“In the beginning…” starts John’s Gospel, “was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” (John 1: 1-3) John tells us that God was there in the beginning with the word. “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The rest of the gospel details the evidence of that glory and, more surprisingly, our participation in it.
God’s glory in John is experiencing Jesus first hand. It is like being in the heart of a fireworks show rather than watching it on TV. To be there in person means that you see first hand the light, you feel the thunder of the explosions, you find yourself breathless by the amazing colors and designs, you are caught up in the majesty and power and wonder and extraordinary transcendence of it all. Not only are the sights amazing but looking around and seeing the reactions on other people’s faces, hearing the oooo’s and the ahhhh’s from the assembly gathered is what makes the entire experience special. Everyone’s eyes are filled with wonder, and for a moment we are all connected with one another.
For Jesus showing glory to God is to finish the work that God gave him to do (17:4). In a basic sense this means he honored God through his obedience to God’s commands. During his time on Earth Jesus taught, performed healing, loved his neighbor and anything else God asked him to do. He interacted with people so they were able to experience the glory of God first hand. By doing that, Jesus revealed God’s power, Jesus made sure that everyone knew that it was not him who had the power to do these works but the power came from God. Jesus was always pointing to God.
Many times we are caught up in our lives and we don’t take the time to listen to what God is calling us to do. We might be rushing off after church to the next baseball game, or we may not take the time to pray and listen to God in the midst of our lives.
As we ponder on this text during the week. Let us share our experiences of God’s glory. Let us touch the lives of the people we meet by bring Jesus words into the world so they can experience the fireworks of God’s love first hand.