Summary: Understanding the glory of God
Unexpected Glory – 2nd in Series on the Glory of God.
Last week, I introduced the concept of God’s glory, with the definition that God’s Glory, also known as the “Shekinah” glory of God. We tried to grasp the fact that God’s glory, just like His nature, defies definition. And we also came to understand that God’s glory essentially is the sum of all of His attributes.. By attributes, we know them as His love, mercy, justice, providence, etc. Sum all of them together and they total far more than we can ever imagine.
We found that the word “glory” is in the Bible over 300 times, and that most of us “gloss” over it, without ever trying to comprehend what the Bible means when it refers to God’s glory.
Last Sunday, we also learned that the Shekinah glory of God, is most often described as the VISIBLE MAJESTY OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE. So in a very real way, every time that God provided a visible sign of His presence, His glory was being revealed and demonstrated. The most commonly recalled times of His glory being revealed was during the Exodus, while the Israelites were in the desert and the column of smoke by day and the column of fire by night led them through the wilderness.
Finally, we learned that God’s agenda is His glory…to reveal it and make it known to His creation.
a. What kind of Glory would we expect to see if we were to see Jesus?
i. The glory of God we would see would be exactly the same as if we were looking at the Father.
1. Jesus, while on earth, masked much of His divine nature behind his human nature, but revealed it over and over again, sometimes reluctantly, some times for just his closest disciples, and yet other times for everyone to see.
b. In the next few weeks, we will get a glimpse of that glory, through the eyes of his disciples, hopefully, as if we were there ourselves seeing it for the first time.
i. Keep in mind, that when Jesus called his disciples, he seemed like a teacher to them, one whom John the Baptizer pointed to as the Annointed One of God or the Messiah.
1. They felt a compelling tug when he called each of them.
a. And they followed him, just like many teachers had their “following” in those days.
b. Some of the disciples asked their friends to come see and hear this unique teacher and each of them had the same opinion…he is the Messiah.
2. But something else was different about Jesus. The longer they hung around him, the more they listened to him, the more and more they realized that he was no ordinary Rabbi.
3. In fact, even their opinion about what kind of Messiah he was began to change. They, like most Jews, expected a deliverer to restore the glory of the nation to Israel.
a. They expected a conquering king.
b. But as they watched and listened, they had to begin to wonder about their preconceptions.
ii. As we follow these disciples, we are using the book of John to see what they saw. You might want to spend some time reading the book of John in the next few weeks, and try to put yourself into their sandals as you read it.
1. At the point in the gospel of John where we pick this story up, Jesus has called most of his disciples, some of whom have confessed faith in him as the Messiah. They are leaving behind a life to follow him. And there are sharing his life and living and traveling with him.
2. How Jesus reveals His glory
a. John 17:24
i. "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.
b. What kind of “first” miracle would reveal Christ to others?
i. If Jesus had to pick a single action to reveal His glory to his disciples, what would it be?
ii. Maybe a resurrection? Feeding several thousand? Heal someone who is dying? Cast out a devil out of a possessed man? All of these are things he did…but they were not the first action of self-revelation of His glory.
c. At Cana – the improbable revelation, the unexpected revelation of His glory.
i. Jesus is 30 years old, he goes to a family wedding ceremony that His mother is likely a part of as at the very least, one who provides some of the food or planning.
1. His mother isn’t just a guest, but rather somehow connected to the wedding party.