The glory of God is the beauty of His spirit. It is not an aesthetic beauty or a material beauty, but it is the beauty that emanates from His character, from all that He is. I need to see the beauty of Jesus and His glory. I need to get excited about who Jesus is and what He does for me.
James 1:10 calls on a rich man to “glory in his humiliation,” indicating a glory that does not mean riches or power or material beauty. This glory can crown man or fill the earth. It is seen within man and in the earth, but it is not of them; it is of God.
The glory of man is the beauty of man’s spirit, which is fallible and eventually passes away, and is therefore humiliating—as the verse tells us.
But the glory of God, which is manifested in all His attributes together, never passes away. It is eternal.
Jesus the Messiah’s radiance and splendor reflects the glory of the Father, and is both revealed to and reflected in the lives of believers.
- Hebrews 1:3 — And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
- John 12:41 — These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him.
- John 13:32 — if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.
- 2 Corinthians 4:4 —in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the good news of the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of God.
- 2 Corinthians 4:6 — For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of the Messiah.
The Greek word Glory — δόξα doxa — Meaning: glory, honor, renown; an especially divine quality, the unspoken manifestation of God, splendor, stunning, beauty, brilliance, amazing. Translation: stunning brilliance and beauty.
From the human perspective, the death of Jesus was a dastardly deed involving unspeakable suffering and humiliation; but from the divine perspective it was the revelation of the glory of God. “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified” (John 12:23). Twelve times in this Gospel, the title “Son of man” appears, and this one in John 12:31 is the final instance. Daniel 7:13 identifies this title as messianic, and Jesus sometimes used it this way (Matt. 26:64).
What did it mean for Jesus to glorify the Father? He tells us in His prayer: “I have glorified You on the earth; I have finished the work which you gave Me to do” (John 17:4). This is the way all of us glorify God, by faithfully doing what He calls us to do. In our Master’s case, the Father’s will was that the Son die for lost sinners, be raised from the dead, and then ascend to heaven. The Son glorified the Father and the Father glorified the Son (John 17:1, 5).
There would come a time when the Son would be glorified in these disciples (John 17:10), but they could not follow Him at that time. Peter boasted that he would follow the Lord even to death (Luke 22:33), but unfortunately ended up denying Him three times.