“Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. (NIV)
I love to watch Track and Field events during the Olympics, especially the relays. Every now and then, one runner will take the baton and their speed overshadow the others. They will gain ground on everyone so fast and awe strikes the crowd of people with a universal gasp. The speed of a runner is his glory. The strength of a weightlifter, the sacrifice of a mother, the beauty of a painting, the harmony of a choir, the chorus of a song, and the wisdom of the sage are glorious. The first time I heard Susan Boyle sing on Britain’s Got Talent was glorious. Glory is the element of a thing that causes the opinions of those who behold it to be suddenly elevated above all the rest.
Jesus said that He came for “this very hour” meaning His death and resurrection that the Father may be glorified. The need for the Father to be glorified or to glorify Himself could seem unnecessary. Why would the most Glorious Being need to be glorified? But when we understand the nature of glory, it has little to do with the object being glorified. Glorification of something is about the opinion of those who notice the object. Before Susan Boyle began to sing on television for the first time, she could already sing, but the world didn’t know it. And when the first note came out of her mouth, her glory shone and continued to shine to the tune of more than 20 million albums. Glory was not in her talent. Glory manifested when the crowd heard her sing for the first time.
The fact that God, the Creator of all things glorious, needs to be glorified is a reflection of the opinion of mankind about Him. He is omniscient-knowing all things. Nothing is a mystery to Him. He is omnipresent-seeing all things everywhere at all times. Nothing is hidden from Him. He is omnipotent-all powerful. Nothing and no one can stand against Him. He is who He is. Within His own makeup, He is invisible and silent to mankind (most of the time). He is a mystery unseen and unheard. His ways are higher than ours so even those who seek God struggle to grasp His magnificence because it stretches further than the human mind can go. God needs to be glorified because the world’s opinion of Him does not capture His essence. He must be glorified.
Mankind has formed all kinds of opinions about God. Huitzilopochtli was God to the Aztecs who required human sacrifice. Ra was God to the Egyptians. The Pharaohs were considered also to be God as direct descendants of Ra and could perpetrate any wicked thing and call it Divine. Loki was a Norse god of mischief who designed clever, but harmful plans against the other gods. For the Muslim, Allah is God. For the Hindu, the names of God are many from Krishna to Buddha. L. Ron Hubbard is God to the Scientologist. Some Gods are harsh and angry. Others are exceedingly sexual. Most are considered to be flawed in some way. People worship the sun, the moon, the stars, animals, and even Elvis Presley. All of these work to confuse mankind of the true identity of God. Jehovah, the God of Christianity and Judaism, is seen by some as compassionate and gracious while others see Jehovah as intolerant and unloving. The world is confused when it comes to God and His character.
The God of Christianity whom we believe to be the only God desires to save mankind by reconciling the creation back to its Creator. But out of love, He has given mankind the freedom to choose whom He will worship as God. He doesn’t coerce anyone to follow Him. He gives them a choice. But how will anyone choose a god they believe to be harsh, uncaring, angry. Our God must be glorified so that the world will see His true identify. When they see Him as He is, no other god can come close to His goodness and power. But the world will never see Him unless He is glorified. This is why Jesus said to the Father, “Glorify your Name.” And a voice from Heaven spoke saying, “I have glorified it and will again.” In the plethora of man-made gods and goddesses from mythology to new age, the One True God must be glorified. Without glory, man will be helpless to find the one true God in the sea of so many false gods.
To God be the glory, great things He hath done,
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.