17:24 “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. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 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.”
Do you remember way back when Jesus met Nicodemus at night? Do you remember the conversation they had? Do you remember that Jesus told him "Unless you are born again you cannot see the kingdom"? There are other times Jesus used this phrase and all point to the same truth. It all fits the entire message John is conveying as well.
Look what Jesus says to His Father. "I want the ones you have given (the eleven) Me to be with Me where I Am."
Really? Aren't they all together in the same place at that very moment?
Now look at the reason why Jesus desires to have them 'be where He is': so they can behold the glory God has given Him.
He goes on to say "they know that You sent Me". He transitions from talking about them being where He is and seeing His glory to talking about what they know so far. Then He ends with talking about His love being displayed so they it can be in them.
Are you seeing it? Jesus was never referring to a physical location when He requested that they be where He is. We have an expression in English for when someone is explaining something to someone else. They will at times stop and ask "Are you with me?" This is never a question of about physical location. It's a question of being in the same mental space. It's a question about an alignment of thought.
The disciples have grasped that Jesus came from His They still have not grasped the extent of His mission or the nature of His kingdom. They are not "with Him". In fact when they scatter physically and 'abandon' Him it is only a manifestation of what was already true. They weren't in the same place. When John the Baptist declared "Behold the Lamb" they heard the words but missed the concept. When Jesus said "you are ever seeing but not perceiving and hearing but not hearing" they missed it. When Jesus said "Greater love has no man than this but to lay down His life for Hid friends" and then went on to say "I no longer call you servants but friends" they missed it.
John (the disciple) actually framed his entire gospel to reflect the reality that we see but don't see. He used the analogy of light and darkness. Jesus is the Light but we are in the dark and so accustomed to the dark that His light is more blinding than revealing. In the dark you can have your eyes wide open and see nothing. In the dark you can learn to navigate around objects and through buildings yet have no knowledge of your surroundings. To go from complete darkness to bright light is literally painful and it requires time to adjust. The darker the darkness was and the brighter the light is the longer it takes to adjust.
Jesus is praying for His eleven to be able to adjust to His light so they can see as He sees. Specifically He wants them to "see" His glory. He wants them to see that losing is winning and dying is living. He wants them to see that the complete surrender of me is the path into His kingdom. He wants me to see that in His kingdom the greatest honour is bestowed on those who are "the least".
Several years ago our church had a small set of offices in China. The gospel work they were doing was in secret and illegal. One day the authorities came and raided the place. The only believer who stood unflinching for Jesus in the face of the communist authorities was the humble unassuming janitor who happened to be there cleaning at the time. She saw His glory and no need to fear them.
If only we could see as He sees. Are you with me?