To glorify is “to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged.” During the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, there were surely moments when His disciples caught glimpses of His glory. But they couldn’t fully comprehend it – couldn’t truly grasp it. While they walked with Him, watched Him, and held Him close there was still mystery. As they saw Him transfigured on the mountain, or Mary anointing His feet with expensive perfume, or the people waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna!” they knew He was their King. Yet, they didn’t really see how this King would receive His glory.
On this day, when Jesus finally said the words, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified,” they must have thought, “Finally, this is it! He is going to take His place as King of this land and deliver us from the tyranny of Rome!” The next words out of His mouth must have thrown them for a loop! As Jesus foreshadowed again what He was actually about to do, He gave another example of the upside down nature of the kingdom of God.
Laying down leads to glory
Again He put things in agricultural terms that the people could understand. By simply holding a single grain of wheat in your hand, you will never appreciate the glory held within it. But when that grain is buried in the ground – dead – then the glorious new life begins. From one tiny grain, hundreds of grains are born. It was true of Jesus’ own life. When He laid His life down and was dead and buried, this is where the new life began! When His disciples looked on, thinking that it was all over because He was dead in the ground, they could not see the new life that was shooting out its roots! Because He rose glorified from the dead, defeating the power of sin and death, all who believe in Him are raised to new life with Him! And we are given eternal life that cannot be taken away from us! He laid down His life and His glory was finally revealed.
When the glory is revealed, the result is much fruit!
In light of this truth, how can we then struggle so in laying down our own lives? Perhaps what seems to lead to death – of dreams, of life goals, of expectations – is actually the path to life. Would we be willing to stop gripping our lives and instead be willing to lose them in obedience to the call of God? When we are willing to lay down whatever it is that God is calling us to bury in the ground, what seems like death will be transformed, and the result will be much fruit. All for the glory of God!
Live Free. Live Loved.