In the previous post, we read in John 2:11 that Jesus, by accomplishing the miraculous sign of transforming water into wine, showed his disciples his glory.
Glory? What does that mean? Only God has that kind of glory. I highly doubt the glory the disciples saw was a shining light, a halo, a glow or an aura. That kind of brightness is not the glory that John is talking about. Glory refers to many things, but the glory Jesus showed his disciples was the ability to demonstrate power that is supernatural. Glory is a magnificence that is superhuman, more than human. They saw Jesus’ glory manifested in his mysterious power to turn water into wine, without saying a word, without a magic wand.
When they saw his glory, they placed their faith in him. Theirs was a new faith. It was not a fully mature faith. Instead it was faith enough for them to say, “I will be your apprentice, Jesus. I will follow you.” Theirs was not a faith that had them saying, “Yes! I’m going to go to heaven when I die.” Their faith was a faith that motivated them to follow him now, to be close to him. They saw his glory and they wanted to be near him, to learn from him how to live.
You might think, “I wish I could see his glory. I wish I could see miracles.” But I would suggest that we have and we do. Probably many times. We have the benefit of hindsight, 2000 years of hindsight, as compared to those disciples. We have the benefit of knowing that Jesus died and rose again. Talk about glory! Talk about magnificence that is beyond human ability.
We have seen God work throughout the history of the church, and we have seen him work in our lives. Sometimes even in miracles! We have seen his glory, his incredible power, the glory of the one and only. The right response to seeing God’s glory is the response the disciples had when they placed their faith in him, no matter how big or small the faith, and they followed him. Think about how Jesus has shown his glory in your life and make the decision to give your life to follow him, to learn from him, to be his apprentice and learn from him how to live, how to do what he did.
So think about what you have seen. Have there been times of provision in your life that only God could have done? Times of emotional healing? Times of emotional strength that you know came to you through your reliance on your relationship with God? That is his glory! You have seen his glory, his magnificent power.
As we study the Gospel of John, “glory” is a word that will pop up many more times. We’ll want to pay attention to how Jesus reveals his glory. Let me give you a hint. Glory in the Gospel of John is not found in worship services with inspiring music and teaching. Those are human. They can be wonderful and helpful, but remember that when God manifests his glory, that glory is not something that humans can replicate. We can point to it, declare it, and that kind of calling out, “There it is!” is a practice we would do well to learn.
We can identify God’s glory in nature, in God’s provision in our lives, in healing, in the work of his Spirit. So this week, ask God to show you his glory. Ask him to help you, and then choose to be more aware of what is going on around you. Look for God’s glory not in worship services, but in the outskirts, because that is so often where he manifests his mysterious mighty power. We often think glory is found in winning, not losing. But look for glory not in the high and mighty, not in the celebrities who already get all the attention. Instead watch for glory in the hidden details. Ask God to give you the eyes of the servants, the eyes of the fishermen turned apprentices, eyes to see his glory. And then walk in step with him. Place your faith in him, saying, “Lord, I don’t know where this is headed, or what it all means, but I give my life to follow you, to learn from you how to live.”
Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash
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