Monday, July 15, 2013

Now is the Son of Man Glorified, John 13: 21-32

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21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me….
25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon….
31 ¶Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.(John 13:21,25-27, 31-32)
After Jesus gives the sop to Judas and Judas leaves, Jesus says some interesting things about being glorified.  There are five instances of the word “glorify” or variants.  These verses have always seemed odd to me because Jesus was not yet resurrected.  If He wasn’t resurrected it seems odd that He would say, “now is the Son of man glorified.”  So of course I have to think of explanations for it.  (Doesn’t mean that I’ll be right, but at least I can try, yes?)

Explanation #1: Jesus spoke of his glorified resurrection as if it were already an accomplished fact.  This would certainly testify to His ability to focus on the positive and how great things would come out of His tragic betrayal and the pain and anguish of the atonement.  If we could only have that same faith, think how full of spiritual power we could be!  We could say like Paul in Romans 8:18, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Explanation #2: Jesus spoke of the glory He felt inside as He took the brave step of revealing who would betray Him.  Perhaps He felt He had set events in motion for His mission to be accomplished and felt a huge satisfaction from that?  After all, His sacrifice had to be completely voluntary, so He would have to move toward it Himself, and those movements would be attended by the approval of Heavenly Father and the Holy Ghost.  Perhaps Jesus felt His spirit growing brighter and stronger because of His choice.  (I know when I have an internal struggle and then make a good choice, I feel braver and stronger for it.)  If this was the case, we can also expect that our righteous and sacrificial choices will glorify God and add glory to our spirits.

Explanation #3: Being glorified means to be lifted up, which could also refer to Jesus’ crucifixion.  This most completely squares with Jesus’ most challenging doctrines.  He would definitely see His most painful and challenging hours as the most glorious of His mortal life.  I know when I look back over my life, I remember the hard times when I choose to be faithful as some of the most satisfying. 

Do you have anything to add?