“𝗙𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿, 𝗜 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘆 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼, 𝘄𝗵𝗼𝗺 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗲, 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 𝟭𝟳:𝟮𝟰
What does Jesus want this Christmas?
We can see the answer in his prayers. What does he ask God for? His longest prayer is John 17. The climax of his desire is in verse 24.
Among all the undeserving sinners in the world, there are those whom God has “given to Jesus.” These are those whom God has drawn to the Son (John 6:44, 65). These are Christians—people who have “received” Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives (John 1:12; 3:17; 6:35; 10:11, 17–18; 20:28). Jesus says he wants them to be with him.
Sometimes we hear people say that God created man because he was lonely. So they say, “God created us so that we would be with him.” Does Jesus agree with this? Well, he does say that he really wants us to be with him! Yes, but why? Consider the rest of the verse. Why does Jesus want us to be with him?
… to see my glory that you [Father] have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
That would be a strange way of expressing his loneliness. “I want them with me so they can see my glory.” In fact, it doesn’t express his loneliness. It expresses his concern for the satisfaction of our longing, not his loneliness. Jesus is not lonely. He and the Father and the Spirit are profoundly satisfied in the fellowship of the Trinity. We, not he, are starving for something.
And 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝘾𝙝𝙧𝙞𝙨𝙩𝙢𝙖𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙪𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙬𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙙𝙚 𝙛𝙤𝙧—𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙨𝙖𝙫𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙜𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙮.
Oh, that God would make this sink in to our souls! Jesus made us (John 1:3) to see his glory.
Just before he goes to the cross he pleads his deepest desires with the Father: “Father, I desire [I desire!] that they … may be with me where I am, to see my glory.” But that is only half of what Jesus wants in these final, climactic verses of his prayer. I just said we were really made for seeing and savoring his glory. Is that what he wants—that we not only see his glory but savor it, relish it, delight in it, treasure it, love it? Consider verse 26, the very last verse: I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.
That is the end of the prayer. What is Jesus’s final goal for us? 𝙉𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙨𝙞𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙮 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙜𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙮, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙝𝙞𝙢 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙝𝙞𝙢: “that the love with which you [Father] have loved me may be in them.” 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙨’𝙨 𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙜𝙤𝙖𝙡 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙜𝙡𝙤𝙧𝙮 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙗𝙚 𝙖𝙗𝙡𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙖𝙢𝙚 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙖𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙝𝙖𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙎𝙤𝙣. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son—that we love the Son with the love of the Father for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit.
What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most—to see his glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son. What I want most for Christmas this year is to join you (and many others) in seeing Christ in all his fullness and that we together be able to love what we see with a love far beyond our own half-hearted human capacities. This is our goal in these Advent devotionals. We want together to see and savor this Jesus whose first “advent” (coming) we celebrate, and whose second advent we anticipate.
This is what Jesus prays for us this Christmas: “Father, show them my glory and give them the very delight in me that you have in me.” Oh, may we see Christ with the eyes of God and savor Christ with the heart of God. That is the essence of heaven. That is the gift Christ came to purchase for sinners at the cost of his death in our place.
SOURCE: Taken from Good News of Great Joy (Daily Readings for Advent) by John Piper, pages 04 – 07. © 2013