A Series on the
Glory of God
In the Old Testament, God's glory refers to His all encompassing goodness, which may be seen visibly when
God chooses to reveal Himself (Ex 33:18-19). When Jesus is
born, the Holy Spirit reveals to Simeon that the infant Jesus was the prophesized Messiah. However, instead
of identifying Jesus as the Messiah, Simeon states, "my eyes have seen Your salvation," and alludes to several
prophetic Messianic passages from Isaiah. Jesus is the embodiment of God's salvation, the glory of God's people!
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had
seen the Lord's Christ. And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child
Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
"Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A Light of revelation to the Gentiles,
the glory of Your people Israel." (Luke 2:26-32)
Simeon's statement refers to several Old Testament Messianic prophecies and associates Jesus
Christ with the all encompassing goodness of God.
God's salvation is mentioned by both Isaiah (Isa 52:10)
and the psalmist (Ps 98:3) in the context of being seen by the
whole world and as a fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant. This perspective provides some understanding to God's
statement to the nation of Israel during the Exodus, "So the Lord said, "I have pardoned them according to your
word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.
Appointed "as a covenant to the people" (Isa 42:6-7),
God's righteous Servant is to "raise up" and "restore the preserved ones of Israel"
(Isa 49:6), and will be a "light of the nations" to "open
blind eyes" so that God's "salvation may reach the end of the earth"
(Isa 42:6-7; 49:6).
The apostle John and the author of Hebrews also associated Jesus Christ as the manifestation of God's glory;
God's word became flesh. And under certain circumstances, Jesus' glory was seen by the disciples
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory
as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.
This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His
glory, and His disciples believed in Him. (John 2:11)
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature,
and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right
hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent
name than they. (Heb 1:3-4)
Although Jesus Christ shares His Father's divine nature, as a human being, Jesus never sought the praise
and glory from other human beings.
Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who
glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say
that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word.
Here Jesus speaks of glory with the sense of a subjective opinion of one's splendor, excellence,
dignity, or majesty, which is how glory is used in the context of human beings and their objects
(Matt 4:8; 6:28-29).
Jesus' statement on glorifying Himself indicates the worthlessness of self-aggrandizement and emphasizes the
value of seeking God's approval.
In His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus states clearly that achieving God's praise and honor comes with obedience
to God's word:
Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour
has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to
all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have
given Me to do. Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the
world was. (John 17:1-5)
When God glorifies His Son Jesus Christ, there appears a sequence in the process of glorification.
Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God
is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him
immediately. (John 13:31-32)
Note the sequence presented by Jesus to His disciples.
1. God glorifies Jesus Christ.
2. God is glorified in Jesus.
3. God glorifies Jesus in Himself.
The idea that Jesus Christ is incorporated into the all encompassing goodness of God is seen after His death
and resurrection when He returns as the glorified King and Judge. And in the very end, when New Jerusalem comes
down to the New Earth, Jesus Christ's manifestation of God's glory can be more clearly understood
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels,
and will then repay every man according to his deeds. (Matt 16:27)
And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes
of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and
great glory. (Matt 24:30)
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels."
(Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26)
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His
glory?" (Luke 24:26)
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And
the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its
lamp is the Lamb. (Rev 21:22-23)