Meaning of Glory
This article on the meaning of glory is derived from a Readers Circle conversation stemming from our previous article on The Mystery of Footwashing. Our understanding of God’s glory in this article is originally traced to our study of the Divine Union and is more fully developed in our series on The Holy Quad relating glory to love, death and obedience.
------ Original Message ------
From: "Mario Liu"
Sent: 8/3/2016 8:05:25 PM
Subject: Re: First Love Readers Circle: The Mystery of Foot Washing
This is a very informative article - I have learned a lot from it. Thank you.
Can you write another article on the following verses:
“After the foot washing, Jesus says,
13:31 … "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.
17:4 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
Specifically, I would like to know:
What exactly did Jesus mean by ‘Father God being glorified by Jesus’? And ‘now is the Son of Man glorified.’ How?
I feel that Jesus being crucified and then raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit meant that Jesus and Father God both being glorified. Is there more to this?
I also think that God created the whole universe for the sole purpose of glorifying Himself and Jesus. As a result His people should respond with enthusiastic praise and worship.
The whole church needs to know the magnificence of God’s glory, so that we can praise and worship God properly.
What is your opinion on ‘glory’? Does ‘glory’ simply equal ‘The Cross’? And how about Romans chapter 1 saying that God's magnificence being shown through God's creation?
May God’s will be done in us.
So here are a few thoughts on the glory of God relative to this passage.…
The context for the idea of glory here is the relationship of the Son and Father to One Another. We are not looking so much at an objective concept called "glory," but an immanence derived from a relationship within deity. The idea of glory is tied to an idea of divine union. And as we've talked of so many times before, we have seen how the passion of Jesus is constantly referenced to pleasing the Father. The Father is always the Son's reference point—for everything. His relationship to us, or to the world, as objects of salvation, is all derived from this glory union between the Son and Father.
So this glory, which we associate with the thought of brilliance, is a brilliance that is magnified by the way Two relate together. I think of it as binary stars fusing into one another creating a "supernova." But again, it is about more than "brilliance" for the sake of "brilliance." What we are seeing here is a magnification of a relationship. The glory is in the relationship. It is characterized by brilliance, but at its essence is relational, not merely "bright."
This takes us away from a concept of "glory" that leads us only to consider "how great" God is as a singular Being. Yes, God is great. But what is that greatness all about? Is it just that God is big and powerful compared to anything else He has made, and so that is why He is worthy of worship? No, I don't think so. I think there is more. I think the "glory" is about more than exalting a singular Being. It is about the wonderful way that a Father and Son fuse in will and passion, from which any and all brilliance emanates in the universe.
And that is what I see Jesus communicating here. I see Him saying, "Father, I want My star to fuse with Your star as We once were so We can become the supernova We are meant to be on the other side of this mission." That is the idea of glory in these words.
So we see a sort of unfolding statement regarding these "binary stars". Jesus says, "I am glorified." Next, "the Father is glorified in Me." Next, "the Father will glorify Me in Himself." Next, this will happen "immediately." It is like He is describing a chemically reactive relationship that produces this exceeding brilliance no one can comprehend.
But so, was any of this glory chemistry visible there that night? No, it wasn't. There was no apparent "razzle-dazzle." Compare this to the mount of Transfiguration. On that night, several disciples were given to see the brilliance behind the veil of the earthly. That brilliance was always there. But it was not visible until it had been specially revealed as such.
But on this night, the Last Supper, there is no such removing of the veil. The disciples don't see what James, Peter and John saw on the Mount. But it is still there behind everything they are witnessing in that room. Jesus sees it. He knows what He is talking about. Something in those consummating acts of the Last Supper and the washing of the feet and of course, going to the cross, are all bringing forth in the heavenly the effect of this supernova union. Someday, we will get to see all this from that perspective. Just not today.
We can apply this to our understanding of "glory" in all those passages where anything but glory seems apparent. Take for example the idea of "glorifying God in death." Peter was later told "by what death he would glorify God." But there is no glory seen in that here below, any more than there was on that night of the Last Supper. There was nothing to see--humanly.
But there is this other dimension where this glory is visible. And some day we will see it. All kinds of brilliant flashes go off in the heavenlies at the death of the saints.
But if we take our cue on this from what Jesus is talking about on this night, then we will gather that, again, it is not just about "brilliance" per se going off in the heavenlies. The glory of God has to do with the brilliant manifestation of divine union in some way. That is what the glory is all about. And so, when we talk about glorifying God, and God being glorified in us as saints, we are really talking about entrance into and magnification of this same Union in some increasing degree.
I believe it would help us if we start thinking of the glory of God more in these terms--ie, the relational terms behind the brilliance, and not the brilliance per se. All the brilliance is tied to relationship. That is where the divine love is. That is what we want to be part of and entering whenever we are talking about glorifying God and His glory being seen in us. And this of course is what Jesus was bringing it all toward in His final prayer. He said in closing,
24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
This is conclusive for us concerning the glory. See how it connects to relationship. The glory is all about the union. It is all about the love within that union. The brilliance is tied to something. It is not brilliance for the sake of Self-exalting brilliance in the mind of God. That is what Jesus wants us to see, and not just to see, but to be part of.
That is why He died and why He was doing everything He had done and was saying on this last night. It is an ever expanding glory encompassing others. The whole creation story with the fall and redemption of man has been about the expanding of a glory that had existed before, but now and hereafter forever, was to be known as never before prior to the creation.
See what this does for our understanding of the glory of God. And I simply recommend that everywhere else you encounter the concept of the glory of God, such as in Romans 1, you apply this understanding of divine binary-supernova relationship to it. Because Jesus has defined for us what the true glory of God is really about.
New Meadow Neck, Rhode Island
First Love Ministry
- a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship
Page created May 23, 2017