A Voice in the
Re: Glorifying the Son and Father
"Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to Heaven, and says: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.." (vs1)
When all is said and done, when creation looks back at this period of time in human history on this earth, when this creation has been burned up and those who are obedient to God are in His presence for eternity, what will have been the #1 primary objective to it all?
The exaltation and glory of God the Father.
Believers are repeatedly exhorted to "..do all to the glory of God." (1Cor10:31) In 'that' Day, even those who rejected God will give glory, as they bow the knee, confessing "..that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father". (Php2:11) And ultimately, when all is said and done, even the glory that Jesus receives throughout what Scripture calls the "Day of the Lord", Jesus will give back to the Father: "Now when everything is subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to Him who subjected everything under Him, that God may be everything in all things." (1cor15:28)
But right 'now', on the way to the cross, Jesus prays, "glorify Your Son". John speaks several times of Jesus' death and resurrection as His being "glorified". (7:39, 12:16, etc) And Jesus speaks of it, also. (12:23, 13:31, etc)
Oh, but...the cross was such a dastardly deed perpetrated upon His person. He was beaten up, had his hair plucked out, thorn spikes gouged into His scalp, whipped to where the flesh would have been hanging in shreds, nailed to the cross with spikes the size of railroad spikes. How can -THAT- be called "Glory"? as the prophet proclaims, ".. He has no form nor splendor that we should regard Him, nor anything spectacular that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men; a Man of pain, and knowing infirmity; a hiding of faces; being despised, we have esteemed Him not." (Is53:2-3) ?
Because, it is because of His humbling Himself to that cross, in order to take away the sin of the world (1:29), that God exalted Him with a name that is above every other name, for which reason "every knee shall bow". And then, He did not remain in death. He did not "see corruption" (Ps16:10, Ac2:27), but "God raised Him from the dead.." (Ac3:15, 13:30) He was victorious over the "sting of death" by paying the penalty which the Law required (1Cor15:55-56). The Law required "death" as the "wages of sin"; but Jesus triumphed over sin and death by rising from the dead; thus is possible: "..the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom6:23) Where Adam and Eve sinned, and were banned from the Tree of Life (Gen3:22-24), Jesus provided that Life by giving His own. That "multitude which no one was able to number" who were "washed in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev7:9,14)... the glory of their eternal life comes from Jesus Christ.
This is what Jesus is praying, as, scarcely in a few minutes He will be 'captured', and the next day crucified.
Now consider for a moment: When people speak of "salvation", what is the basis for salvation? Most people say things like, "..having a 'relationship' with Jesus.." And indeed, salvation comes by no other (than Jesus), "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under Heaven given among men that is required for us to be saved." (Ac4:10,12)
But what does Jesus say? Jesus is praying to the Father and says, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God.." See to whom Jesus gives the preeminence? The Father. And then, "..and Jesus Christ whom You sent." (vs3) Who is the greater? The one sent? Or the one sending? The one sending. It was God (the Father) who is recorded as having "loved the world" that He "sent" His Son. (Jn3:16) Jesus continually said, "I always do those things that please Him". (Jn8:29) The things Jesus spoke and taught? "I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him." (8:26) Jesus was the manifestation of God's "essence" (Heb1:3), as He says to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father.." (14:9)
Our judgment is before the Father, and it is Jesus who is the "Mediator" beween God and man. (1Tim2:5) And notice that the atonement Jesus makes available was not provided only for a "limited" number of people (there is a segment of post-Reformation theology, a "doctrine of demons" 1Tm4:1, that proclaims what they call, "limited atonement": that Jesus' death was only for those that God had gone along, eeny meeny minee moh, I picked you, you and you, and the rest of you, tough luck, Jesus didn't die for you!); but Jesus' propitiatory work is for sins, "not for ours (Believers) only but also for the whole world." (1Jn2:1-2) ..if only they will repent "towards God (the Father)" (Ac20:21) and "receive" Christ. (Jn1:12) Remember, the verse says, "God so loved the -WORLD-..." not some limited 'elect' few. (Jn3:16) But just because God loved the world, doesn't mean the whole world will be saved (like another false doctrine that some proclaim called, "Ultimate Restoration", wherein they think to suggest that in the end, it doesn't matter...all will be saved because God will "restore" them, even though they didn't repent), because not the whole world is "believing into the Son", but is "disobedient"; thus the "wrath of God abides on [them]" (Jn3:36)
Now notice the 'partnership' between the Father and Son with regard to salvation. On another occasion Jesus speaks (understanding that in salvation one "confesses with the mouth the Lord Jesus" -Rom10:9-10): "Therefore whoever shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father in Heaven." (Mt10:32) "..and before the angels of God" (Lk12:8) And in the next section (next month) He speaks of the Believers' preservation.
But Jesus did not go and 'get them' on His own. They were given to Him by the Father: "..the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your Word." (vs6) As Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.." (Jn6:44)
The glory to the Father and Son is all related to redemption. The "Lamb" was proclaimed "worthy" because He had "..redeemed us to God by [His] blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.." (Rev5:9) Thus it is proclaimed, "Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!" (Rev5:13)
Notice that hand-in-hand with the glory of the Father and the Son is the "eternal life" the Son gives to those given to Him by the Father. (vs2) Thus, what is Christ's 'trophy' of His victory over sin and death? The CHURCH. As Christ is "seated at the Father's right hand", all rule and authority was given to him related to the "Church". The Church, of which Christ is the "head", is the "fullness of Him who fills all things in all.." (Eph1:20-23) Who is that? The Father. Did you get that? We observed this in the Ephesians series: Jesus, bringing the Church to the Father, is part of God's glory; that which brings honor and glory to Him before all creation. The Church is His "fullness"...that which makes Him "complete".
Let's also observe a couple other things in order:
Notice Jesus' prior existence. John was proclaiming that, even though he (John) was going before Jesus, to introduce Him to the world and prepare His way, and we know that John was born six months prior to Jesus, John said, "He who arrives after me appeared in history before me, for He existed before me." (1:15) Here, Jesus speaks of the glory He had "before the world existed". (vs5) He is, indeed, Deity.
But 'now' He has come to the conclusion of His earthly mission: "I have finished the work which You gave Me to do." (vs4) As Paul was nearing the end of his earthly life, he was of such a communion with God that he could also say with certainty, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith." (2Tm4:7) What was Jesus' ministry? "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world."
And what was the result of His work? "They have kept Your Word." (vs6b) He did not rejoice before the Father that His disciples were 'dialoguing' and tearing down those pesky 'walls' of doctrine. But they were KEEPING Doctrine. Keep this in mind for next month's section about the "oneness" with one another and God. (vs21) Unity amongst fellow-believers and with God has as its foundation God's Word; Doctrine. And keeping God's Word (Doctrine) is the basis for "glorifying" the Father and the Son. You want to glorify God? Keep His Word.
But you see, this -keeping- of God's Word is not a matter of "legalism". A keeping of lists of dos and donts. God's Word is not something like rule books, and traffic signs; but God's Word is something to be "received". (vs8) Israel had Moses' Law, which, if they broke commandments, for many infractions they were stoned to death. It was a Law unto death. (Rom7:5,etc) And when Israel was not of such a heart as to be obedient to God, God's promise for Israel's future was that He would "write" His law into their "hearts". (Jer31:33) But regarding Jesus' followers, those who eventually came to be called "CHRIST-ians", their characteristic is that they "keep" God's Words, not because they are forced to; but to them God's Word is the "law of liberty" (Jac1:25); a Believer has been made "free" from sin and death; the "liberty by which Christ has made us free.." (Gal5:1) And that is possible because the Christian is one who has "received" God's Word into the heart. (vs8)
So again, something we continually harp on: If you see groups of people and entities that spend their energies and motivations to "tear down walls", the "walls" of -DOCTRINE-, BY DEFINITION... THEY ARE NOT SAVED. They have not received God's Word into their hearts; it is not an integral part of them; otherwise, they would not seek to destroy it; otherwise, they would be destroying part of their own essence! Followers of Christ, those who have been taught by Him through the Holy Spirit (Jn16:13), if they are "glorifying" God, by definition also have "received" God's Word, and are "keeping" it. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, I know Him, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him." (1Jn2:3-4) And if he is a "liar", who is the "father of" lies? They are not Christians, but are of the devil as their father. (Jn8:44) And the things they teach and are "devoted to" are "doctrines of demons". (1Tm4:1)
Finally, a true Believer knows that what Jesus taught, that which comes through the Holy Spirit, is actually from the Father. They recognize that Jesus came from the Father, that in addition to having been a great 'man', that He is, also, very God. The disciples had concluded a few minutes earlier: "By this we believe that You came forth from God." (16:30) As John will write on a later occasion...
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of Life; the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us; that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1Jn1:1-3)