"Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world."
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
THIS IS CHRIST’S FINAL ADMONITION to the Father on behalf of his disciples, his special possession which he is leaving to go to the Father. He asks that they be with him in the end, to see his glory which he received from the Father and in which his beloved participated. Once again he requests unity among his disciples, his special possession.
He makes these requests based on the love of the Father for him from before the creation of the world. The Father already knows all this, but Christ says it in front of his disciples to reassure them that the love of Christ for them is ongoing and eternal through the love of the Father. It is a privilege that nothing else in creation shares with them, to be the beloved of the Father and Son and united in him with an inseparable unity.
Christ did once tell his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man”1 when he was among them speaking, teaching, loving and rejoicing. However, here he promises that the continuation of love, happiness, sweet enduring friendship, warm conversation and past memories will in fact be joyful memories and love that are ongoing.
From these brief windows into the glory of heaven, the gathering of brethren and the conversations of happiness that await them above, a man might wish to fly away to join them in this inheritance of glory, lasting love and joy. Far from the sorrows of the world and its terrifying news, he says ‘When will this be O Lord?’ Our souls long for you and desire to cast off this old heavy self, to leave and be with you, to be graced with the glory and beauty of the companionship of your saints and righteous ones. What happiness!!
For a short while Christ gave us a joyful and living model of his presence with us, but he has given us a sure promise that what awaits us above with the Father and Son is a truly happy eternity. It is not the kind of promise that gives today of what it steals from tomorrow and leaves us in the end standing naked, far from these encouragements. It would have been so if not for the promise of Christ that eternity with him is not like the time of the present but is an eternity of joy, praise and gathering of all the beloved from all time and the saints of the most high. We know their names, and our souls long to see them in the joy of the great and precious promises, who died with only the hope that there is a city for them.2 As for the days
1 Luke 17:22.
2 See Heb. 11:13-16.
3 See Col. 3:4.
4 See 2 Cor. 5:1-4.
5 See 2 Pet. 1:4.
6 See James 1:4.
we live in, the Lord is near and in complete readiness to appear. His holy angels and all his saints in the Spirit await the hour of the Lord’s appearing to witness the glory of the companions of the appearance and revelation. Yes, the time is near, and the signs of the coming have begun to appear, and in it we will be with him. We will appear in his appearing and will be glorified in his glory3 with his angels and saints.
The Apostle Paul was right when he began to groan in his old flesh. Confident of the coming appearing and the glory it will entail, he desired to remove it and put on the new, the man of the highest glories,4 as did also Peter the Apostle who possessed the “great and precious promises.”5 This groaning is not counted for us as a virtue, rather, it is a lack of patience that is not counted against us. Patience itself is counted as perfect work6 if it is founded upon Christ and his true and faithful promises.
July 27, 2005
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