Jesus Has Glorified Us

Thursday: Fifth Week of Lent
John 17:1-26

Have you ever felt that you could not please God?

The Church of Scotland’s Westminster catechism announces that the supreme purpose of all people is “to glorify God and … enjoy him forever.” The New Testament teaches us how to glorify God: be thankful, receive Jesus’ words as the word of God, be generous, respect one another’s bodies, recognize the Spirit’s work among foreigners and outcasts, endure persecution with kindness.

Yet our desires, actions, and relationships are not all good. How then can we enhance God’s reputation, knowing that Christian faith must be expressed in good works? The emphasis on glorifying God can drive us to hide our shortcomings, despair of becoming good, or give up on the church.

The night before Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, He prayed about glorifying God. First, Jesus asked His Father to honour Jesus, so that the Father’s own reputation would be elevated through Jesus’ suffering, dying, rising, and ascending (17:1-5). Later, Jesus acknowledged He’d already been made to look good in His weak, wavering disciples (17: 10).

Then Jesus prayed that His followers—including us—would see His glory (17:24). He’d given them God’s glory so that they would be unified like God, so that everyone would know the gospel (17:20-23).

Parents, grandparents, and siblings glorify a new baby with their genes, name, and identity. Similarly, Jesus has glorified us with the Trinity’s nature, name, and identity. Jesus, who has glorified us with God’s oneness, prays that we’ll live as one so that the world may know that Jesus is from God and that God loves them completely.

Although we are still imperfect, we glorify God because God has glorified us. It is possible to please God.

What aspect of the Trinity’s nature do you see in yourself and other believers? How might this glimpse of glory help the world know God’s love?

 

Andrew Dyck is Professor of Ministry Studies at MB Seminary and Canadian Mennonite University and is a part of Westwood Community Church in Winnipeg, MB.

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