From the Word
24 Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these know that thou hast sent me. 26 I made known to them thy name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
John 17:24–26, RSV
These words are the last petition of this prayer, but the most comforting one for all those who cling to Christ. We are here assured of what we are finally to receive, where we shall find rest and abide, because in this world we are wretched, despised and have no sure abiding place. Therefore, as a kind, faithful Saviour, Christ encourages us, by saying that he will prepare mansions for us, that we are to be with him, and are to be as happy as he is with his Father. He would say: Do not worry as to your abiding place; let the world and the devil rave and rage, you shall be taken care of and come to the place you desire, where you may rest and remain in spite of the world and the devil. These words should be a pillow and a downy bed for our souls; and when the last hour shall arrive and we are to be freed from sin, from the world, from the power of the devil and from every evil, and are to be brought to our eternal rest and joy, we should go thitherward with cheerful hearts.
We are not only to be with him, but we are also to come to a clear, bright view of his glory. Here upon earth we have it and recognize it only by faith. We do not really see it, but only through the Word as through a dark glass. Our knowledge is still obscure, as when a dark cloud overshadows the bright sun. No human heart can understand the greatness of Christ’s glory, since he appeared so very obscure while on earth. But in the world beyond another light will shine most brilliantly in our very presence, which we shall behold with unspeakable joy. What injury can the world do us, though it deprive us of property, honor, and life, if thereby we are brought to Christ and may behold his glory. But we are too cold and sluggish to believe this. It is beyond human understanding to comprehend that our poor, decaying bodies should ever reach such a position of honor as to be able to see this excellent, divine glory forever; yea, our bodies shall become more brilliant and brighter than the sun and the stars.
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 359–60.