Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Glorify Whom?

The Father.

John 17:1

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,”

The turning point of all history is at hand. Sin’s domination is about to be defeated. God incarnate is going to the cross.

But notice that this verse says something radically different from what most Christians believe. It’s not all about us; it’s all about God’s glory.

Specifically, it’s all about the Father’s glory. The phrase, “that Your Son also may glorify You,” is yet another purpose construction. The purpose of The Passion is that the Son may glorify the Father.

And note another significant detail here. Jesus isn’t going to glorify Himself, for the purpose of glorifying the Father. No, the Father is going to, “Glorify Your Son” (for the purpose of glorifying Himself).

Just think about what this means, or more to the point, what it doesn’t mean. What’s about to transpire isn’t Jesus glorifying Himself. Pontius Pilate isn’t going to glorify Jesus either. The crowds aren’t going to glorify Him, nor the Centurion, nor Judas Iscariot. The Father is going to glorify Him.

And Jesus is asking Him to do it.


This verse lends critical context to Romans 8:28.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

If all things work together for the good of people like us (who love God), then we must be the purpose of all things, right?

No, the purpose of all things is God’s glory. Even Romans 8:28 hints at this when it notes that those who love God are specifically those who are the called according to His purpose.

John 17:1 teaches that His purpose, even for the crucifixion, is His glory. We make out like bandits in this system, but that doesn’t mean we’re the central characters in it.

There’s an important psychological point here. Admit it or not, we’re not satisfied to merely be saved. We want to be important.

Paul understood this and so made a big point of referring to himself as a slave (δουλος “doulos”) of Christ.

Praise God for the way He treats His slaves.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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