When he was gone, Jesus said,Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.John 13:31-32
Notice the stress on glory in these verses. This is the secret principle by which we achieve glory, which is something we all long for. We all want people to think highly of us. This is what Jesus is talking about. The secret of attaining glory is to give yourself up, to lose yourself. He is looking ahead to the cross. The cross became a certainty the minute Judas left the room, and Jesus says,
Now [in view of the cross] is the Son of man glorified . . .
Notice three manifestations of glory stated in this sentence. First, Jesus is glorified in the cross, and in the cross Jesus' inner character becomes visible. John says,
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (1:14). All that grace and truth becomes visible in the cross.
Second, God was glorified in Jesus. The cross also reveals the Father. The strange idea has arisen among Christians that Jesus is the innocent sufferer, placating the wrath of an angry God who is ready to smite humanity. But that is not the biblical view. The Bible says,
God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:19). There you see the mercy, love, and grace of the Father.
Third, God will glorify Him again, and will do it immediately. Here Jesus is thinking of His resurrection. Our Lord is declaring a great principle here. How do you achieve glory? How do you achieve the fulfillment you quite properly are wanting? The answer is by dying.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it (Matthew 16:25). And very close behind death is resurrection. Peter puts it precisely in his first epistle:
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time (1 Peter 5:6).
We struggle with this. We fight for the top place. We are filled with suspicion and guile toward one another. So how can you lose your life? What is the power that can make you willing to throw it all away? That is why Jesus adds,
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34). That is the power that makes sacrifice possible. The key is in the phrase
as I have loved you. That is the secret. Our love must originate from His love for us. We are to draw upon His loving acceptance of us in order to reach out in loving acceptance to others near us, whether they are lovely or not.
Lord, I see the seeming paradox--that glory is found in sacrificial love. Let me abide in Your love so that I am able to surrender my will to You and love others with the love you have given me.
What is the secret of glory? How do we achieve the personal fulfillment we are quite properly wanting?