Friday, October 10, 2008

Jesus and Glory

I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. John 17:4, 5 NIV
Several things stand out to me in this short passage. First, Jesus is saying that he has already completed the work God gave him to do. He is saying this before he is arrested and crucified. What work had he completed?

Secondly, by completing the work God gave him to do, Jesus brought God glory. It wasn’t through a lot of words and declarations that God was brought glory but by the (maybe not so) simple task of doing and finishing his assigned tasks and purpose. That means that when I am obedient to God and doing what he tells me to do, I too bring God glory. My obedience brings glory to God. Wow!

Thirdly, Jesus was given a job to do by God. I believe God has a job and a purpose for each of us as well. What is mine?

Fourthly, God bringing glory to Jesus seems to hinge on Jesus first bringing glory to God: “I have brought you me.” Does God want to glorify us or is this something only available to Jesus?

Fifthly, each brought (or would bring) glory to the other in the realm where they were operating. Jesus brought glory to God on earth and was asking God to bring glory to him in his presence. The glory is taken from one realm to the other.

Finally, and most significantly, Jesus states that he lived in glory with the Father before the world began. As a teenager on a mission to bring people to God, I happened to call on the home of some Jehovah’s Witnesses. In those days, I thought Christianity was mostly about right doctrine and so I returned to this home often to convince them that the doctrine I held was something they needed to embrace. They saw me as someone they needed to convince to embrace their doctrine. Sadly, they planted in my thoughts a seed of serious doubt regarding the divinity of Jesus. Ever since, I’ve been on the look-out for evidence that Jesus is God. This verse is one such piece of evidence. Before the creation of the world, Jesus was living in glory with the Father. It can’t get plainer than that!

Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for sending him here to earth to do your good purpose. Thank you for the glory he brought to you so that we could see you more clearly and thank you for the glory you brought to him because of his obedience. I too want to be obedient and thus bring you glory: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Thank you that you trust me to bring you glory and praise by my obedience to you. Thank you for the glory you bring to all your people, including me.* Thank you for you. So be it.

*Romans 2:7, 10; 8:17, 18; 9:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 2:10.

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