“Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (John 17:24)
In John 17:24 Jesus reveals His eternal purpose for His people: to be with Him, and to see His glory, which will satisfy them forever. (See devotion here) But at the same time, Jesus reveals some important things about Himself:
Jesus’ statement “For You loved Me before the foundation of the world”, far from being an afterthought, is pregnant with truth about the Lord Himself.
— He we find yet another assertion of His PRE-EXISTENCE. Jesus makes it clear that He did not come into being when He was born in Bethlehem. He says He existed “before the foundation of the world.” As John 1 makes clear, “He was in the beginning with God” and “was God.” It is quite a strong statement of His pre-existence, and thus His divinity.
— We also see something of the “personality” of the Triune God here. Jesus uses these pronouns, “You” loved “Me.” Although “God is one” and monotheism is a central tenet of the Christian faith, it is also true that the Triune God has existed eternally as three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who relate to each distinctly, as Jesus makes clear here.
— And how were these Divine Persons relating to each other before all time began? Jesus says to the God the Father, “For You LOVED ME before the foundation of the world.” Here we see something of the love relationship that has always existed among the Triune Persons of God. God did not create human beings in order to have someone to love. Before the foundation of the world, He already shared perfect love among His Triune Persons.
This not only teaches us something about Jesus, but it should also encourage us and excite us regarding our future in heaven. Heaven is a place of love. That is what they “do” there! It is what they have practiced there for all eternity — “before the foundation of the world.” God IS love, I John 4 tells us, and forever God has been loving there — and amazingly, through Jesus Christ we have been invited to join in on that love in His presence for eternity!