TUESDAY | GLORY
Jesus has been in Jerusalem two days and is surrounded by a huge Jewish crowd. His followers, interested spectators, and the religious elite all want face time with Jesus. They want to hear him, challenge him, see him do something cool. Then out of left field comes this group of Gentiles, Greeks.
Who knows what they are doing in Jerusalem during this Jewish Holy Week, but they’re here and they want to see Jesus. So, Philip relays the message, and Jesus, rather than answering him, goes off on some teaching about fruitfulness and dying, hating the world and eternal life. Then, as he begins talking about his own death, Jesus prays out loud saying, “Father, glorify your name” and out of nowhere a voice booms out of the sky and answers him! The voice says, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd is thrown into confusion; the cynical are rationalizing it, claiming it must have been thunder. The super-spiritual are over-spiritualizing it and taking it beyond what it clearly was, claiming it was an angelic visitation. At the end of it all, though, the response is the same,
unbelief. He never answered the Greeks who wanted to see him. Then again, maybe he did. Maybe he was showing these Greeks that in a few days, they would see the glory of God. Not in healings, teachings or miracles, but in the God of the cross, the God of the empty tomb.
- Read John 12:20–33. When it comes to things of God you can’t explain, do you tend to be cynical (those who claimed it was thunder) or do you tend to be super-spiritual (those who claimed an angelic visitation)? How does this effect the way you see God?
- Think about what Jesus is saying in verses 27–33; that the way that he is demonstrating the glory of God is by dying as a common criminal and being hung on a sinner’s cross. What does this show you about God that the pinnacle of his glory is the cross?
There is another group of people that slip into the end of the narrative. They saw the glory of God and believed. They could no longer deny that this was not just a man but the Son of Man, God Incarnate, the Messiah. They believed, but no one would have known it at the time. They were afraid. Afraid of God? No, afraid of man. In fact, in love with other’s opinion of them. John writes in verse 43, “…they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
- Let that statement take aim at your heart. Which do you choose on a day to day basis: the glory that comes from God’s “well done” on your life or the glory that comes from other people’s “well done”?
- Why is it hard for you to seek the glory that comes from God rather than the glory that comes from man?
- What might it look like in your daily life to lift your eyes to seek the glory of God on your life rather than the glory of man?
But this is not the end of the story for us. There is incredible joy in seeking to please God and not man but not in the way that we often think. Joy for the Christian is found in seeking to please the One who is already pleased with you. John got it at the beginning of his book. He was an eyewitness to the incomparable glory of Jesus, and yet he said, “from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” Grace is the free gift of the favor of God. The cross switches the script for the Christian. Jesus takes the Father’s frown for us, and we step into God’s good grace.
- Read John 1:14–16. Spend time now meditating on God’s free gift of his favor to you and worship God for his amazing glory.
Download the full Holy Week Devotional here: