John 17:1 (ESV) – When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you
One of the recurring themes throughout the Gospels is Jesus saying “my hour has not yet come” or the author saying “his hour had not yet come.” This statement occurs often. Sometimes it is after the crowds are ready to stone Him to death. Other times it is when people wanted Him to do certain things. The “hour” in view is the hour of His atonement and sacrificial death for sinners. This was the very reason for His coming. Then we read that His hour had come.
Our text today marks the shift in language. We read in John 17:1, “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.’”
Jesus lifts up His eyes to heaven and begins to pray. What does He say? He states “the hour has come.” This is a crucial turning point in the narrative. We read repeatedly in the story that His hour had not yet come, but now He says it has. The hour of His passion had arrived. The time for His death and sacrificial atonement has come. He is going to lay His life down for sinners. The wrath of His Father is going to fall upon His head. The spotless Lamb, one without blemish, will be slain for the forgiveness of all who receive Him. His hour has come.
What is mind-boggling is that He knew there was an “hour.” There was a plan and specific set of events that would come about. He was not making it up as He went along. He wasn’t writing the story on the fly. The predetermined plan of God from the foundation of the world was being executed. There was a set hour, which meant everything before it was not the hour. This is a subtle reminder that our redemption was planned by God from eternity. This gives us hope and encouragement that the One who knew the hour also knows our lives and needs. If we can trust Him for our salvation, we can trust Him for everything else too.
Jesus knew the hour for which He came into the world. His coming was for our salvation. If you belong to Jesus today, give thanks for a Savior who set His face determinately on His mission so that we could be saved.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is the language of “the hour” so significant in the Gospels?
- What does it tell us that Jesus knew there was a specific “hour” for his death?
- How does this passage encourage us to see our own salvation in this passage?
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