THE GLORIFICATION OF THE FATHER IN THE SON
The basic thought in this section of the Gospel of John is the glorification of the Father in the Son’s glorification. In this section certain verses tell us what this glorification is. In 15:8 we see that glorification is in fruit-bearing. According to 12:24, the one grain fell into the ground and died, rose up, and brought forth many grains. This is multiplication, and this multiplication is glorification. Now we need to see that the many grains in 12:24 are the many branches of the vine in chapter fifteen. The branches of the vine bear fruit, and this fruit-bearing is the glorification of the Father. Fruit-bearing is a matter of multiplication, propagation, production. This multiplication is the Father’s glorification. Certainly whatever is produced through the Lord’s death and resurrection has nothing to do with a heavenly mansion.
Another verse related to glorification is 14:13: “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” For the Father to be glorified in the Son is to have His element expressed from within the Son. Whatever the Son does is to express the divine element of the Father. This is to have the Father glorified in the Son.
In order to have a fuller understanding of verse 13, we need to consider some of the preceding verses. In verse 10 the Lord says, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words which I speak to you, I do not speak from Myself; but the Father who abides in Me, He does His works.” Here we see that whatever the Lord speaks is the Father’s work. This means that the Lord’s word is the expression of the Father. The Lord’s speaking expressed the Father, and this expression is a matter of glorification.
In verses 11 and 12 the Lord goes on to say, “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; but if not, believe Me because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works which I do shall he do also; and he shall do greater than these, because I go to the Father.” When the Lord went to the Father, He brought us into the Father. Hence, where He is, there we are also. Now we can do the same thing the Lord did. And what did the Lord do? He expressed the Father.
The Lord’s word here concerning His disciples doing the same thing as He did in expressing the Father corresponds to His word in 17:22: “And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them.” The glory which the Father gave the Son is the sonship with the Father’s life and nature to express the Father in His fullness. This glory the Son has given to His believers that they also may have the sonship with the Father’s life and nature to express the Father in the Son in His fullness. Now we have the divine life and nature to express the Father in the Son. In 14:12 the Lord seems to be saying, “I am going to the Father, and I am bringing you all with Me into the Father. Where I am, you also will be, and what I have done, you also will do. When I go to the Father, you will be brought into Him. Then you will do the same work as I do to express Him.”
Now we are better able to understand what the Lord says in 14:13 about doing whatever we ask in His name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. To be in the Lord’s name means to be one with the Lord, to live by the Lord, and to let the Lord live in us. The Lord came and did things in the Father’s name (5:43; 10:25). He was one with the Father (10:30), He lived by the Father (6:57), and the Father worked in Him (14:10). In the Gospels, the Lord as the expression of the Father did things in the Father’s name. In the Acts, the disciples as the expression of the Lord did even greater things in His name. According to the context, what the disciples should ask in the Lord’s name is related to glorification. Do you think that the Lord was expecting the disciples to ask for material riches when He said that He would do whatever they asked in His name? Certainly not! In the Lord’s name the disciples should ask for the glorification of the Father in the Son.
We need to be impressed with the fact that the whole section from 12:23 through 17:26 is on the glorification of the Son for the glorification of the Father. This is the main subject of this portion of the Gospel of John. First, the Son died and rose up to bear much fruit, to produce many grains. The Lord’s life was imparted to the disciples and made them branches of the vine for the bearing of fruit. The producing of the many grains and the bearing of fruit by the many branches are both matters of glorification. The fruit-bearing of the branches is a continuation of the glorification seen in the multiplication of the one grain into many grains. After the disciples received the life that was in the Son, they prayed. According to chapter one of Acts, they prayed for ten days. What do you think they prayed for? A better house? Good health? To be sure, they did not pray for such things. Actually, the Lord told them to wait in Jerusalem until power came upon them from the Father (Luke 24:49). Then they would become life witnesses of the Lord Jesus. As such witnesses, they would live the same life as the Lord lived. This living is a matter of glorification.
When we pray in the Son’s name, we are one with Him. When the Son came in the Father’s name, He was one with the Father. In like manner, to pray in the Son’s name means that we become one with Him in our prayer. Then whatever we pray, the Son will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Now we see that whatever we pray in oneness with the Son, the Son will do for the Father’s glorification.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 51, by Witness Lee)