“Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“’I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were,.. and they have kept your word… I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you… All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them… They are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name… that they may be one, even as we are one… that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves… The world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world… Keep them from the evil one… Sanctify them in the truth… As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world…
“‘Father, I desire that they… may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.'” John 17:1-6,8,10-11,13-15,17-18,24
The pinnacle of Jesus’s final words before His crucifixion is His high priestly prayer. In this beautiful intercession, anticipating a heinous death, Jesus’s passion is glory. Not anguish, nor self-pity, blame, anger, hatred, or fear, but glory. Every hour, from birth in a crude manger through childhood years in a family, working as a carpenter, travels and teaching and healing, Jesus lived here on earth for glory. His life work was to glorify His Father by bringing His own to the glory of eternal life. (Luke 2:41-52; John 4:34)
What is my life purpose? What races my heart, ignites my affections, consumes my attention: work, ministry, learning, adventure, accomplishment, new thrills, a challenge, relationships, gastronomical satisfaction, luxury, leisure, worldly success? Do or can we see any or all of these as a gateway to glory? What if my highest passion was to bring glory to my God and Savior with every plan, every effort, every word? What difference would this lofty aim make to daily responsibilities and interactions? How can I envelop the necessary temporal within the glorious eternal?
What specifically will I do to glorify God? How will I receive and apply His word in obedience? Promote Christian unity and peace? Remain in and help others abide in His name? Engender joy? Guard vigilantly against the evil one? Remain faithful when hated, ridiculed, persecuted? Cooperate in sanctification, honed by God’s hands to reflect His glory? Behold His glory in worship so it infuses my every impulse and expression?