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Monday, October 17, 2011

God glorifies Himself for our sake.

John 12:28-30
Jesus said,] "Father, glorify your name.”
Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine."

As I continue to go deeper into the Gospel of John, I'm amazed at how loving, strategic, and offensive Christ was to those that refused to accept Him as God. The more I see Christ in the Gospels, the more I realize that you must either love Him or hate Him with everything you have in order to make sense of the claims He made about Himself and His oneness with the Father; his claims that He was God.

As Jesus was preparing for the prophesies to be fulfilled through his brutal death and resurrection, He participated in a feast. This feast had gathered people from all walks of life, many of whom had seen the wonders and signs of Jesus - particularly raising Lazarus from the dead just prior to His entry into the city. Without doubt, Lazarus had died and was embalmed in the tomb which he was laid to rest for 4 days - and "on account of the people that stood around" did Christ proclaim that He was there to fulfill the Father's will and commanded Lazarus to come out from the grave. This, for many people was enough to tip the pot over as no one has been raised from the dead and the burial rituals of the time were set up to ensure that they were not burying anyone alive.

So when it came down for all the gears to work toward the Crucifixion of Christ, He enters into a communion with the Father as He has always done and asks that the Father be glorified. To this, the Father responds through the heavens, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." This booming voice was audible to the crowd gathered around. Many had no idea what to make of the voice, but as they heard Jesus ask the Father to "Glorify His name," the Father responded with two things, that He already has and that He will once again in a manner that was for the people.

Christ inevitably knew that the Father had been glorified through Himself. In John 6, we see that Christ was sent by the Father, and in an act of honoring obedience, Jesus became a man on a mission. His mission was to be a substitutionary atonement for all those whom the Father gave to Him. To which he says, "and this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." The glory of the Father was in the Son, and the manifestation of the Father's glory was in the presence and obedience of His son to us. He essentially says throughout the entire book of John and the rest of the Gospels that if you see the Son, you see the Father. Or, if you see the Son, you see the glory of the Father.

The thing about glory is that it has many meanings, but for the Father to glorify Himself, and for the Father to say that He already has and will once again, means that there is an encounter and revealing that he has done and prepares to do in the future. The Father already has full glory, but there is a sharing and a revealing of His glory that allows us to stand with Him in His glory. It would be like standing at the Olympic medal platform while someone who loved you won the gold medal, but had you stand with them. However, for the father to be fully glorified among us, there needed to be nothing that prevented us from seeing Him fully. In other words, for the Father to glorify Himself, the dirty window in which we try to view him by must be perfectly transparent so that as He shines perfectly, we can enjoy Him without any distortions.

Thus, anytime we see God glorifying himself, the reality is that he is clearing out the brushes so that we can see him more accurately. Nothing in God changes, his radiance is perfect in every way. The beneficiaries of his revelation of glory is us, not Him. As sin entered the world, it was as if a million layers of clouds covered up the sun and our repentance through faith in Christ as He lifts us up through the clouds, allows us to see more and more of God.

The fact that God takes pleasure in allowing us to know Him is quite an honor. When I am reminded to realize that the God who created the universe wants to show me more of Himself, I get overwhelmed. Its utterly amazing to think that for our sake, does God reveal Himself, so that what He gains from the exchange is the pleasure of seeing us experience the ultimate joy of knowing Him. God is good!

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