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God’s Glory In John’s Gospel

Jesus insists He will not glorify Himself, but His Father glorifies Him (John 8:50,54).  Glory is other-centred - even for God.

John 13:31 - "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified IN HIM."

Let's think about the 'Now'.  The Now is the cross.  The cross glorifies God.  This truth has two aspects, both of which need to be held together:

The cross glorifies GOD.

and

THE CROSS glorifies God.

The first is important, and we'll unpack its trinitarian character below.  But too easily we can trumpet the first without realizing the radical truth latent in the second affirmation.  The cross glorifies God.  God is glorified in His gracious, self-motivated, self-sacrificial, saving action.  Where the Son is lifted up in ignominy, in weakness, in apparent folly - there God is glorified.  What kind of God is glorified by this?  What is His glory, if this is it?  It can be nothing other than His incredible self-giving.

What else to say...

The Father is glorified in the Son and the Son in the Father (17:1-4).  This is an eternal, intra-trinitarian truth.  But it also flows out via the incarnate Son and through His work.

This eternal glory is displayed at the cross. (17:5,24)

It doesn't stand behind the cross, it IS the cross.

The cross is not a bridge or stepping stone to something else called glory.  The cross is the display of God's eternal glory.  Whatever Jesus brings us into at the cross, it is the eternal glory of God.

Can we begin to grasp this?  The cross and eternity, eternity and the cross - Jesus wants us to hold these things together somehow.

The glory of God is not simply locked up in eternity - not simply an impenetrable family secret between Father and Son.  It's not a banqueting hall replete in itself and Christ crucified is merely the door into it.  Christ crucified and the bride He would thereby win is at the heart of it.  The bride is certainly in by grace and not by nature - yet it is God's glory to include us in His eternal life.

John 17:10 - Jesus speaks of His church and says, "I am glorified in them."  (KJV)

Again we need to hold onto both sides of this:

JESUS is glorified in the church

and

Jesus is glorified IN THE CHURCH

Wow.  Just as the Father is glorified in the Son, the Son is glorified in His people.

Wrap your head around that one!  The eternal Christ is glorified in His Church.

Now obviously glory is not a something we give to Jesus.  As He says:

"I do not receive glory from men."  (John 5:41)

We've got nothing to offer in the glory stakes.  So then, how is Christ glorified in His church.  It must be because His glory simply is to give Himself to us in incarnation, cross and exaltation.  In this way He is glorified.  Because His grace is His glory.

We therefore participate in the divine glory.  How?  By receiving it.  (John 5:44).

And so we find ourselves on the receiving end of God's glory, which IS His trinitarian life overflowing in creation, salvation and judgement.

But not only does this glory spread out from Father to Son and Son to Church, such glory is meant to draw in the whole world:

"I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me."  (John 17:23)

So then:

God's glory is the cross.

It is other-centred.

It is ecstatic ('ek' - out of; 'stasis' - where you stand) and eccentric (out of the centre).

It overflows to include us.

We do not add to it but it is His glory to make us part of it!

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0 thoughts on “God’s Glory In John’s Gospel

  1. Heather

    Wonderful! I think I'm finally able to see what you are saying.

    Actually, God's been using your and Bobby's blogs to show me some things. Hopefully, I'm not misunderstanding the lesson--but if I have it right, it is the most awesome thing He has ever shown me. If I didn't have family with needs, I'd be laying on the floor, weeping with gratitude.

    My kids keep asking me what's wrong and, for the first time in months, I can honestly say NOTHING!

    Thank you, thank you for being so patient with my hanging about and taking discussions off course and asking questions!!!!!!

  2. Glen

    "The Son of God loved me and gave HIMSELF for me." (Gal 2:20) My favourite verse. God's very life is unfolded when He gives Himself to us in the gospel. His grace goes all the way down. He's really that good.

    Really glad to be reminding people of the goodness of the good news!

    :)

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