Humiliation before glorification
Text: John 17: 1-12
Text verse: John 17:1
In verse one, Jesus speaks of his death as if it were part of his glorification. The time has come for his death. He must carry the greatest humiliation on his shoulders: To bear the curse of God over sin on behalf of the world. He dies on the cross and He is forsaken by His Father.
However, Jesus knows that this humiliation is part of the way to reach glorification and therefore He keeps His eyes on the destination.
It is human to shy away from any form of humiliation. Day after day we work hard on how the world sees us. We try to glorify ourselves. We try to make a name for ourselves and when we are humiliated in some way or when we make a mistake, then it does a lot of damage to our “name”.
The result is that we are silent about our setbacks and mistakes. We only give people the information they need to make ourselves look good. It places us under tremendous pressure. You work hard to be noticed. You try everything to maintain your beauty. Perhaps you need to keep up with all the lies you tell the world about yourself.
This desire for a good name leads us to sin. It brings out the self and makes us selfish people.
As believers, we find wonderful comfort in this passage. We see that God also glorifies us along the path of humiliation.
Our greatest fear is that we are not worthy – and we aren’t. But Christ changes this. We are made worthy through Jesus.
Jesus’ death, which was the culmination of His humiliation because He was forsaken by God and took our sins upon Himself, takes that very path to His glorification.
The fact that He was obedient to the Father right into death, shows that He is worthy to be honoured.
Therefore, the cross reminds us that we were renewed through Jesus. We no longer have to present something to the world that we are not, because in Christ we are worthy. We are part of his family.
What does someone living under Him look like?
1. He knows God (vs. 3)
Eternal life is defined here as knowledge of God and the Son. By knowing God’s will, pursuing and clinging to the merits of the Son’s atonement, we already have eternal life. That is why our good life is not central, but Jesus’ life is. We no longer need to prove that we are worthy of being honoured and respected because we are not worthy. Yet, Jesus makes us worthy by dying in our place and binding us to God.
2. He glorifies the Son (vs. 10)
The true believer glorifies Christ through his life. How can we glorify Him?
Jesus says that He glorifies the Father by doing the work that the Father has given Him (vs. 4). In the same way we must glorify the Son by doing the work He has given us: To testify about his redemptive work.
Our hearts must overflow with joy at the fact that He has turned our humiliation into glorification. He makes us children of God. This is the most glorious name we can get. We receive it only because Jesus died for us. Because He was willing to be humiliated and rejected.