Crosspoint Church | Georgetown, TX

What is the glory of God?

Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: Pray Like Jesus! Pray for Divine Glorification! (LISTEN HERE)

If you knew you only had 24 hours to live, what would you do with that last day?  Gather the people you love around you?  Reminisce of the past and give encouragement to them of the future?  Give them all a big hug?  Enjoy your favorite meal one last time?

As we move closer to Holy Week during the season of Lent, we step into the upper room with Jesus and his disciples.  When you think about this setting, he has about 24 hours before he dies on the cross.  Jesus does the things we mentioned above.  He gathers with his closest friends.  They eat the Passover meal for one last time together.  They talk about the past and speak of what is to come.  In this setting, Jesus does this too.  He prays.  He prays for himself, his disciples and all believers.  This prayer we will be the focus of the devotions for the month of March. (The full prayer is found in John 17)

17      After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: 

“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. 

Perhaps at first glance, this prayers sounds a bit self-serving.  Perhaps Jesus’ words sound like the player that just scored a touchdown and runs to the end zone with his hands motioning the crowd to cheer louder and praise him more.

This perception might be true if Jesus took the enthusiasm of Palm Sunday and continued to seek the praise and accolades of people.  However he is not looking for the glory of mankind, he is looking for the glory of the Father to be made known and visible to all people. He is praying for divine glorification, not self-glorification.

But why?

Why would Jesus pray for his Father to glorify him and for him to glorify his Father?

To answer that question, we have to ask, “What is glory?”

When we think of glory, perhaps our mind naturally goes to the mountain of transfiguration where the brilliance of light is seen as the glory of God.  Or perhaps our thoughts drift back to Mt. Sinai when the lightning flashed and the mountain shook and the awe of God was instilled in the people.

Another example is at the dedication of the temple (and many other examples in the Old Testament) of where the glory of God appeared to the people.  Read what happens in 2 Chronicles 7:

7      When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the LORD because the glory of the LORD filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the LORD above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “He is good; his love endures forever.” 

The glory of God grips people’s attention.  They are filled with awe.  They recognize the divine is present.  They recognize the Lord is present.

In its simplest form, Jesus’ prayer is a prayer that his Father would be recognized and people would be filled with awe for what he has done for them.  

This week we will unpack more reasons Jesus would pray for divine glorification…but for now perhaps just contemplate and ask, “What would be the result if more people saw, experienced, recognized and took to heart the glory of God?”

Apply: What do you perceive the glory of God to be?  What do you experience when you see it?

Prayer: Father in heaven, show your glory so that we might see more clearly who you are and what you have done for us! AMEN.

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