“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)
The Father said that He had glorified His name and that He would glorify it again. An essential component in God’s plan of salvation for the entire world is based on Him receiving glory. When God is glorified, men take notice. When they really take notice, they see the Lord for who He is and not the caricature of how the enemy wants man to see God. So the Lord must be glorified and He will. When Jesus was coming into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey, all the people had begun to believe He was the Messiah because of all of the miracles. The religious leaders were furious to see the people worshipping this Jesus whom they believed to be a troublemaker. They told Jesus to command the people to stop praising Him. Jesus responded by saying, “If they do not praise me, surely the rocks will.” In other words, nothing is going to stop God from being glorified. If we don’t do it, the rocks on the side of the road are going to begin to speak!
If He can glorify Himself or cause the rocks to cry out with praise to His name, why does He need us? Well, He doesn’t. He could make all the birds begin to talk like Balam’s donkey. He could give the trees a mouth and let them speak, they would sing His glory. But He doesn’t do these things. He calls us to glorify Him. But why?
The Lord gives backs us up when we glorify Him. He shows up. For Jesus on this day, the Father literally spoke from Heaven. But for us, when we give Him glory, He draws us into His presence. The Bible says that He inhabits or enthrones Himself in our praise. We experience a greater intimacy with the Lord when we glorify Him. Also, the words of glorification go into our spirit as well. We are reminded of what we already knew. In the Bible, David reminded Himself how good God was. When we glorify Him, the words remind us of who He is and we are strengthened, encouraged.
By glorifying Himself through us, He has made us partners in the business or ministry of reconciliation. The life we live and the words we use to glorify Him change the people we love. We have a part in their life-changing experience with the Lord. We have the joy of John the Baptist who introduced Jesus to the world.
He could glorify Himself in a million different ways without us, but He instead, He calls us to praise Him and when we do, we become more intimate with Him. We receive strength for the moment. And we have the joy of being instrumental in the lives of others as the Lord completely changes their life. He gives us the position of partner and the opportunity to work with Him to change the world one life at a time. He makes us partakers of the Master’s business and we experience intimacy, strength, and joy. And those around us encounter the soul-saving glory of God.
I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit —fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other. (NIV)