In John 13:30, immediately Judas left it was night. Night typifies the spiritual atmosphere that took over. Obviously the prince of darkness has gone into overdrive. It was really night and the night promised to last a few more days till the resurrection morning.
But it was in the midst of this dark night that the son of God announced that He has been glorified. It was as though He has been working all His life to get to this dark night, because He announced; ‘Now is the Son of man glorified’. It was not before. It is not even in the future. And the wisdom of this glorification Christ explained is hinged on the fact of God Himself being glorified. He said that God is glorified in Him. He has once asked God to glorify Himself in him. Now He announced emphatically that God has been glorified in Him. And the pattern is that once God is glorified in Him, it will now be God’s turn to glorify Him. And God will do it urgently.
In other words, God is not the one holding back the glorification of the son of man. I am withholding my glorification myself. Once it is established that God has been glorified in me, He will glorify me, and He will do it immediately. Unless a corn of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. In my Christian journey, I have always wondered why a few seem to be God’s favourites at the exclusion of the majority. Only a few carry the anointing in any quality way and hence carry out all the promises Jesus gave. They raise the dead, they heal the sick, under their ministrations cripples walk and blind eyes open. Only a few seem to walk in the promise of wealth and abundance as promised in the scripture. Money and materials answer to them as though they have access to the bank of heaven while the rest of us are spectators. Only a few know the power over sin and flesh. They seem to walk in the very street of heaven without the struggles the rest of us go through on a daily basis to get by. I could hazard a guess and say that it is only about 5% of the children of God I have heard about that seem to really enjoy the Christian life. While the rest struggle and wonder whether the Bible is not a book of fantasy with too good to be true promises. This has also produced a lot of disgruntled followers of Christ who conclude that these promises cannot really be claimed. For some, it is purely gimmicks and for others, there are secrets that these special 5 per centers have that the rest do not. Painful to say that many left the faith because they concluded it was all deceit.
I struggled with these things for long. I will fall and rise on these arguments, studying and observing those who I could to see what the answers could be. It was in the process of these searches that God drew my attention to this passage. Glory is possible. But even when you know the answer, it is no guarantee you will walk in glory. God has never hidden the pathway to glory. Indeed He has invited everybody to walk in it, but though you may stare at the answer, it is a steep hill to climb. It was, even for Jesus. The implication of the scripture we are considering is that this glory for God only seems to come at night time. It was at the night time of His life that Jesus announced that the deed was done. The glory of the father was achieved. But before Him lay betrayals, abandonment, scourging, beatings, spitting, shame and ultimately crucifixion and burial. It was as though He looked in the spirit realm, saw those things and rejoiced that at last He was able to bring glory to the father and hence activate His own glory. It was as though He has been consciously enticing the devil to come after Him and unleash his worse venom on Him, knowing that by it, the Father would obtain His own glory through His obedience and hence glorify Him too.
The road to glorification is dangerously paved with night times, sufferings and loneliness. It is decorated with scourging, the cross and crucifixion. However, it is the only way the Father would obtain His own glory. And once that is done, our own glory follows, not gradually, but immediately.
Among the many reasons why the greater percentage of God’s children do not, may not, nay will never walk in glory is this reason here; except a corn of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides alone. The pathway to glory is through the path of death. Imagine asking God for glory and He says I heard you my son, and then proceeds to send the worse kind of suffering and shame imaginable to the mind. Imagine asking God for promotion and in response He orchestrates your sack from that lovely job. Imagine asking Him for a house and the first step of His answer to you is losing the one you live in. These answers will always be misinterpreted. They will always be seen from the negative and matched with the conclusion; God does not give us sufferings. The me-I-no-go suffer mantra has eaten deep. And hence many of us abhor the pathway to glory. Peter says, if you suffer for doing good, rejoice. Hebrews says it is the son that is loved that is ‘punished’. The point in Jesus’ life when the Greeks, the ‘owners’ of wisdom sought to see Him-something that should be celebrated as ‘going global’-precipitated a crisis in His life. A crisis that made Him say that the only condition for going this global and making many seeds from all over the world will only be met with death-death of the cruelest order. And He was ready.
This path is painfully agonizing that the great temptation is usually to abandon it half way. Remember, part of the conditions is that you will be left alone. It will even seem God Himself has abandoned you. At the peak of His, Jesus cried out, father, why have you forsaken me? You would also come to the point where you will ask such question. You would conclude that God has forsaken you by all you see. Remember, Jesus said, it is enough for the disciple that he is like his master. So the path the master walked, we shall walk, even the pathway of glory. It is true that many have concluded that Christ has gone through all the sufferings so that we may just inherit it and enjoy endlessly without a single price paid. One question for such people would be; ‘are you now enjoying all that Christ has obtained for you?’ He suffered for us, leaving us example that we also must suffer. It is not palatable, but it is the truth. It is not that we are masochists or stoics. We do not enjoy pain or endure it so that it may purify our souls as some oriental religions claim. No. But many times the Lord will allow our faith muscles to grow by trails. Devil is always interested in whatever God is interested in. And for this, Satan will come to fight the very one that God desires to lift and to use. And as He did with Job, God will allow him try, to prove that the vessel He intends to pour His virtue is tried and true. Will you prove Him right? Can you stand to be blessed? A little research of the 5 percent who are walking in the manifestation of the wonders of God through past history till now shows that they walked this pathway of glory to get to where they are. To activate the blessings Jesus has left for you, you must show your ticket of obedience, even obedience unto death. You must not only believe and confess, you must demonstrate by obedience and action that you are committed to Him.
It is safe to say that the Father’s glory may come gradually-a major reason why many loose heart and give up half way. But ours comes immediately-immediately the test is passed. One of the key lessons to learn from Jesus in this path is that if you decipher that you may be on that path; it may be time to stop praying for God to take away the challenge, but to give you the strength to go through it. Father, if it be thine will that this cup will not pass unless I drink it, let your will be done. But if you want glory, then prepare for death. May God help us. May we commit our hearts to this matter. May we increase the number of those manifesting God’s fullness on earth by exhibiting His glory.
Scripture References: John 13: 30-35; John 12:24; 1 Peter 2: 19-24; Hebrews 12: 3-11; Mathew 26:42