“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." (John 17:24)

This verse - as Jesus continues his open prayer to the Supreme Being - has been substantially mistranslated and thus misinterpreted. Here is the Greek text:

Because the Supreme Being loves us, he sends us His representative to teach us about Him. Those who receive His representative and learn about God from His representative become connected to His representative.

We might compare this to how a tour group will become connected to their tour guide when they are touring a foreign country. They don't know where to go or how to speak the language. They cannot navigate the roads, nor can they figure out where to go for sightseeing. But the tour guide knows all of this, and he can communicate to all the right people in his language in an effort to giving people access to the sights.

So when the tour guide comes upon a new landmark, the guide will need to negotiate on behalf of the tour group to allow their entrance. The manager of the landmark might even say to the tour guide something to the effect of "OK, but they are your responsibility." In this way, because the tour guide is organizing the tour, the tour guide becomes responsible for the tour group. If they act badly, the tour guide is responsible for their activities.

In the same way, Jesus' disciples are connected to Jesus as he is their guide back to their loving relationship with the Supreme Being. They are connected to Jesus in that Jesus is giving them access to God. And Jesus is connected to them in that he is carrying a responsibility to teach them well - as guided by the Supreme Being.

Therefore, Jesus cannot make up his own teachings - as many teachers among ecclesiastical sectarian institutions have. He has to teach what is handed down through the lineage of teachers coming from Abraham, David, John the Baptist and so on. And he has to be led by the Supreme Being. This is why Jesus said:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
and
"I am not here on my own authority, but He who sent me is true. You do not know Him, but I know him because I am from Him and He sent me.” (John 7:28-29)
So we see that Jesus is not making things up as he goes along. He sees himself as a messenger.

As such, Jesus is also a guide - as he is guiding those who heard him - with those teachings from the Supreme Being.

Ecclesiastical translators have translated δόξαν to "glory" rather than its alternate meaning, "splendor." "Splendor" is a more appropriate translation because Jesus is not talking about fame here - the common meaning of "glory." When a person is "glorified" they are given respect. This is not what Jesus is talking about.

Bottom line, the word δόξαν can have two basic meanings: "opinion, judgement, estimate, view" etc., or "splendor, brightness, magnificence, majesty" according to the lexicon. In the first case, it is what others think of us. In the second, it is something related to what the Supreme Being gives us - our relationship with Him.

This is what Jesus is referring to. The "splendor" he is discussing is related to His loving relationship with the Supreme Being. This is "splendorous" and "magnificent" because a loving relationship with the Supreme Being is fulfilling. It is the completion of our being.

And Jesus wants to share this relationship with his students and disciples. It is not as if he is in that position and they are not - so tough. It is not as if he is feeling proud of his relationship with God.

Jesus wants to share it with them. He wants to give it away.

And finally, Jesus makes the comment: "for loving me before the creation of the world." What does this mean?

Ecclesiastical sectarian teachers try to infer something about Jesus' "firstborn" role here, but this is not what he is saying. The emphasis of this phrase relates to the fact that the Supreme Being loved Jesus before - but before what? Before God created the physical world.

The point here is not the creation of the physical world.

Sometimes when a person wants to state that something has been around forever, they might say "that X is older than dirt." They are not talking about the dirt literally. The are using it as a reference to state that the thing (X) has been around for a long time.

The point is that Jesus is stating that God's love is eternal. It is everlasting. And unconditional.

The Supreme Being created the physical world with the element of time. Therefore there is a beginning and an end, and for this, we can know that the physical world is a temporary manifestation produced by the Supreme Being.

And the element of time is specific to the physical world. This element of time does not exist within the spiritual realm.

In other words, there is no beginning to the existence of the Supreme Being. He is eternal, and His love is also eternal. This is the meaning of the last part of Jesus' statement: God's love for him and his disciples is eternal.


(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Gospel of John without sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.)