the same glory that He has! We are living with the glory of Jesus in our lives!
Why? According to this passage, so that we can be one with the Father. Think about this for a minute. The God who created all that is, has been or ever will be, the God of all galaxies, the God who existed before time itself wants to give you the glory of Jesus so that you can be one with Him!! Stop again and just dwell on that for a minute or ten minutes or however long it takes.
So what is the glory of Jesus? Well, in my opinion, the glory of Jesus was that He lived a life of complete surrender and unity with God. Jesus could not live apart from the Father. His very life, breath and sustenance were to be one with the Father, to do the will of the Father. The glory of Jesus was that He who is God came down to us as the ultimate sacrifice for us and for sin because that’s what God said had to happen. Jesus lived a perfect life of perfect unity with the Father to show us how to live. And we, according to Jesus, have that glory in us if we know the Father, if we know Jesus!!
Then Jesus says something incredible, mind boggling; I’m running out of adjectives to describe what it is. “…you love them as much as you love me.” Stop what you’re doing and read that again…dwell on that, meditate on it. Let it soak into your bones, your very soul.
See, Jesus is God, is a part of God that you and I can never be. Jesus is the Son. Jesus is the reason this whole thing is happening. Jesus is God’s answer for all the ugliness, all the sin that entered the world at the Garden of Eden. Jesus is the answer, the only answer for salvation. God loves us so much that He sacrificed His own Son, a very piece of Himself, to save us. And He loves us just as much as He loves His own Son, as much as He loves Himself.
I’m not even sure if we can even believe this, if we can even begin to grasp this. The implications of this kind of love is staggering; it tears at your heart and soul until you are brought to your knees in humility and worship for the Creator of all that has been, all that is and all that will be.
When your world seems dark and the daily bothers and pain of your life seem overwhelming, think on this. When you are having a ‘bad day’ or you decided you don’t want to serve or be grateful or your family makes you nuts or whatever, think on this.
God loves you as much as He loves His own Son!! His love for you will never die because He is eternal. His love for you will never die because His very existence, His person is love. How can we not throw ourselves weeping with joy and surrender into His arms, kneel at the feet of the God of all, the God who loves us without expectations or condition?!