“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.’” John 8:54
What is glory? What does it mean to be glorified?
Jesus’ Jewish opponents accused Him of trying to glorify Himself by implying that He was greater than Abraham (v.53). In their eyes, Jesus was getting above Himself.
In reply, Jesus renounces any claim to glorify Himself. Rather, it is the Father who glorifies Him. How does the Father’s glorification of the Son manifest itself? Through the Son’s obedience to the Father: “I do know Him and I keep His word” (v.55).
Ultimately this “keeping His word” would lead to the cross. As Jesus tells His disciples as His crucifixion approaches: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified” (John 12:23), the hour when “the Son of Man [must] be lifted up” (John 3:14).
All this is the will of the Father – or, as Jesus puts it with biting irony, “He of whom you say, ‘He is our God'”. Yes, He seems to be saying, you may say He is your God, but by opposing Me you are opposing your God’s purposes for you and all humanity.
The challenge remains the same for us today: we too may say, “He is our God”, but are we prepared to accept the Father’s way of doing things: the way in which glory is found only along the way of obedience and the cross?
Teach us, Lord God, to follow only Your way. Amen.