Reflecting the Glory of The King
The other day, John 17:24 stuck out to me in a way it never has before. Jesus is praying to the Father on the night of His arrest. Near the end of His prayer, He makes the following statement:
“Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory — the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” (TLV)
It dawned on me as I read this: How often does Jesus say that He wants something? This must be important.
So what does Jesus say He wants?
He wants us to be with Him — but that’s not too surprising, given that this prayer comes just two chapters after He petitioned the disciples to abide in Him. “I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
No, what caught my attention is the reason that He wants us to be with Him. “… so that they may see My glory.”
Beholding His Glory
In beholding His glory, we realize the humility that is due of us.
What an odd request. If an ordinary man were to say it, it would clearly be a statement of pride. And while Christians would say that God is deserving of all glory and honor and praise, it still seems an odd request.
Perhaps it’s because the statement is one that we take for granted. “Of course He is worthy of all glory!” But notice that Jesus says, “that they may see My glory.” Obviously, beholding the glory of our God is more important than the meager attention I’ve been giving it.
In like fashion, Proverbs 3:6a says “In all your ways acknowledge Him.” That means exactly what it sounds like. Look for Him in all the directions you take in life. And also in Matthew 6:33a, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
His Glory Inspires Humility in Us
Ok. Beholding His glory is important. But why? What’s the meaning?
As we read in Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth, the Good News is “veiled to those who are perishing.” Paul continues, “In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, so that they might not see the light of the Good News of the glory of Messiah, who is the image of God.”
So, those who have not seen His glory are perishing. Why is that? Perhaps it’s because in seeing His glory, we realize the humility that is due of us. Later, in 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, so that the surpassing greatness of the power may be from God and not from ourselves.”
It’s all about Him. We’re just here to deliver the news. It’d be like your mom mailing you a box of cookies, and you thanking the mailman profusely. Jesus said our proper response is, “We are unworthy slaves. We have done only what we were supposed to do.”
Let Us Lift the Lord High!
God’s great glory is something that I didn’t hear emphasized much growing up. It was always mentioned, but never the subject. Since reading Jesus’ request, however, it’s become a constant revelation when I read His word. Truly, every verse in the Bible was written for His glory.
Just take John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” He is matchless. Back up to verses 14 and 15, and we see: “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that whoever believes in Him may have eternal life!”
Will you join me in lifting the Lord high? He’s over everything, so let’s give the glory to Him.
Lord, lead us in Your grace, for Your glory. Give us hearts of humility, squashing every head-rearing of pride in our lives. May our faith be in You and not what we can see. May we trust in Your provision and not our own ability. To our God and Father be the glory forever and ever! Amen.