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 salvation,
Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
A Light of revelation to
And the glory of Your people Israel."
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 all encompassing
goodness; 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. (John 1:14)
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)
However, without an understanding what God's glory is about, one defaults with today's cultural meaning of glory - the 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). Consider the
following passage Jesus says of Himself:
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. (John 8:54-55)
Does Jesus' statement on glorifying Himself, indicating the worthlessness of self-aggrandizement, place an emphasis on the
value of seeking God's approval? Perhaps, or is Jesus saying something else?
In His High Priestly Prayer, Jesus makes a request to be glorified in God's presence with the glory He had before Creation:
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)
In this passage, Jesus is referring to God's all encompassing goodness. When Jesus was in the presence of His Father
before Creation, He was not in human form; on earth in human form, one cannot enter the presence of God. Here Jesus is seeking God's all
encompassing goodness when He returns to heaven into the presence of His Father like He was before Creation.
Jesus' statement of "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is
our God'" (John 8:54), He is stating "Jesus' goodness is nothing; it is when He is obedient
to His Father God that He reflects God's all encompassing goodness." Rather than today's contemporary meaning of glory, praise and honor of
oneself, Jesus is focused only on His Father and in the context of His meaning of glory.
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 (Rev 21:22-23).
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;
Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"
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.