John 13:31-35 Love and Glory

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love and Glory

Jesus tells the disciples that as he is going to be glorified, they need to love one another.  What is happening in this paragraph?  The unity of God (the Father) and Jesus has been emphasized leading up to this paragraph.  God’s plan for glory is fulfilled in the obedience of His Son.  However, the plan for glorification will leave the disciples alone.  They will be isolated and they will look around for Jesus, but they will not find him.  However, their response is to be bonded with each other with a love that substitutes for the absence of Jesus because it mirrors the quality of Jesus’ love.

What does it mean to be glorified?  In John 3 we saw that the Son of Man would be lifted up just like the Bronze Snake in the time of Moses.  To be lifted up and exalted is to be glorified.  God through Jesus will raise up understanding in others of his holiness and compassion.  He will show himself to be worthy of praise.  He will be worshiped.  I see all this in ‘glorified’.

Jesus loves God the Father first, but he secondarily loves his neighbour as himself.  He has shown his love by teaching, healing, and using his power for the good of others.  Through his glorification Jesus shows the ultimate love that one person can have for another.  He shows them, quite literally, the path of self-sacrificial love.  Many people love others when what they give is not truly sacrificial.  People fall away when love demands all the resources we have, even our lives.  Jesus commands that just as he sacrifices his life for the glory of God and the love of mankind, so they must sacrifice themselves for the glory of God and the love of their neighbour.

Prayer

I do not look to sacrifice too much.  I could love other people more.  Let your love consume me and return to you and flow to others.  When great cost must be paid, let me know how to pay it.

Questions

  1. When is Jesus glorified?  How can this be?
  2. How does Jesus prepare his disciples for his going away?
  3. What is the measure of a Christian’s love?
  4. How is Jesus glorified in you?
  5. How would others describe your love in contrast with that of a person of another faith or an atheist?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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15 Responses to John 13:31-35 Love and Glory

  1. Jenna says:

    1. Jesus is glorified in His death, which will come in just hours. From a human standpoint, this makes no sense, but Jesus is glorified by doing what He came to do – die for sin.
    2. He instructs them to love one another, as Jesus has loves them.
    3. We are not just to love when its convenient or easy, but sacrificially and without limit, as Christ has loved us.
    4. Jesus is glorified in me to the extent that I am like Him – when I am doing His will and being conformed to His image, I am glorifying Him.
    5. I would hope that people would describe me as radically loving, compared to people of other religions. My goal as a Christian is to let the love of Christ control me in everything that I do, to love because He has first loved me.

  2. How would others describe your love in contrast with that of a person of another faith or an atheist?
    “The believer’s love is such that it is Christ’s agape love in us that flows through us. His love is unconditional and does not expect a response or reward. It is an act of taking off self and putting on Christ, denying self and choosing Christ, dying to self and living for Christ — all is an act of loving with God’s agape love.”

  3. ashleypdye says:

    This passage makes me kind of sad. I am very sentimental when it comes to goodbyes. I imagine that it was difficult for the disciples not to feel at all abandoned as Jesus said he was leaving and that they couldn’t go with him. I feel like a child left alone in this passage since Jesus says “Where I am going you cannot come.” I want to be with Jesus! I am thankful that he does not stop here though…He tells us to love each other. We are joined with Christ and are therefore joined to each other. Lately, I have very tangibly felt the love of Christ through the body of his people. It is a beautiful thing and it is a gift that he has given us each other to love one another as he loves us!

  4. kbonifas313 says:

    Since God is love, He provides the perfect example of love for us. I have not personally seen the same love exemplified in anyone who is not a believer, such as an atheist. However, sadly, I have not seen this love as strongly as I would like to among believers, and particularly within churches. In my opinion, many of our intra-church problems would be solved if we had more love for one another and less pride. Love seems to require humility, and therefore a lack of pride. May God help us experience His love and exemplify the same love towards others.

  5. Beth Coale says:

    I love the subject of glorification. I think “glory” is one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. I also think that its paradoxical nature is so intriguing – that glory is often paired with pain, which seems so contradictory to us. It’s hope-giving, it’s complex, it’s leveled, and it’s mysterious – we aren’t given all the specifics. I love the lyrics inspired by Romans 8:18 (“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the GLORY which shall be revealed in us.”) from a song by John Mark McMillan that says “afflictions eclipsed by Glory” & that’s what my tattoo says.

    3. This is actually something I’m really torn about right now – knowing how much should be patiently overlooked out of love in relationships.

    5. Observing the differences of love in believers and unbelievers is difficult because I think the real difference lies in what motivates them. A Christian’s love should not be about ourselves. But people may love another person because the way it makes them feel and what it does for them. Or people may do acts of love because it makes them look good or because it makes them feel better about themselves.

  6. sjcavitt says:

    1) Jesus is glorified in his death on the cross.
    2) He prepares His disciples by instructing them to love one another as He had loved them.
    3) The measure of Christian love is shown by Jesus’ death. It is self-sacrificing and unconditional.
    4) Jesus is glorified in me when I sacrifice myself and love others like He did.
    5) True love is unconditional. Just like Jesus loves us unconditionally, our love should also be as radiant and pure as His.

  7. Dylan says:

    1. Jesus says that he is glorified prior to his physical death on the cross. This is because the last step towards his arrest, Judas’ report, is now under way. Jesus does not lie and will not go back on his promises so when the last task is complete on the part of the evil one, he can confidently say he has been glorified.
    2. Jesus prepares his disciples by reminding them of their live for one another, a commandment and a mirror of Jesus’ love.
    3. Our exercising sacrificial love, expecting nothing in return.
    4. Jesus is glorified in me when I listen to the Holy Spirit rather than my evil desires, even if it is a great leap of faith which I may be doubting in my heart. Listening to the spirit means doing everything in the love of Christ.
    5. My friends and co-workers know my faults and are frustrated with me from time to time. I am often not properly informed of worldy issues and miss important details. However, when it comes to moral issues, I believe they would regard me as a more merciful and loving individual than many of their other friends. I’m really not puffing myself up, this is Jesus in me and I can do nothing apart from him.

  8. Rachel says:

    Jesus is emotionally preparing his disciples for his coming departure. He asks his disciples to be like him by loving each other the same way he loved them. Jesus says that this will be what men see in us that makes us different: our love. If only that were true! It seems like Christians are often more hateful than loving. Others may describe my love as a deep commitment that remains despite the circumstances. I am quick to share the reasons I doubt God’s love, but the fact remains: I am a child of God who is loved by him.

  9. Kathleen says:

    I imagine it was difficult for the disciples to hear Jesus talk about his departure. Jesus challenges his disciples to love others as he has loved them so that the world might know they are his disciples. As Christians, our love stems back to Christ’s love for us on the cross. We love because he first loved us. This is a sacrificial love. Jesus is glorified when we love others.

  10. Dominic Shortridge says:

    I think that people would say that my love for them is very comforting and constant. I try to be encouraging and truthful in the things that I say, so that when I speak about matter of importance I have built up strong trust in them. In contrast to other people’s love, my love has their eternal purpose in mind. This manifests itself in support and accountability to my friends and loved ones.

  11. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. When is Jesus glorified? How can this be?
    Well it says in the passage, as soon as Judas left that now the Son of Man is glorified. He also seems to point to the hour of his death and of his resurrection.
    2. How does Jesus prepare his disciples for his going away?
    His tells them he is going, and leaves them with a new commandment.
    3. What is the measure of a Christian’s love?
    They are to love as Christ loved us.
    4. How is Jesus glorified in you?
    Not sure that this passage gives an answer to this question. Perhaps in how we love one another. The passage says that this is how others will know we are Christ’s disciples.
    5. How would others describe your love in contrast with that of a person of another faith or an atheist?
    Well I hope they see a selfless love. A love that is identical to Christs love when he washed the disciple feet and gave up his life on the cross for us.

  12. jelee15 says:

    Jesus is glorified when He was crucified because He was lifted up. We worship and thank Him for His ultimate self-sacrificing love for us. Jesus prepares His disciples by giving them the command to love one another. The measure of a Christian’s love is his or her love for others. Jesus is glorified in me through His Spirit’s work of redemption in me as He cleanses me and makes me more like Him. Others will see that my love comes from Christ.

  13. Amy McCashen says:

    1. Jesus was glorified in his crucifixion.
    2. Jesus tells his disciples to love one another.
    3. The measure of our love is our love for other people.
    4. Jesus is glorified in me through His own redeeming work. I am united to Christ and His glory is imputed to me.
    5. My love is different because it is supposed to reflect the self-sacrificial love that Jesus has towards me. My love-Lord willing- is unconditional. I love because I am been greatly loved.

  14. nataliaria says:

    In this passage, Jesus asserts that He is glorified when His followers allow His love to permeate their lives and flow to others. In other passages, we have heard that Jesus will be glorified when He is lifted up on the Cross, which initially seems like a rather counter-intuitive assertion. I believe that Jesus will be glorified in these circumstances because they show His transcendence and sovereignty over every situation.

    Jesus prepares the disciples for His impending departure by verbally telling them what will happen, and the kinds of things they still should be doing as His followers, as well as modeling for them behaviors of those who follow Christ.

    According to this passage, the highest standard against which a Christian’s love is measured is that of Christ’s love. Which, when phrased as such, suddenly seems like a much harder standard to try to achieve.

    I believe that Jesus is glorified in me when I live my life with a heart attitude of trusting Him, and allowing myself to rest in His sovereignty and grace for each moment. But more than simply trusting, I believe that He is most glorified when I take steps of faith that pull me from the perceived safety of the life I would choose for myself, and instead drive me so far outside of the resources and strength that I possess that my foundation and ultimate strength can only be Him.

    There have been times when nonbelievers have commented to me that I have a certain “joy” or “brightness” about me. I cherish these are comments and they serve as reminders to me of how the presence of Christ in my life really does make my life and heart drastically different from that of those who do not have Christ. With that in mind, I very much desire for my love of others to be characterized by the joyful, self-sacrificial, unconditional, deeply patient, wise love that Christ has for me and for all those around me.

  15. zacbodine says:

    LATE/BUT DID THIS ONE ON DAY OF BUT DID NOT POST (was feeling insecure about what I had to say)
    1. Jesus dies and is raised that is when he is glorified
    2. He gives them a new commandment
    3. How much I love other Christians, how much I love the outsider, how I handle the dissenter and nonChristian
    4. The Holy Spirit, just sitting in the gospel, being like him
    5. I don’t know. Ask them. How many people who aren’t of my faith do I hang out with and love? How much do I love them even in their sin? The answer tell you what others would say of my love.

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