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John 17:4

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"I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.” ()
In sharp contrast with the wicked world, represented by the Jewish leaders, Jesus is able to say that he (the pronoun I is emphatic) glorified the Father. To do the will of his Father had been his chief delight (4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:50).
He had accomplished the mission which the Father had assigned him.
He had brought this task to its predestined goal.
He had fulfilled and finished it (see on 4:34).
To be sure, historically speaking, he had not yet suffered on the cross,
but he has a right to speak as if also this suffering has already been endured,
so certain is it that He will endure it!
It must have given comfort to the disciples to hear Jesus say in His prayer that
in the accomplishment of the mission to save sinners the Father is glorified!
In this work all His glorious “excellencies” are displayed most radiantly (cf. ).
We note a couple of things as we open up the text:
ONE. Our Lord Jesus had work given to Him to do by His Father that sent Him.
He didn’t come into the world to live at ease, but as it’s recorded in "Jesus answered him,
“Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John allowed him to be baptized.” ()
"You know the events that took place throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how he went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the devil, because God was with him.” ()
So the Father sent Him to tend His vineyard. He both appointed Him to it and assisted Him in it.
TWO. The work that was given Him to do, He finished.
Though the last part, His sufferings were still to come, yet he was so near what describes as:
"For in bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God—for whom and through whom all things exist—should make the source of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” ()
To say that I’ve finished this work, was as good as done for Jesus.
He has undertaken this work in the most complete and perfect manner.
THIRD. It’s here He glorified His Father; He pleased Him, He praised Him.
It is the glory of God that His work is perfect, and the same is the glory of the Redeemer;
what He is the author of he will be the finisher of.
Let’s continue to break down the text and open it up and fold it into our hearts.
"I have glorified you”
Christ glorified God in many ways.
"I have glorified you
1. By His person, as being “exacts expression of His nature” ().
2. By His life & perfect obedience. "Who among you can convict me of sin? ...” () "“I do not have a demon,” Jesus answered. “On the contrary, I honor my Father and you dishonor me.” ()
3. By seeing His mercy. "Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” "Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to him. When he came closer, he asked him, "“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord,” he said, “I want to see.” "“Receive your sight.” Jesus told him. “Your faith has saved you.”” ()
4. By His Miracles. When the paralyzed man was healed, "When the crowds saw this, they were awestruck and gave glory to God, who had given such authority to men.” ()
“on the earth by completing the work”
This implies several lines of thought to us.
by completing the work
1. The submission, faithfulness, and diligence of Christ.
"Instead he emptied himself by assuming the form of a servant, taking on the likeness of humanity. And when he had come as a man,” ()
That accursed death of the cross.
Christ carried us sinners in His heart to His dying day. "Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” ()
When there was the most cause to hate us, that’s when He loved us!
In Christ’s bitter agonies and the horrors of His cross, Christ never turned back!
Christ was not weary of suffering for sinners, and God will not be weary of pardoning them.
Again, Christ was faithful in the days of his flesh; He has lost nothing by going to heaven;
He will finish what He has begun: , ‘Faithful is he that hath called you, who also will do it.’
This smoking flax will be blown up into a flame.
These infant desires are buds of glory; this decay of sin will come to an utter extinction.
2. These words note the completeness of our redemption.
v4 says that He’s completed the work.
When it was done then He departed. He didn’t leave off the work of salvation undone!
That is, His work isn’t going to be supplied by the merit of our own actions!
We’re not half purchased!
"For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” ()
Christ has
no more offering to make,
nor suffering to endure,
but only to behold the fruit of his suffering.
It is all finished; there is enough done to glorify God and save the creature;
justice could demand no more from those united to Christ by faith,
who are justified before God!
Christ is not ashamed to plead His right at the bar of justice, and to assert His work before the tribunal of God.
This, ‘it is completed,’ is like Christ’s seal to the settlement of grace.
Now take it, and much eternal good it will do you!
Oh! that we could rest satisfied with the merit of Christ, as divine justice is satisfied.
What should trouble the creature when Christ hath entered his plea, ‘Father, it is completed’? there is enough done.
Christ has no more to do but to sit at the right hand of God,
there is enough done. Christ hath no more to do but to sit at the right hand of God, and to rejoice in the
and to rejoice in the invincible power of the gospel claim all that the Father has given to Him!
“you gave me to do.”
you gave me to do.
you gave me to do.
This is the same word “gave” that’s in v2.
There, the Father gives Him the authority over all flesh, so that He may give eternal life to everyone You have given Him.”
In v4, it’s the work, the Father gave Christ to do.
It’s the Father that gave Him His power, also gave Him His work.
Here we may:
1. Observe that the privileges of the human nature of Christ are by gift.
The manhood of Christ was advanced by dwelling with God in a personal union.
Here’s how Paul puts it: "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, "and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” ()
God makes free grace appear in no other as in our Head, Christ.
2. We may observe, that work itself is a gift.
Think of Christ’s work as mediator between God and man.
Laboring in the fires of divine wrath and displeasure.
Paul speaks about our faith and suffering like this: "For it has been granted [gift] to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,” ()
It’s a gift of God’s grace. We’re to count it as a privilege and honor to serve our Master!
He took this charge to Him by the Father, of redeeming His people and He completed the work!
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