Summary: In the Upper Room God was glorified in a new commandment, in the Son's demonstrated foreknowledge and in the promise made to us of a certain hope.
“Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. 1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 “And you know the way where I am going.”
When we come to these particular verses that make up today’s text, and especially verses 31 and 32 of chapter 13, we have reached another crucial pivotal point in the Gospel narrative.
When Jesus said “Now is the Son of Man glorified” He was announcing the beginning of the endgame of the Divine plan made before the beginning of the world.
The essential purpose in Creation was to glorify God. Nothing exists apart from Him – all things are caused by Him – and everything is for His glory.
This is a difficult concept to put into words and a difficult one to get our minds around. Let me offer this as an illustration of what I’m saying to you. I went to my books on Systematic Theology to find out what they said about ‘glory’ or ‘God’s glory’. In none of them did I find that word in the entire table of contents, with the exception of a one page doctrinal statement in the last volume of a 5-volume set on Systematic Theology by Lewis Sperry Chafer.
Now I didn’t exhaust every existing volume on Systematic Theology; I only have a few in my library. But here is the conclusion I drew from this notable absence in this very thorough and scholarly work of Chafer’s.
I think it is because God’s glory is, or should be, a given for us. Everything that God has revealed of Himself to man – every truth upon which all our theological knowledge is based – comes out of His glory, is revealed to establish His glory, is given to aid man in recognizing and acknowledging His glory.
Here is just one paragraph from that one-page doctrinal statement of Chafer’s to which I referred a moment ago:
“As for that glory which is called intrinsic or essential, it may be observed that, regardless of any recognition of it on the part of creatures, God is Himself a glorious being. Glory belongs to Him as light and heat belong to the sun. It therefore becomes a misrepresentation of infinite proportions to withhold from God a worth acknowledgment of His glory. An injustice is forced upon Him if the entire universe of created beings does not ascribe to Him that essential glory. To fail to do so is to ‘lie, and do not the truth’ (1 Jn 1:6).” Systematic Theology, Volume VII, Doctrinal Summarization, Lewis Sperry Chafer, Dallas Seminary Press, Dallas, TX, pg 172-173 [Italics mine for emphasis]
JUDAS HAS JUST GONE OUT
Now our text today began at verse 31 but it is essential that we glance back to see what has just happened and thus understand better the significance of the words of Jesus in our text.
Judas has just gone out. Between verses 21 and 30 we have some of the saddest words of the Bible. Jesus, troubled in spirit, plainly testifies to His disciples that one of them is going to betray Him.
Don’t move on too quickly! Jesus is troubled in spirit. He has just taught them the indispensable lesson that began with an action, when He washed their feet, and continued with oral instruction as He told them that as His disciples they must follow His example and serve one another with the selfless service He, their Master, had demonstrated in His service to them.