GLORY OF GOD
The glory of God has various shades of meaning according to the context of its usage.
1. The manifestation of God’s full glory is in heaven. Stephen saw the glory of God in heaven from the earth before his martyrdom (Acts 7:55). Jesus, being God, shares this heavenly glory.
2. The heavens and the earth that God created manifest the glory of God. According to Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands.”
3. Humans had shared the glory of God as they are wonderful creations of God. “All who are called by my name I created for my glory; I formed them, made them” (Isa 43:7). Though God created all, God selected his chosen people for his glory. According to Romans 3:23, “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” Since the sin dispossessed human glory because of sin, Jesus came to restore it.
4. Jesus was the manifestation of God’s glory among us. According to John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The shekinah, the glorious and visible manifestation of God as a radiant cloud or brilliant light within a cloud, was missing in the Temple since the Babylonian exile. It had returned to human flesh in Jesus.
5. The miracles of Jesus were to reveal the glory of God. Thus, was the first miracle at Cana (Jn 2:11). Regarding the sickness of Lazarus, Jesus said: “This illness is not to end in death, but is for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (Jn 11:4). So, through the miracles, the Father glorified the Son as well.
6. Jesus shared his glorious power with his disciples to preach the word of God and to perform miracles. He sent them with these words: “As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons” (Mt 10:7-8). Thus, Jesus shared his glorious power and mission with his disciples whom the Father entrusted to Jesus. He prayed they remain united in continuing his mission. “I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one” (Jn 17:22).
We started sharing in the glory of heaven from the time of baptism. Sin can diminish or destroy the glory God gave us. Keeping the heavenly glory is our challenge in this world. By overcoming the temptations of this world and working for building up God’s kingdom, we reach the perfect and eternal glory in heaven.