When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once ” (John 13:31-32, CSB).
The three stages of Christian development and the doctrine of glorification are usually associated with the writings of Paul: “For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30, CSB; see also 1 Corinthians 15:35-53; 2 Corinthians 3:18).
In the coherent parlance of a master storyteller, Jesus introduced His disciples to the intricate theological construct of glorification in the final hours before His arrest.
Have you ever needed someone to leave the room so you could have an intimate conversation with another? That’s what happens at the beginning of this story of the Last Supper and Betrayal of Jesus in John 13.
Jesus knew that the time had come in His earthly ministry for His ultimate sacrifice and it was imperative that He imparted some critical information to His disciples before leaving them: “Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (vs. 13:1).
As Jesus and His disciples shared a last meal together, Judas Iscariot’s impending betrayal was revealed by Jesus to His disciples. Then, Jesus invited Judas to leave the dinner and carry out his unscrupulous scheme. Once Judas had left, Jesus could talk openly with His authentic disciples about the events that were about to unfold and what they meant.
Jesus framed His remarks with this opening statement: “Now the Son of Man is glorified” (vs. 31). In Daniel 7 the “Son of Man” title that Jesus used in these verses is also associated with glorification. Although Jesus did not mention the particulars of the immediate coming events to His disciples, He did indicate the result of what these events would produce—His and the Father’s glorification.
While the Son of Man’s glorification would be manifested in a seemingly ignominious way–through His death on the cross–from this disgraceful execution would ensue His resurrection, ascension and ultimately being seated with the Father forever. Consequently, from a heavenly point of view His death was not disgraceful but glorious!.
Jesus is glorified by the cross! And, God the Father is glorified in Christ!
Jesus’ great challenge during His earthly ministry was not proving His humanity but revealing His divinity to His disciples (for us today, it’s just the opposite). One way Jesus attempted to reveal His divinity was through the “Son of Man” reference. Jesus called Himself the Son of Man at least 78 times in the gospels!
Jesus repeatedly used Son of Man as the justification for His exalted (divine) status and the authority of His teaching as we find in Daniel 7:
And suddenly one like a son of man was coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before him. He was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14, CSB).
In Daniel 7 the Son of Man’s glorification also extended to His people. And that glorification was the eternal state of the redeemed.
The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey him. (Daniel 7:27, CSB).
God unites believers to Christ when He redeems them. Accordingly, they are guaranteed a share in all the blessings secured by Christ. Those God has justified He will glorify for all eternity. As Jesus was glorified in His humanity by His resurrection from the dead, so all who are united with Him by faith shall be shareholders in the same glorification.
As we shall see in the following chapters of John, the Holy Spirit is the agent of glorification as well as all the other benefits of redemption. The Holy Spirit unites believers to Christ by whom they will be glorified on the last day. And, the glory by which believers will be transformed is the glory of the risen Son of God.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:4, CSB).
Thank you for sharing. I don’t know where you and your family worship but I thought of your writings as I listened to Dr. Dilbeck this week as he preached from Mark 10 and 11. It was so enlightening to me.
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Judy, still at FBC, not always at worship but always at SS. Thanks for reading and commenting.