"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began."
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
HERE THE SON ENTERS into theological revelations, and of the greatest value. No one
at all had known the Father, except the Son who said he knows the Father.1 In the logic
of Theology, the knowledge of any theological truth means its revelation took place by the will
of God. So the Son, as the one who possesses eternal truth, here mentions for the first time the
truth about eternal life. He reveals that eternal life is the knowledge that the Father is ‘the only
true God.’ He also makes the revelation about the Son, that the Father sent him for the
salvation of the world, saying, ‘and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ Here the Son
completes in himself the revelation of the knowledge of the Father and of the Son. The Father
sent his Son into the world on the greatest secret mission, and both of them equally knew the
truth about it, within the divine logic of eternal life which the Son came to reveal.
The Father had been unknown to man. The great mystery of the work of the Son, known
only by the Father, was that he came down in order to glorify the Father on the earth. Above
and beyond that, the Son did the work the Father assigned him with total courage, obedience
and strength. His work was to offer himself as redemption for the salvation of the whole
world, to save man, whose salvation the Father had planned from eternity past.2 Jesus Christ
completed this on the cross, the appointed time of which he already knew.
The glory Christ seeks for the disciples and believers is the same glory he had before
the creation of the world. God had planned from eternity past to make man, through
Christ, a new spiritual creation. In this way, the glory the Son had is revealed, as is the
new creation in man through him. Fulfilled before our eyes is the Scripture, ‘from ages
past the Lord has known all his works.’3 He completes them at his appointed time.
Christ knew the appointed time for the cross, ‘Father, the time has come.’4 In setting
the hour of the cross, the knowledge of the Father converged with the knowledge of the
Son. In it the Father received the glory which is his, and the Son received that glory that
is his. In the hour of the cross, the Father completed his will to save the world, and the
Son finished the work through which the salvation of the world was accomplished. By
the price of his sacrifice which he willingly offered on the cross, he satisfied the will of
God by giving himself all the way to death.
In the cross, at the same time, the Father and the Son were glorified. Stranger still,
the glory of the Father and the glory of the Son converged to the benefit of man who
1 See John 8:55.
2 See Eph 1:4.
3 Acts 15:18.
4 John 17:1. .
Through the unity of God’s glory between the Father and the Son, the unity of the only
salvation of man was fulfilled. Christ’s statement was fulfilled, ‘I in them, and you in me,’5 so
that in the end we are one. The unity of man with the Father and Son is not a fabrication. It is
the grace of the presence of the absolute one, which the new man entered into as a new
creation. This grace was specially created for this deeply mysterious work of God. It is at the
same time the ultimate price paid for the eternal death of man in the wrath of God. Here Paul
the Apostle cries, ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’6 Life has
been wiped clean of sin, hades has closed, and man has won his case, for he rescued it from the
mouth of the enemy, and he stands with Christ, cheering God’s victory over the world.
July 26, 2005
5 John 17:23.
6 1Cor 15:55.
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