My dear Covenant Partners and GEM Family:
Jesus’ Glorification: “Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. [If God is glorified in him,] God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once” (John 13: 31-32).
Jesus has gathered in the Upper Room with His disciples to celebrate the Feast of Passover. His hour of being lifted up through His crucifixion and death, and glorified through His resurrection has arrived. John begins Chapter 13 on that solemn note: “Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). The first event in the Upper Room gives the coming of His hour a sense of urgency. Jesus begins the evening by washing the feet of His disciples. His intent is very clear in this shocking act of humility: “fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist” (John 13: 3-4). Why did Jesus identify Himself with a non-Jewish slave, the lowest of the low in Jewish society, and wash the feet of His disciples? Quite simply, Jesus was willing to go to any lengths to save us and bring us back to the Father as His sons and daughters! Jesus saw Himself as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah’s oracles: “Yet it was our pain that he bore, our suffering he endured, we thought of him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, but he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity” (Isaiah 53: 4-5). And His Father chose to crush Him with pain (Isaiah 53: 10). St. Paul echoes the same single-minded intent of Jesus: “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped… he emptied himself taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2: 6-8).
The next event in the Upper Room sets Jesus’ crucifixion and death in motion. Judas was among the disciples whose feet Jesus washed. Jesus knew of Judas’ treachery toward Him which would shake the faith of the disciples in Him. He reassured them: “From now on I am telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM” (John 13:19). On this and other occasions, Jesus makes trusting Him in all circumstances a core attitude of His disciples. Then Jesus reveals to the disciples that Judas will betray Him: “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me” (John 13:21). Amidst the consternation of the assembled group, Jesus said to Judas: “What you are going to do, do quickly” (John 13: 27). Upon Judas’ departure, Jesus talks about His glorification through His crucifixion and death. Through His crucifixion and death, Jesus will be raised from the dead. His resurrection will be the visible manifestation of His divinity. His Father will be glorified through His resurrection! And the Father will glorify the risen Jesus who is co-equal with Him. Jesus will once again return to the original glory that always belonged to Him as the Son of God: “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. [If God is glorified in him,] God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him at once.” God bless you! You are in our daily prayers!