One advantage to teaching is learning. I was showing high school students how to force their minds to slow down and think about a passage of Scriptures. Oh. Sorry! I mean, I was showing them various Bible study methods. Consider John 17. We noticed that our ESV Bibles conveniently provided paragraphs at verses 1, 6, and 20. We observed that the three paragraphs had Jesus praying for himself, his apostles, and future disciples.
Jesus prayed to the Father in the first paragraph. Verse 1, Jesus asked for the Father’s glory so that Jesus might glorify the Father. Verse 2, Jesus had the authority to give life to all flesh. Verse 3 tells us this is “eternal” life. I see Jesus glorified the Father on earth by giving eternal life to men. Called “work,” Jesus was showing his followers the true God who gives eternal life. Here is a “work” that gives life rather than seeks it. As we reread the paragraph, I decided to delay a verse-by-verse study and look more closely at “glory.” It and “glorified” are used five times in as many verses!
I highlighted these “glories” in a conspicuous yellow. Then I scanned the rest of the chapter hunting for the “glory” word. But I wanted to be sure that I got all of them. There are plenty of zippy concordances on the Internet. My students now know that if you enter “glor* ” as a search term, you will find every form of the word. I was soon sure I had all of the John 17 “glories”, including verses 10, 22, and 24. After applying some more glowing yellow highlighter, we found glory appears in all three paragraphs. Intriguing! I had guessed that there might be a connection.
In paragraph two, Jesus said that he was glorified by his apostles in verse 10. They received the truth and believed that the Father had sent Jesus. Just as the Father sent Jesus into the world to manifest the true God and eternal life, Jesus sent these apostles into the world. They continued the same work that Jesus had begun. They received glory from Jesus.
We find our next “glory” in paragraph three with Jesus and future disciples. That included you and me, today. Jesus prayed in verse 24 that we might be with Jesus and see his glory. Our “work” today is proclaiming the gospel of eternal life through Jesus Christ. We do the same work as Jesus and the apostles. We receive the same glory the apostles had with Jesus.
All this started in a classroom of high school students. Had we continued an Internet only classroom environment, I doubt any of this would have been realized. My diversion turned out to be a worthwhile distraction. I pray that you consider sharing the good news of eternal life in Jesus Christ. This is the “work” that Jesus began and we continue today.
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