John 17:5

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.


The question is:  Why did Jesus word this sentence like He did?  Why did He ask for the glory that He had with God before the world was?  Why didn’t He ask for the glory He had with God before He was born into this world?  Is Christ saying that there was a change in the glory He had with God the Father before the world was, and the glory He had with the Father after the world was created?


A.  Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the Father.

1.      John 1:18  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

2.      John 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

a.      This passages explains that Christ is in heaven while He is upon the earth.  Christ was on the earth speaking to Nicodemus, and said that He was in heaven.  This shows us that Jesus is God, and that God is Jesus.

3.      John 10:30  I and my Father are one.

a.      Jesus Christ and God are equal in power, authority, and purpose.  They are not divided in any way, except they are two separate persons.  If it were not for Mark 13:32, (But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.) we might believe that Jesus Christ and God the Father are one person, but this passage declares that there are some things the Father knows that the Son does not know.  In human language, at least, this shows that Jesus and God the Father are separate persons.

4.      John 14:9  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

a.      To see Jesus Christ is to see the Father.

b.      It seems that Jesus prays in John 17:5 that He will be restored to the glory that He had with God His Father before the world began.

5.      Col. 1:15  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

a.      Christ is said to be an image (as a faint copy of the original, who is God)  Christ is made a “faint copy” because of the frailties of humanity.  Christ, as a “faint copy” of God was so foreign to humanity that the natural mind could not fathom the ideals he taught and practiced.  If God had not given spiritual understanding to some of humanity, none would have believed He was God in the flesh.

6.      Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

a.      This verse is in the middle of a sentence that begins with verse 1 and ends with verse 4.  These verses speak about Jesus Christ, who is the express image (the exact expression {the image}of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e. facsimile  [Strong’s definition]).  Christ is a human representative of God.  He is God represented in human form.

7.      I John 1:2  (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

a.      It is through the Son that we see the eternal Father.

b.      it is impossible to come to the Father except by the Son.

8.      I Cor. 15:22-28 - For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. 24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25  For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26  The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28  And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.







Phil. 2:6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:



Col. 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col. 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

This passage is speaking about Jesus Christ as creator.  Often, it is believed that God (without Jesus Christ) is the creator.  This passage makes it plain that Jesus is the creator, that Jesus is God.


Heb 1:10  And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Re 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Re 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

Re 5:11  And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

Re 5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Re 5:13  And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Re 5:14  And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.


John 1:1 ¶ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:2  The same was in the beginning with God.

John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Matt. 25:34  Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

1Pe 1:20  Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Re 13:8  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.




John Gill:

Verse. 5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, &c.] Not with his perfections, these he had, they dwelt bodily in him; or with his nature, in which he was one with him; but as Mediator, with his glorious presence in heaven, by setting him at his right hand, and crowning him with glory and honour. The Jews have a notion that God will give to the King Messiah, hl[m ls dwbkh !m, "of the supreme glory" {g}: the glory Christ prays for is, as he says,


 the glory which I had with thee before the world was; the same phrase with ~lw[l, or ~lw[h ~dwq, used by the Jews {h}

A.  This is not to be understood of the glory of the human nature of Christ, abstractly considered;

1.   for that is no person of itself, but what is taken up into personal union with the Son of God; and therefore cannot be intended by this personal character I;

2.      nor did it exist from eternity; it was indeed written in God's book of predestination, even all its members, when as yet there were none of them in actual being;

3.      it was set up in God's thoughts and counsel, as the pattern and exemplar of human nature;

4.      it had a federal union with the Son of God, or a covenant subsistence with him;

5.      and in the Old Testament Christ was often spoken of as man,

a.      because of his frequent appearances in an human form,

b.      and because of the certainty of his incarnation;

c.      but he did not really and actually exist as man, until he took flesh of the virgin;

d.      for Christ, as man, is the seed of the woman, the son of David, Abraham, and Adam;

e.      he is called the last and second Adam, and was not as man before the first:

6.      the Old Testament speaks of his incarnation as future, nor is it possible that a creature can exist before time;

a.      for as soon as a creature exists, time begins, which is nothing else than the measure of a creature's duration;

7.      nor was the human nature of Christ with the Father from eternity;

8.      nor had it a glory before the world began, neither in whole, nor in part:

9.      nor is the glory of the divine nature abstractly considered here meant;

a.      this glory indeed Christ had from everlasting; he had it with his Father, in common with him, being in union to him;

b.      and it is true that it was in some measure veiled and covered in his state of humiliation; for though there were some breakings forth of it in that state, these were seen but by a few; wherefore he is thought by some, to pray here for the manifestation of this glory;

c.      but this glory was essential to him, was his natural right, and not to be prayed for, and which he then had as much as ever, and of which there could be no suspension: but this designs the glory of him as God-man, and Mediator; he was not only predestinated to be a Mediator, but was really set up as such from everlasting, and had a mediatorial fulness of grace put into his hands, and had the honour and glory of that office given unto him by the other two persons;

B.    and now that he might appear to be what he was, to be made, that is, made manifest that he was both Lord and Christ, he here prays; which was to be done, upon his ascension to heaven, and session at the right hand of God, by the pouring down of the Holy Ghost.

C.    WWR - Men, while they are still men, will not be able to fully grasp the glory of Jesus Christ, the glory which He holds as God.

1.      When we are glorified, in spiritual bodies, we will be able to fully grasp what Christ has done in redemption.

2.      I Cor. 13:12 - We will no longer see through a glass darkly, we will see Christ face to face.

3.      We will not know in part, but we will know completely, because we will be able to know completely.


 {g} Midrash Tillim in Psal. 20 apud Galatin. de Arcan. Cathol. Ver. l. 3. c. 9.

 {h} Gloss in T. Bab Pesachim, fol. 54. 1.



#John 17:5


    And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. As he had finished that for which he had emptied himself of his glory and entered the world, he asks that now, on his departure from the world, he may be reinstated and permitted to assume again that which he had laid aside. Paul's words are commentary on these two verses (#Phil. 2:5-11). Thus Jesus ends the first division of his prayer which is a petition for himself, for the glory of the Father, and the good of the world. The second division which follows is a fourfold plea for the disciples which he then had, followed by petitions in their behalf.


 (TFG 680)



{With thine own self} (|para seautôi|). "By the side of thyself." Jesus prays for full restoration to the pre-incarnate glory and fellowship (cf. #1:1) enjoyed before the Incarnation (#John 1:14). This is not just ideal pre-existence, but actual and conscious existence at the Father's side (|para soi|, with thee) "which I had" (|hêi eichon|, imperfect active of |echô|, I used to have, with attraction of case of |hên| to |hêi| because of |doxêi|), "before the world was" (|pro tou ton kosmon einai|), "before the being as to the world" (cf. verse #24). It is small wonder that those who deny or reject the deity of Jesus Christ have trouble with the Johannine authorship of this book and with the genuineness of these words. But even Harnack admits that the words here and in verse #24 are "undoubtedly the reflection of the certainty with which Jesus himself spoke" (_What Is Christianity_, Engl. Tr., p. 132). But Paul, as clearly as John, believes in the actual pre-existence and deity of Jesus Christ (#Phil. 2:5-11).