Last post on the book of John I wrote that in the future we would look at what Jesus dedicated his life to, and what he accomplished during his time walking the earth. And we will. But before we do, I felt led to share about the very first part of Jesus’ prayer.
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you . . .”
How God Answered Jesus’ Prayer To Be Glorified
Jesus starts by asking God to glorify Jesus, which, on the face of it, sounds self serving. But if we think about how Jesus was glorified, we quickly recognize the heavy price he paid:
Death on the cross.
Separation from his Father God.
And bearing of the weight of the sins of the whole world.
That’s how God answered Jesus’ prayer to be glorified. So, at first glance his request might seem self serving, but upon closer inspection we see the steep price he paid. And that’s not all. There’s also the why.
Why Jesus Asked To Be Glorified
Look and see why Jesus asked to be glorified. Jesus speaking to the Father asks to be glorified for this purpose: “…that the Son may glorify you.”
We see this throughout the Gospels. Jesus would perform miracles in a way that brought glory to God.
When he healed the leper in Mark 1:40-45 he said, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
When Jesus raised the widow’s son from the dead, the people “were all filled with awe and praised God.” (Luke 7:11-18)
When Jesus cured the paralytic in Matthew 9:1-8 the people there “were filled with awe; and they praised God . . .”
When he healed the blind men in Matthew 9:27-31, in an effort to avoid drawing attention to himself, “Jesus sternly warned them, ‘See that no one knows about it.'”
In Matthew 15 we read, “And great crowds followed him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.” (Emphasis mine. Matthew 15:30-31)
How the Christ Follower Glorifies God
It’s the same for the Christ follower too. We usually don’t see God glorified in the Jesus follower who’s traveling in his luxury sedan on the smooth road to success. It’s the person who experiences death of some kind, or significant trial, who tends to glorify God. In the Love Like Jesus book I write about a man from the neighborhood where I grew up in Chicago and the tragedy he experienced.
His name is Alex Rivera and during my grade school years this guy had a terrible reputation. Alex had his own special brand of crazy. He liked to hit women, rob the homeless, and engage in other cowardly behavior. Everyone in the neighborhood was sure Alex would die young or land in prison. But then Alex suffered a tragic loss. His son died of cancer. And then, later, he lost a second son in a car crash. It was then that Alex turned to Christ for comfort. And in the process he died. He died to himself and he was transformed. He became a committed follower of Christ who, to this day loves Jesus and loves people in a way that glorifies God. (And since that transformation, everyone seems to love Alex.)
The people I see radiating the spirit of Jesus in the midst of tribulation are the ones who ask, “How can I best use this trial to glorify God?” The people I see go through trials with a miserable spirit are usually asking, “Why me?” That’s a good thing to remember the next time you find yourself facing adversity.
We can also remember, the greatest expression of God’s glory ever, was the darkest time ever, when Jesus was betrayed, tortured, and crucified on the cross.
“Father, when the hour comes for each one of us, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may glorify you. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.”
You might also like How Did They Do That? — Courage in the Face of Cancer.
Further study will be rewarded: Jim Davis, Why Me? (And Why That’s the Wrong Question): A Godly View of Suffering), Leafwood, 2014
Coming in February of 2020:
Love Like Jesus: How Jesus Loved People (and how you can love like Jesus)
Love Like Jesus begins with the story of how after a life of regular church attendance and Bible study, Bennett was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote this book for himself as much as for others.
Love Like Jesus examines a variety of stories, examples, and research, including:
- Specific examples of how Jesus communicated God’s love to others.
- How Jesus demonstrated all five of Gary Chapman’s love languages (and how you can too).
- The story of how Billy Graham extended Christ’s extraordinary love and grace toward a man who misrepresented Jesus to millions.
- How to respond to critics the way Jesus did.
- How to love unlovable people the way Jesus did.
- How to survive a life of loving like Jesus (or how not to become a Christian doormat).
- How Jesus didn’t love everyone the same (and why you shouldn’t either).
- How Jesus guarded his heart by taking care of himself–he even napped–and why you should do the same.
- How Jesus loved his betrayer Judas, even to the very end.
With genuine unfiltered honesty, Love Like Jesus, shows you how to live a life according to God’s definition of success: A life of loving God well, and loving the people around you well too.
A life of loving like Jesus.
(Kindle, hardcover, and paperback are scheduled to come out in 2020.)
Contact Me! If you have a question or even if you’d just like to say hi, I’d love to hear from you. Just send me an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.