“I Have Glorified Thee…”
In John chapter 17 and the fourth verse, our Saviour prayed to God the Father these words. “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
One forgotten principle of Christianity in the modern age we live in is the fact that good fruit doesn’t make a good tree, but it marks a good tree. In other words, in looking at the fruit that a tree bears you can tell if it is a good tree. Jesus directed us to use this principle in Matthew 7:17-20, to teach us how to identify false prophets. In verse 20 of Matthew chapter 7, He said, “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” We see in Christ’s example what we should strive to be. We should long to be able to say this about ourselves when our time comes to leave this world. I know that I will never be all that I ought to be in this life; I praise God that I am not what I was; and I thank God that I am not yet all that I am going to be. As Christians we should live our lives with this foremost in our hearts. To glorify God. That is our duty, it is our privilege as His own children to give Him glory in this life. Jesus did this. He glorified the Father in all that He did.
I. He Glorified God in His person…
1Jn 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
If ever there has been a picture of the Love of God then it was displayed for all of creation to see at Calvary. And it will be known throughout all eternity as just that. Jesus Christ, The Spotless Lamb of God, slain for the sins of man. Oh what a Glorious picture of the Love of God. A life surrendered to do the will of God and on behalf of others. That is such a rare element to Christianity today. If not for the very lust for power, popularity, or prosperity that can be obtained by merchandising the Gospel then there would be a small fraction of the so-called Christian work being done that we see now. So much is done and offered with an expectation of profiting from it. Preachers don’t like to go to the nursing homes or the prisons now. Most only want to go to a church where they know that they will be receiving an offering of some sort. Of course, that is unless they are wanting to advertise, or become known, with hopes of raking in a profit at the expense of the church and it’s people.
We are to live in such a way that others can look at our lives and see the power of God in our lives. We have to maintain our testimony as Christians in order to be an effective witness for God’s Glory in this world. Why do you do what you do? Are you serving God? Why? Is it for self, popularity, power? Or do you honestly do what you do for God? It must be all about Him. It is not that you can be a better person, a more mature Christian, or a blessing to others. All that we do is to be done in such a way and with a desire to bring all the Glory to God. He alone is why we serve. God sends us forth to serve. He sends us because He has already died to pay for the sins of the world. Is He not worthy to receive that for which He has already paid? We reach out to a lost world for Him, not for them. It is to be done for Him. Whether or not we ever see anyone else come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, He is worthy to be praised, worshipped and served.
Jesus came into the world, fully knowing that He was going to Calvary. He came and offered Himself that all the world may be presented the opportunity to be saved from damnation. He died for all, for whosoever will come. And He showed that He did what He did at Calvary, not for Himself but for the Glory of God. Many times He told His disciples that he was there to do the Will of the Father, to fulfill the Scriptures, not to do His own will. And Peter preached that it was all according to the foreknowledge of God. Oh, friend, Jesus was willing to be persecuted for the Glory of God that others may be saved.
Are you doing what you do for the Lord, and for His Glory? It is only when you do all for His Glory that people can be saved. You must reach out to the lost world for the Glory of the one that is worthy, and He will do the saving. It is only when He is lifted up that men are drawn. If we are doing what we do for all the wrong reasons, then there is no drawing power in that. Men manipulate, God draws. The manipulation of men is a breeding ground of strife and contention. The drawing power of the Holy Spirit is a converting power to love and unity. No wonder we have so much division in the church today. God help us to understand this and get before God and do something about it.
Jesus glorified God in His compassion for men. He had compassion on the multitude in Matthew 14:14.
Mat 14:14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
You see here the moving of compassion. He loved them and wanted to help them. This selfless, sacrificial love is supposed to be the driving force of our service to God. We do not serve men, the church, or self, but God. If we are truly His, we will possess a capacity for love and compassion that we did not have before. We will have a selfless desire to see others come to know the peace and the joy that we have been introduce too in our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Such desire as this is not fleshly, it is not of this world; this kind of love is that which shows that God is living is us and using us. The world can look at someone who possesses this kind of love and know that there is something to this thing about Christianity. It is evidence to the world that you are “real” when they see you actually care for others in a way peculiar to the true people of God. Even the world knows something of what you ought to be if you claim to be a Christian, and they will see if you are real or not by your actions. Your actions toward your fellow man will manifest to them what you are. Jesus had compassion on the multitude and He gave them what they needed. He fed them; moved with compassion.
I remember a young woman who was much involved in ministry in her local church. It was remarked in her presence that she was so busy that there was concern for her over-doing it. “I don’t know where you get the strength to do all that you continue to do.” Her reply, “Well, somebody’s got to do it.” That is not that compassionate love that glorifies God. That is a man induced or self induced feeling of responsibility to work. I hope that you can see the difference. We owe God everything and we serve out of love and adoration. We don’t owe anything to the world that crucified Him in hatred and rebellion.
Jesus manifested the Love of God to a lost and dying world. Doing the will of the Father and asking nothing in return. Selfless, sacrificial work for the Glory of God will benefit others. Selfish works done due to a desire to be rewarded are truly no benefit to anyone but the devil and his work.
II. He glorified God in His Practice
The works that Jesus did for the Glory of God were in some cases works that we can not do. Some we can do, yet only because we are enabled by Him to do them through and for Him.
Joh 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
We see then that there are works which are peculiar to Jesus Christ. No one else could have done them. And now we can do works through Christ that it was not possible to accomplish until He first did them for us; and now we are able to do great things in Christ Jesus. Let’s look at some of the works that we can now do in Christ that we had no hope of before.
1. Matt. 4:1-11 He defeated the Devil…
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungry. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
It is a glorious thought that, God Himself would step down from the throne of Glory to come to this earth and face our enemy for us and fight. He did just that and now we are able to fight from the victory and praise God that we may get some bumps and bruises here but the victory is already won and we can look forward to a glorious home in heaven because Jesus already defeated the enemy that would keep us from it if he could.
2. Mat 26:39-44 He defeated the flesh…
And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
We have here a bible truth that is so often overlooked in our day by so many educated preachers and bible teachers when they expound or teach this passage of Scripture. Jesus won a victory here that we often fail to enjoy. We are all, very often and very easily defeated by our own flesh. That is not to say, our physical bodies, but our very selves. This is what is referred to in the bible most often when the mention is made of the flesh. It is our self, not our physical body. Jesus was not at all concerned about the suffering of the abuse and death that He already knew was before Him. He was not concerned about the scourge that was going to tear His flesh from His body. He was not concerned about the railings, the spit, or the hateful abuse of the crowd. Nor was He concerned about the hammer driving the nails through His body, or the spear piercing His side. He endured the cross, despising, or thinking little of the shame according to the scriptures. No, this was a battle that was much more significant than that. Here Jesus is speaking of the fact that He was about to be made sin for us. He was about to take upon Himself the sin of the world and suffer separation from God. Jesus, who knew no sin, was about to be made sin for us. This was a battle. Nothing else that Jesus suffered mattered much too Him, but this was the ultimate sacrifice. He had never committed one sin, and was about to have the blame for all sin placed upon Him. He did not say, “wait a minute, wait a minute, I did not do all of that, I am not guilty of all of that. These sins are not mine and I refuse to pay. No, I will not take the blame.” Instead He was resigned to do the Father’s will, no matter what the outcome. He was willing to be the Lamb, and to die for the guilty.
3. Romans 8:3 He defeated sin…
Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
Until Jesus Christ came into this world and lived a perfect sinless life we could not defeat sin. We were once bound by sin, captives to a cruel and hateful master that had us and we were taken captive by him at his will. Now in Christ we are free from that cruel master and able by the Grace of God to choose to live clean, to do right. This is not possible for the lost man. But as a child of God we have the indwelling of the Spirit of God which will enable us to avoid sin.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God has never let one of His children face a temptation that they could not endure. We have never committed one sin that we did not choose too. And Jesus died , rose again, ascended, and sent us the indwelling Spirit of God to remain in and with us as a help and a guide. We do not have to sin. We choose to sin.
4. He defeated death…
Every one of us is going to face the final enemy, death, one day unless the Lord comes back for His people before we die. We will die one day. I am glad to know that Jesus said the if we believe in Him, though we die, yet shall we live. He was buried and on the third day He got up. He has also promised that we will one day be raised up. We may enter a grave in this life, but we are coming out of there one of these days. Because He conquered death and the grave, we have that victory in Him. Praise God, we may leave this body, but we will never die.
III. He glorified God in His proclamation…
He always gave the Glory for His works to God, the Father. He never sought any glory for Himself. He knew that the Father was going to reward Him afterward and was content to obey the will of the Father. And when He was reviled, He reviled not again (1Peter 2:23); and in His mouth was found no guile ( 1Peter 2:22). He was honest among a religious world full of lies and deceit. He was willing to take verbal abuse and railings without fighting back. And so should we be.
It was only after Jesus had glorified the father and was about to be offered that He finally prayed this prayer. “Glorify Thou Me”. So often we seek glory and honor when we have done nothing for the Glory of God. We seem to think that we are to work because it is our responsibility, our job. We sometimes think that God needs us. In reality, He is to be the only object of our worship, our service, our praise, our desire. It is all about Him. Only when we realize this and begin serving with this overwhelming truth in our hearts will we ever receive from God the blessings that He has promised His children for being obedient. Only when it is all for Him.
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