Glorify Thou Me
The word glorify, means to honor, or to be held in honor. It means to praise, and to magnify, and to extol. A word study says that, to glorify, means.. “to ascribe weight, by recognizing the real substance and value”. To glorify GOD, means.. “To value Him for Who He truly is. For example; Giving glory to God, personally acknowledges, God’s true character and His essence.”
And what is God’s true character and His true essence? God is the eternal, all-powerful creator and sustainer of everything that exists. He is all-knowing, and His presence is everywhere. And His righteousness, and love, and mercy and justice are never ending. We could go on, but that will suffice for now.
In John chapter 17, Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven. And He says in verse 5, “And now, glorify Thou Me, together with Thyself Father, with the glory which I had with thee, before the world was.”
When Jesus said those words, do you think He was referring to a specific event which would give Him glory? Or do you think Jesus was speaking more generally about being glorified?
Listen to that verse again; “And now, glorify Thou Me, together with Thyself, with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was.” Think about that a minute; Was Jesus referring to a specific event that would glorify Himself, together with His Father, with the SAME glory that they BOTH had, BEFORE the world was?
As you’re thinking about that, listen to John chapter 1, verse 1; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GOD!” That would be an honor, to be GOD, wouldn’t it? John 1, verse 14 tells us; “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Now listen to Philippians 2, verses 5 thru 8; “Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ. Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard EQUALITY with God, as a thing to be seized, (or held onto) but He EMPTIED Himself, taking on the form of a bond-servant. And being made in the likeness of men, and being found in APPEARANCE as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient, to the point of death, even death of a cross.” (even crucifixion)
Christ had existed eternally, in the FORM of God. He had EQUALITY with God. But He gave up that form, and He gave up that equality, and He took on a different form. He allowed Himself to be “made in the likeness of men”. So that He “was found in the APPEARANCE of a man.”
Jesus Christ was still God, only now, He was “God in the flesh”. In other words, He APPEARED to be a man, when in reality, He was God. In the beginning, God made man in HIS own likeness. And now, so that man could be saved, God made Himself, in man’s own likeness.
When the eternal Christ took on the body of a man, He gave up some of that EQULITY that he had with God. Philippians 2, verse 7 said that Christ didn’t regard His equality with the Father, as something that he simply HAD to hold onto. But rather, He gave it up, He “emptied Himself”. That means He deprived Himself of that equality.
Some versions say; “He made Himself of no reputation”. And that’s an appropriate translation. Jesus emptied Himself, of the GLORY, in other words, of the honor and praise and majesty, that He equally had with the Father, BEFORE He was “made in the likeness of men”. And then AFTER He “was found in the appearance of a man”, and took on “the form of a bond-servant”, He no longer had that honor and praise and majesty, that He enjoyed while He was existed in the FORM of God.
There was a specific purpose behind Jesus Christ, “emptying Himself” like that, wasn’t there? Jesus said in John 4:34; “My meat is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”
He said in Mathew 5:17; “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the prophets, but to FULFILL!”
Jesus said in Luke 4:43; “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”
In John 18:37; “For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world; To bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth, hears My voice.”
In Mark 10:45, Jesus said; “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.. AND to give His life a ransom for many.”
Jesus gives several reasons WHY He emptied Himself, and came to this earth, but the culmination of all those reasons, was to “give His life a ransom for many”.
In Luke 19:10, Jesus said; “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” That was the will of God, and the work of God, “to seek and to save that which was lost”.
And how did Jesus accomplish that final work? It was by His crucifixion and His resurrection wasn’t it? That’s how God made salvation possible for all those who were lost, and Jesus didn’t have to look very hard to find “that which was lost”.
Jesus said, that the purpose for His coming, was “to seek and to save that which was lost.” And we can easily see how His crucifixion, was the “method” by which He SAVED the lost. But how did Jesus SEEK the lost? Like I said, Jesus didn’t really have to LOOK very hard, to find people that were lost, because they were all around Him. But when we think about what the bible says, we see that the crucifixion of Jesus, was not only the method by which He SAVED people, but it was also a part of the method, by which He SOUGHT those people.
Now, you might say that Jesus SEEKS the lost, by “calling them”. And that He “calls them” through the gospel. And that’s true.
The apostle Paul wrote, in 2 Thessalonians 2, verse 14; “And it was for THIS, that he called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Did you ever wonder why Paul calls it “our gospel”? It’s the gospel of CHRIST isn’t it? It’s the “good news” about how Jesus died for us.
The bible doesn’t come right out and say this, but there’s probably two reasons why Paul calls it “our gospel”. One reason might be that the gospel was “given” to the apostles, so that they could preach it to the world. And so from Paul’s point of view, as one of the apostles, the gospel of Christ, is “our gospel”.
And the other reason that he might have phrased it that way, is because the gospel has actually been given to ALL of us! So then it BELONGS to all of us.. So then it’s “our gospel”.
Here’s what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15: 1 thru 4; “Now I make known to YOU brethren, the gospel, which I preached to you. Which also you received, in which YOU stand, by which also YOU are saved, IF you hold fast, the word which I preached to you. Unless you believed in vain.”
” For I delivered to you, as of first importance, what I also received; that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day, according to the scriptures.”
The gospel was foretold, in the old testament scriptures. Then Jesus came and fulfilled those prophesies. Then Jesus delivered the gospel message to the apostles, and the apostles preached the message to us. It’s “our gospel”. And it’s “our salvation”, IF we hold fast to the word that was preached.
So then, Jesus “seeks the lost” through the gospel, doesn’t He? But here’s another way that Jesus “seeks the lost”.
Jesus said, in John chapter 12, and verse 32; “And I.. If I be lifted up from the earth, will DRAW all men to Myself.” It sounds to me like Jesus was “seeking” the lost, by “drawing them” to Himself. Jesus didn’t go from town to town, seeking the lost, as if there’s one lost soul in this town, and there’s a few more in this town, and then even more in the next. No, what Jesus did, was to allow Himself to be “lifted up from the earth”, for ALL to see, so that as He put it, He could “draw all men to Myself”. That’s actually pretty brilliant.
Not everyone even wants to be saved. But this way, the way GOD has done it, only those who truly DESIRE to be saved, will come and BE saved.
With just one sacrifice on the cross, Jesus “seeks AND saves, that which was lost”. We were talking about the purpose, for Jesus taking on the “appearance of a man”. Well, Jesus said, in John 12, verse 27; “Now My soul has become troubled; And what shall I say.. Father, save Me from this hour? But for this PURPOSE, I CAME to this hour!”
Jesus Christ, willingly emptied Himself, and deprived Himself of the glory that He had previously had, from eternity, with the Father. And now, as Jesus nears the hour, of the time, of His crucifixion, He lifts His eyes to heaven, and He prays to His Father, in John chapter 17, beginning with verse 1, and thru verse 5..
“Father, the hour has come; Glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee. Even as Thou gavest Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom Thou hast given Him, He may give eternal life. And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou has sent. I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou has sent Me to do. And now, glorify Thou Me, together with Thyself Father, with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was.”
God the Father, actually glorified Jesus, several times. The voice of God actually came out of heaven, in John 12, verse 28, and said; “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again!”
But God first glorified Jesus, shortly after His birth. Remember how the wise men came looking for Jesus in Jerusalem? They said, in Mathew 2, verse 2; “For we saw HIS star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” And it says in verse 9; “..And lo, the star which they had seen in the east, went on before them, until it came and stood over where the child was.” The Father certainly honored the Son with that star.
And God glorified Jesus again, when He was just eight days old, and He was presented to God in Jerusalem. The bible says that a man named Simeon.. “came in the Spirit, into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the law, then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said; Now Lord, Thou dost let Thy bond-servant depart in peace, according to Thy word. (Simeon was old a ready to die) For my eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared in the presence of ALL peoples. A light of revelation to the Gentiles, and the Glory of Thy people, Israel.” Luke 2, verses 27 thru 32.
And then of course the Father once again glorified Jesus at His baptism in the river Jordan. It says in Mark chapter 1, verses 10 & 11; “And immediately, coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon Him. And a voice came out of the heavens; Thou art My beloved Son; In Thee I am well-pleased.”
And Jesus was glorified by the Father, even more times yet, but the one time that I want to focus on, is the time that Jesus was referring to, when He prayed, saying; “And now, glorify Thou Me, together with Thyself Father, with the glory which I had with Thee, before the world was.”
Jesus spoke those words, shortly before His crucifixion, and so it might be common to think that somehow at the crucifixion, Jesus was glorified. But that was hardly a time of glory. There was no voice from heaven declaring the Sonship, and Deity of Jesus. Instead, we’re told in Mark 15, verse 33; “And when the sixth hour had come (that was probably about noon) DARKNESS fell over the whole land, until the ninth hour.”
The apostle John wrote, in John 1, verses 4 & 5; “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it NOT.” And so, as Jesus hung there dying, “darkness fell over the whole land..”
But it didn’t remain dark. did it? After about three hours, the light began to shine again, and after about three days, Jesus was resurrected. And then the Spirit of God, which is who Jesus really was, was reunited with the body of Jesus. Remember what was prophesied, concerning Jesus? “Because Thou will NOT abandon My soul to hades, nor allow Thy Holy One to see corruption.” Acts 2:27
The resurrection of Jesus was no doubt, “glorious”, but that can’t be the glory that Jesus prayed about in John 17, verse 5. Jesus didn’t pray to be glorified together with His physical body. He prayed; “Glorify Thou Me, together with THYSELF Father, with the glory which I had with THEE, before the world was.”
By now, you can probably guess what Jesus was referring to. Jesus was referring to the time, when He would ascend back into heaven, no longer be, “in the FORM of a bond-servant”, and no longer be, “found in the APPEARANCE of a man”. But Jesus prayed that He would be glorified, by once again being in the very form of GOD!
Just as Daniel prophesied long ago; “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven. One like a Son of Man was coming. And He came up to the Ancient of Days, and was presented before Him. And to Him was given dominion, GLORY, and a kingdom. that all the peoples, nations, and men of every Language might serve HIM.” (Jesus would no longer be the bond-servant, but rather, all the people would now serve HIM) “His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away. And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.” Daniel 7, verse 13 & 14.
That’s the glory, that Jesus had with the Father, before the world was!
“Glorify Thou Me”. That’s what OUR prayer should be. We can’t have the same glory as the Father and the Son have, but we can have the glory and honor, that God gives to everyone who’s in His kingdom.
All you have to do is hear His word, and believe His word, and trust His word. Trust it enough, so that you’ll repent of your sins, and confess His name, and be buried in baptism, for the forgiveness of your sins. And then remain faithful unto death. And then, can you imagine the glory you’ll receive, when Jesus delivers His kingdom, back to the Father, who is in heaven! My prayer is that we’ll ALL share in that glory!