John saw it with his own eyes. Imagine that. John was there for the transfiguration. John saw the glory of Jesus! John has some good news for me.
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish. | John 1:14 (The Message Bible)
The good news (aka gospel) of John is so different from the other 3. John has a clearly different take. John is known as “the one Jesus loved”. We had the 500, the 120, the 72, the 12, the 3, and the 1. John didn’t place himself there. Jesus did. John deserves to be heard in a unique way.
Here is something stunning. Listen to Jesus. “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” | John 17:24 (NASB) Jesus wants me to see His glory. Lord Jesus, show me your glory! Now that is something to ask for. Good news! Jesus wants to do it and will.
So what happened? God sent his Son. God become human and lived among us. Imagine Jesus moving into your neighborhood. Jesus lives right down the street from you. This is also a reference to the old testament. The Greek verb used here literally means “to dwell in a tent” and likely alludes to the OT tabernacle as God’s dwelling among His people (see Exod 33:7–11; note on Exod 27:21). Through His Son, God is taking up a post among His people just as He had done for ancient Israel.
God appearing to us happened occasional in the old testament. We hear Stephen commenting on this appearance in Acts 7:2–4: “Men—brothers and fathers—listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham while he was in Mesopotamia, before he settled in Haran.” The word “appeared” indicates that the call of Abraham was a visible phenomenon. But Stephen’s reference to the appearance of God to Abraham is not the first time it is mentioned. When passages in Genesis are understood collectively, it is clear that God appeared to Abraham as a man. That was occasional. With Jesus, He lived among us for over 30 years. How stunning that John shares what he knows with us!
What was John’s perspective? John was more than a neighbor. John and Peter and James went up on the mountain with Jesus. John saw Jesus transfigured and his body turned into the glory of our Heavenly Father. John was a witness to that. This alludes to the manifestations of divine glory in the OT. Yahweh’s presence could be found in the tabernacle or temple (Exod 40:34–38; Num 14:10; 1 Kgs 8:10–11; Isa 6:1). John saw the splendour and brilliance of Jesus. Jesus is stunning in His beauty.
What does John know about Jesus? John knows that the true nature of Jesus is one of generosity. John knows that God lovethe world and sent Jesus into it (John 3:16). John saw the love and generosity of Jesus first hand. John knows that God is Good and in a good mood. John knows this because he saw it first hand in Jesus. Jesus is one of a kind. There is no one else like Jesus. John says again (1 John 4:16) “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
If you got this far, here is a bonus.
How Awesome is God?
What is God’s Glory