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Jesus Reward for His Work

(John 17:4-5)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Last week, we began to look
At the longest recorded prayer
Jesus made for the church.
As the priest was appointed by God
To sacrifice and to pray for His people
To reconcile them to Himself,
So Jesus
As He was preparing to sacrifice Himself
To take away our sins forever
Prayed.

He prayed for the strength


To finish His work:
That He might glorify His Father
By providing the basis
On which the Father could forgive us,
By shedding His own precious blood.
He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify
You (v. 1).

He gave a reason why the Father should hear Him:

The Father had given Him authority


Over the eternal destination of all men
To give eternal life to those He had given Him
As the reward for His work
So He argues the Father should give Him
The strength to complete that work
So that He would have that life to give.
He prays in verse 2, Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all
whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.

And He explained what that life is:


This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ
whom You have sent (v. 3).
He must have said this
For the benefit of His disciples
Since His Father already knew this.
Eternal life is more than a condition of life
Living in a world of perfect love and happiness
In the presence of God and the Lamb,
And the saints and angels
Its more than duration of life
Living in that condition forever:
For time without end
Its an intimacy of relationship

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With the Father and the Son
A relationship
In which we are bound together
With the Father and the Son in love
By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Lets remember as well:


Jesus prayer has already been answered
The New Covenant Church has been established;
Jesus has gone to the cross;
Hes been raised and has ascended;
The Spirit has been poured out.
We have the Spirit in our hearts
If we have trusted Jesus.
This isnt a mystery to us,
But something weve already experienced.
But since we dont yet fully understand it
Theres much we can learn about it
Through this prayer.

B. Preview.
Having now prayed for the strength
To do the work necessary
To bring us

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His people, His reward
To glory,
Jesus now turns His attention
To another aspect of the reward
That was promised Him by the Father:
That He might be glorified with Him.

This morning, lets consider two things:


1. That Jesus had met the condition of the reward: He glorified His Father.
2. And so He looks to the Father to give Him what He promised: the glory He had
with Him from eternity.

II. Sermon.
A. First, Jesus argues that He had met the condition of the reward.
He says in verse 4, I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work
which You have given Me to do.
1. Again, we see here
That there was an agreement
Between Father and the Son
Before Jesus came into the world
He came into the world
To do a particular work.
This agreement actually included
All three Persons of the Godhead.

Gods overarching plan

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Was to reveal His glory
All of His glory,
Particularly that of His justice and grace
Through all that Hes done.
Thats what the creation is all about:
Its the stage on which
The drama of redemption would be acted out.
Thats why He created man,
Why He allowed the Fall,
Why He chose to have mercy on some,
And why He passed over others
And left them in their sins.
The world doesnt exist for man,
But for Gods glory.

The Fathers role was to choose a people.


Jesus was to redeem that people,
And the Spirits was to apply what Jesus did
To those the Father has chosen.

Another way of looking at it is:


The Father provided the price of redemption
He gave His only begotten Son.

Jesus is the price that was paid

He gave His life as payment.

And the Spirit is what He purchased


His indwelling and working His own nature
In the souls of those the Father chose.

In His prayer,
Jesus tells the Father that He did His part
He held up His end of the bargain, so to speak.
Notice He uses the past tense in verse 4,
As though Hes already finished it:
I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have
given Me to do.
He means by this either
That He had done everything
He needed to do up to that point,
Or that He was so certain to finish it
Because He had prayed
And asked the Father
To give Him the strength to finish it,
And was certain the Father would answer that prayer
That He already considered it to be done.

On this basis, He will next make His request.

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2. Application:
Jesus wasnt the only One
Who had a job to do in Gods plan:
That plan also includes all of us
He redeemed us for a special purpose,
Actually, for several reasons:
a. That we might be the trophies of His grace
He intends to put us on display
For the rest of time
As the monuments of His love.
b. That we might become like His Son
Jesus reward is that He might be
The First-born among many brethren (Rom. 8:29).
c. And that we might have the high privilege
Of bringing the message of what Hes done to save mankind
To as many as possible.

Since Hes given us this work,


Hes also given us the means to do it:
His Word, His Spirit,
And, as weve recently seen, prayer.
Jesus has already told us in 16:23, Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the
Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.
He is so certain to hear and answer us

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Especially when we ask for the strength
To do what He saved us to do
That we can know we have it as soon as we ask.

He may not always answer


In exactly the way we think He will,
But He will always do so in the way we need.

Lets remember why He saved us,


And what He has done to help us,
And put our hands to the plow.

Jesus did what He did


Not only to bless us with this high privilege
But also to give us the means to carry it out.

B. Now, on the basis of the condition met, Jesus prays that the Father would give Him
what He promised: the glory He had with Him from eternity.
Jesus says in verse 5, Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the
glory which I had with You before the world was.
1. Jesus reward was not only to receive a people,
But also glory.

Notice what Jesus says about this glory:


Its a glory that belongs to the Father:
Jesus says, Glorify Me together with Yourself.

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Its a glory that Jesus had before with the Father:
He says, With the glory I had with You.

And its a glory He had in eternity:


The glory I had with You before the world was.

He can only be referring to His divine glory


The glory that belonged to Him
As part of the Triune God.

Heres a passage you can add


To your arsenal of Scripture
When you need to show someone
That Jesus is the eternal Son of God.

Now did Jesus somehow lose this glory?


Did He give it up when He became a man?
No. This is something Hes always had
And can never lose:
As God, He cannot change.
This what the author to the Hebrews means,
Where he writes, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever
(Heb. 13:8).
But it is something that as a man
He never possessed.

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Jesus didnt give up anything
When He became a man
He didnt strip Himself of His divinity
Or of any of His attributes
He gained something:
He took to Himself a human nature,
As we saw earlier in Philippians 2:6-7, Although He existed in the form of
God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied
Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of
men.
His emptying was an addition,
Not a subtraction
The addition of a nature
That was infinitely below Him.

This is what the Temple was a picture of:


Gods divine presence dwelled in the Temple,
But it was hidden by the veil
That separated the Holy Place
From the Holy of Holies:
In the same way,
Jesus human nature was like a veil
That hid His divine nature,
That kept men from seeing who He really was
Except those He willed to reveal Himself,

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Such as what He did on the Mount of Transfiguration
When He pulled back the veil
And revealed something of His glory.
The author to the Hebrews write in 10:19-22, Therefore, brethren, since we
have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and
living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,
and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with
a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean
from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

Jesus didnt give up His glory as God,


That glory was veiled by His humanity.
And now He prays that the Father
Would bestow that same glory on Him
As the Mediator,
As the God-man
As the reward for His work.

2. Application:
The Lord has promised glory to us as well
Not the same glory Jesus was to receive,
But still a reward for the work we do for Him.

That glory is represented in different ways in Scripture:


As crowns:
A crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8),
A crown of life (James 1:12; Rev. 2:10),

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And a crown of glory (1 Pet. 5:4);
Its represented as a visible brilliance:
Daniel writes, Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of
the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the
stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:3);
As gold, silver and precious stones (1 Cor. 3:12),
Or simply as glory:
Paul writes in Romans 2:6-7 that God, WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON
ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance in doing
good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.

This reward, this glory,


Is found in the same path Jesus took:
He did the work the Father gave Him to do
And so received His reward.
If we do what Jesus commands us,
We too will be rewarded.

But unlike Jesus who actually earned His reward,


Ours will be a reward of grace:
Because we can only do this work
Through the strength Jesus gives us,
And because our works arent perfect
And can only be received through His mediation.

Still, He has promised to reward us:


And to the degree that we serve Him

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That we minister to one another,


Show kindness to those outside the church,
Or share the Gospel with them
To that degree we will be glorified
When we finally leave this world
And enter into heaven.

Lets be encouraged then by our Lords example


As we again see in the Table
To give ourselves to Him
As He gave Himself to His Father.

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