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Glory


GLORY

The literal meaning of glory is being highly renowned for one’s notable achievements. A person will gain glory for his or her outstanding accomplishments in education, business, authority, invention, production, or philanthropy. For example, Michelangelo gained universal acclaim for his Pieta. Mother Teresa won international admiration for her service to the less fortunate. The parents gain glory when, through their effort, their children attain accomplishments.

God’s glory is in Himself and in His creation. Since there is no being equal to God, His glory is clear in Himself. His creations manifest his glory. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the firmament proclaims the works of his hands” (Ps 19:2). “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the LORD’s glory, just as the water covers the sea” (Hab 2:14). God created the humans as the summit of all his creations for His greater glory. “All who are called by my name I created for my glory; I formed them, made them” (Isa 43:7).

The heavenly creatures continuously glorify God in heaven. In Isaiah’s vision of heaven, he saw the Lord seated on a lofty throne where the “Seraphim cried out to the other: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts! All the earth is filled with his glory!” (Isa 6:1-3) John saw four living creatures representing the universal creation exclaim day and night nonstop, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come” (Rev 4:8). They acclaim, “glory and honour and thanks to the one who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever” (Rev 4:9). Twenty-four elders representing the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles fall down before the LORD and worship him. “They throw down their crowns before the throne, exclaiming: ‘Worthy are you, Lord our God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things; because of your will they came to be and were created’” (Rev 4:10-11).

The Israelites saw the glory of God as a cloud when they were in the wilderness (Ex 16:10). When the cloud covered the tent of the meeting, they understood that the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle (Ex 40:34). The glory of the LORD had filled as a cloud in the Temple Solomon built (2 Chr 5:14). The goodness of the LORD shows favour and grants mercy to whom He will. That also is the manifestation of God’s glory (Ex 33:18-19).

Jesus glorified his Father through his earthly ministry. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (Jn 1:14). When Jesus was born, the angel of the Lord appeared to shepherds in Bethlehem. Then “the glory of the Lord shone around them” (Lk 2:9). “And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests’” (Lk 2:13-14). Jesus is the refulgence of the Father’s glory (Heb 1:3). He worked for the glory of the Father (Jn 14:13). Jesus shared the glory of the Father for eternity. Towards the end of his ministry, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began” (Jn 17:4-5). According to Paul, the Gospel is also the glory of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:4-6).

Though Jesus knew he would gain glory through his passion, death, and resurrection, he preferred to glorify the Father for his achievements. Jesus was accomplishing the mission his Father had entrusted to him. It resembles a winner who gives credit for his or her success to the couch. Like Jesus, we also should glorify the Father, who is the source of all the goodness we have.

GLORIFICATION OF JESUS

God had glorified Jesus at his birth, during his public ministry, and in his miracles that came to a climax with the raising of Lazarus on the fourth day of his burial. When Jesus heard of the sickness of Lazarus, he 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). The Father assured Jesus and the people present there that He would continue glorifying Jesus through his death, resurrection, ascension, and enthronement at His right hand. During the Last Supper, Jesus revealed the betrayal of Judas. When Judas left to betray Jesus, he said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once” (Jn 13:31-32). Thus, even the passion and death prior to his resurrection and ascension were part of his glorification.

The Church Jesus established will also glorify the Father. God sent the Holy Spirit on the apostles to continue his glory in the world through the Church. The faithful followers of Jesus glorify the Father. Jesus said to the disciples, “By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples” (Jn 15:8).

Jesus asked us to glorify God in our words and deeds. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to glorify God, saying, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name” (Mt 6:9; Lk 11:2). During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:16).


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