"And now, Father, glorify me in Your presence ..." (John 17:5)

"And now, Father, glorify me in Your presence with the glory I had with You before the world began." (John 17:5)

Does Jesus really want God to 'glorify me'?

Jesus is not concerned about his own glory. Is Jesus really praying to God to make himself famous or glorious to others? Certainly not.

The key word of this sentence is δοξάζω (doxazō). This Greek word can mean "glorify" in some contexts ("to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate"), but not in this context. Jesus is not asking God to praise or magnify himself. The word can also mean "adorn with luster, clothe with splendor" according to the lexicon.

The first element we must understand here is that Jesus is communicating through prayer to a person - the Supreme Person. As Jesus has been teaching his students, God is not a vague force or monolith. God is a person - someone who can be loved and served. This is why Jesus wanted his students to love God (“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'" - Matt. 22:37-38). Only a person can be loved.

Secondly, Jesus is engaged in a loving relationship with the Supreme Being. A person who loves another wants to please that person and naturally wants to be with them. These are key elements of any loving relationship. This is the meaning of the phrase πάτερ παρὰ σεαυτῷ which appears in this verse. 

The Greek root word παρά (para) means "together" or "with" - and σεαυτοῦ (seautou) means "Yourself." In other words "with You." Jesus is talking about sharing a relationship "together" "with" "You" - the Supreme Being.

The fact that Jesus is seeking to please the Supreme Being is also evidenced by other statements he made, including:
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
Thirdly, Jesus is speaking of the spiritual realm in his prayer. The phrase, τῇ δόξῃ ᾗ εἶχον πρὸ τοῦ τὸν κόσμον εἶναι παρὰ σοί - refers to Jesus' existence prior to coming to the physical world. Jesus is speaking of that location where God is personally present - the spiritual realm: The Greek word δόξα (doxa) refers to "splendor" or "luster" here, and ἔχω (echō) and πρό (pro) mean "with You before."

Did Jesus say 'before the world began'?

The Greek κόσμος (kosmos) refers to "the world". In context, this relates to the material or physical world.

There is no "began" in the original Greek texts. The Greek word being translated is πρό (pro) and this means "before."

Jesus did not say "before the world began" or "before the world was" as has been translated.

The Greek indicates that Jesus said "with You before the world existed."

In other words, Jesus is not referring to before the world was created. He is speaking of before he came here.

Jesus is speaking of his relationship with the Supreme Being in the spiritual realm before he descended to the earth to teach us about God.

Where was Jesus 'before the world'?

The reality is that Jesus is not the physical body he wore when he walked the planet. Jesus is a spiritual being - an associate and loving servant of the Supreme Being from the spiritual realm. Prior to his descending to the physical world, he enjoyed a blissful and satisfying personal relationship with the Supreme Being in the spiritual realm.

Here in the physical world, we temporarily occupy a physical body. This is why physical bodies die. Because they are temporary vehicles. We are each spirit-persons occupying a physical body.

The spirit-person is from the spiritual realm. Each of us has a unique spiritual form and this is our permanent identity.

Our spiritual form and identity has a particular type of relationship with the Supreme Being. In fact, in the spiritual realm, God's closest associates do not even see Him as God. They see Him as their Best Friend. Their Beloved.

The Supreme Being enjoys so many different relationships. These are His pastimes - to enjoy loving relationships with His children in so many different ways.

These relationships are full of bliss and joy. They are full of "splendor" - "bliss" - for both God and us. This is why Jesus used this word - he wants to return to this face-to-face exchange with the Supreme Being.

Jesus enjoys a particular relationship with God in the spiritual realm and he was reflecting upon this intimate relationship with Him. He was simply asking God if he could return to soon. Jesus' relationship with God certainly continued while he was on his mission to the physical world: But he was missing that personal face-to-face relationship exchange. He was missing God's personal presence within the environment of the spiritual realm.

What do we do when we miss our beloved?

We want to return to them.

Jesus wanted to return to his Beloved. He knew he was on a temporary mission to the physical world - introducing others to God. The fact that Jesus was sent by God is stated elsewhere by Jesus:
"For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me." (John 6:38)
And the fact that Jesus was introducing others to God is evidenced by the very next statement in Jesus' prayer:
"I have revealed You to those whom You gave me out of the world." (John 17:6)
Jesus was serving the Supreme Being by bringing others home to Him. But certainly, Jesus wanted to, after his mission was over, return to that personal loving relationship he enjoyed with God in the spiritual realm.

*Here is the translation of this verse from the Lost Gospels of Jesus:
"So now, O LORD, honor me with Your presence – with the bliss I had with You before the material world existed.” ( John 17:5)