“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
I highlighted “I desire” purposely because I think in those two words, there is a wealth of the love of God and His Son Jesus. The entire chapter is a long prayer that Jesus prayed just before He went to His death. The few verses before this one, Jesus is asking His Father to make us all one, just as He and the Father are one. I used to think this meant that Jesus wanted us here on earth to be one with each other. While that is partly true, I believe what Jesus was really asking, is that those who know Him become as close to Him as Jesus was to His Father. And only then can we be one with each other. He asked that of the Father so “that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them, even as You loved Me” (vs 23). The heart cry of Jesus is that we know how deeply and fully we are loved by the Father and by Him.
I was struck by Jesus really desiring something and wanted it enough to ask the Father His desire. This isn’t something you hear Jesus say all the time when reading through the gospels. But here, just before He went to the cross to pay the full and entire payment due for our sin, He desired something of His Father in heaven. If you read the sentence again, you’ll see that His desire is that, “they be with me where I am.” What a statement! Jesus is saying that He wants to be with us; in person, face-to-face together. As I meditated on those words they sunk in deeper than they ever did before. It reminded me of John 14 when Jesus was telling those in the upper room (same night as chapter 17), “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus was going away after he rose from the dead but it was to prepare a place for us.
Don’t we all want a place? We all want to “fit in” somewhere, feel like we belong to something much bigger than ourselves. We all need to be needed and feel like we are contributing to the kingdom of God. Jesus knows we all need that and hence He went before us to prepare that “place” for us. I believe He also wants us to feel we have a “place” here on earth also, but that place is reserved for and with Him. It’s in having relationship with Him that brings us the deep and abiding confidence of how deeply we are loved.
Jesus wants to be with you my friend! He asked His Father in heaven to bring about this intimacy with Him so that we “may behold His glory.” What is His glory? I always thought that meant some heavenly glow or power that I could never understand. But in the context here, it says, “that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for you loved Me before the foundation of the world.” The glory Jesus is talking about here is love – but not human love. It’s the love the Father had for Jesus before the world we know was even created. It’s love without any particle of sin! When we experience His love, it is a glory that we can never know by trying hard to get it. It is His glory because it originates in and from Him. The chapter ends in vs 26, “I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus really desires that we know His kind of love. He wants us to experience the same love that His Father has for Him. This is the “desire” of Jesus!
So often in our walk as believers, we stray away from really believing that Jesus wants to be with us. I mean, really, why would He go through all that trouble to die for us and be raised from the dead if He did not desire our company? We error when we put distance between us and Jesus or the Father. We error when we think He is too holy to be around us. We error when we think all God wants is our work, our doing more for Him. Our error is based on not knowing fully how perfect we are forgiven and how perfectly righteous we are in Christ, without doing anything to deserve it. In other words, we know not how perfect and complete the work on the cross was. God desires to be intimate with you! This is His plan, not ours. Oh, that we would believe in this truth, it would change our lives.
Allow Him to minister to you in whatever situation you find yourself today. Allow Him to give you all the love He died to lavish on you. Open your heart to Him who has already made a “place” for you to be with Him, where He is also. Receive this truth and may the Lord bring you into a new awareness of His desire for you to know His love.