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

A Front Row Seat

To behold God's love.

John 17:24–26

“Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

We see another purpose construction in, “that they may behold My glory,” but the big news is in the word translated as “behold” (“theorosin” θεωρωσιν). The definitive Greek lexicon (Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker) specifically mentions this use of theorosin in John 17:24 as meaning, “The spiritual perception of the one sent by God, which is possessed only to the believer.”

This is amazing. The purpose here is not world domination, or anything else so seemingly grand. Jesus wants His disciples to stay close, simply so that in witnessing His Passion, they will get a “front row seat” view of His glory.

And that front row seat will be one of supernatural perception.

But it’s still a request. Jesus is praying for this because it’s not automatic. The coming events will be intimidating, and the disciples will surely feel like fleeing.

But if they stick around, they will behold a glory rooted in love from before the foundation of the world.

Then the last two verses wrap up this grand, final, pre-cross prayer. First, Jesus reviews His mission accomplished—the disciples know that Jesus was sent by the Father.

Then we get one final, climactic purpose clause. Jesus has declared to them Your name, and will declare it, [for the purpose] that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.

The final purpose Jesus gives for His ministry is that the Father’s love may be in the believers and that Jesus may be in them too.

That’s His vision for the church.


We hear the word “love” so much in church that were almost desensitized to it, but love is the cornerstone of life in Christ.

And it’s God’s love in us that drives the whole system. Love started the whole thing. Love is why we don’t receive the condemnation we deserve.

Injecting the Father’s love into us, and injecting Christ too, is the purpose of Jesus declaring God’s name.

That’s the direct purpose of all evangelism.


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:

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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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