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