Jesus gave his glory to you. Don’t waste it.
MAY 18, 2023
Jesus gave his glory to you. Don’t waste it. Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
That was Steve Brown and this is Key Life. We are dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor, and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. Let me share with you something I’ve recently learned. John 13 is a wonderful chapter in the Bible, and when we were studying John together, you will remember I spent a good deal of time in that chapter and didn’t want to leave it because I liked it so much. At any rate, that’s a really outstanding chapter. And that’s where Jesus washes the disciples feet, identifies Judas as the betrayer, and gives a new commandment about love. And one of the interesting things, and I haven’t seen this until fairly recently, one of the interesting things about that chapter, that those events happened right before Jesus’ crusifixion. In other words, from here, it is a short distance to the Cross. He knows it and he tells them that too. Referring to his death on the Cross, Jesus says something that is absolutely amazing. Listen to what he says and this is John 13:31.
Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.
The death that Jesus faced with all the horror of it was the place where Jesus was glorified. It’s the reason the writer of Hebrews said that we should look to Jesus. This is Hebrews 12:2.
The founder and perfecter of our faith who for
I can’t believe this.
who for the joy that was set before him endured the Cross.
What’s with that? I mean, how can something like a crucifixion be a place of glorification and joy? Now, let me share with you something else. In the high priestly prayer of Jesus in John 17, Jesus prays for us. He first prays for his disciples, as you know, and this is the true prayer of Jesus, the Lord’s Prayer. The other one is the disciples prayer, but he prays for his disciples and then he prays for us. And one of the things Jesus prayed for us was about his glory. He prayed this for you and he prayed this for me.
The glory that you have given me, I have given to them so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you love me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given to me,
That would be you and me.
may be with me where I am, so that my glory, that you have given me because you love me before the foundations of the world, they can see.
Love, glory and joy are all a part of the dark places to which God would lead his people. Jesus was glorified in his Cross. And listen, we are glorified in ours. Not only that, the dark places, and I know it doesn’t feel like it, happened because of God’s love, and then we find our glory and surprising joy at that place. The word glory, by the way, is an interesting word, we pray.
For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory.
And we sing songs that reference glory. Rarely do we think about what glory means or what it is. Glory, by the way, I’m going to teach you an important lesson is from a Latin word that references high praise, honor, and admiration. And a rough translation would be wow. Yeah. Wow. It has to do with brilliant light. And it’s what we mean when we say to someone, man, you shined. Jesus shined and when he went to the Cross, and we will too when we go to ours. Now, before you get the wrong idea, it’s important to be careful about what we believe, that Jesus actually promised. Our glory doesn’t mean that there’s no pain, no fear, and no lament. There’s a spurious and shallow view that no matter what we face, when it’s really hard, Christians will smile and be at peace because God will protect us from the pain of those hard places. You may remember the song from the seventies written by the late country music singer, Lynn Anderson, Rose Garden. The song had God sing that he never promised us a rose garden. He didn’t, when Christians believe that he did, they are believing a lie and they are in for a painful surprise. If you stick a Christian with a pin, he or she’s going to bleed. And if you take food and water from him or her, he or she will be hungry and thirsty. Jesus wept by gravesides. He was lonely, afraid, rejected, abused, and killed. It’s strange that Christians who belong to a club founded by Jesus should believe that we won’t face the same kinds of things. Lament is there in the Bible and it’s there for a reason. A lament is the dark agony of our souls, when we express to God the depth of our pain and fear and doubt. It’s in the Psalms, for instance, where one uses the words of God to cry out to God from the darkness. So, lament should not be a surprise to believers. Jesus said to his disciples.
I’ve said these things to you to keep you from falling away. They’ll put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever killed you will think they are offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father nor me. But I have said these things to you that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you about them.
That’s John 16:1 through 4. I don’t know about you, but Jesus’ words aren’t exactly good PR for following Christ. When Winston Churchill replaced Chamberlain as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, he gave his speech to the House of Commons and said.
He would offer nothing but blood, sweat, and tears.
One would expect that the House of Commons to say to him, are you crazy? We want Chamberlain back, but they didn’t. They gave Churchill a standing ovation. Jesus made an offer kind of like that too. And a whole lot of people have said, I’m in. Why did they do that? Why would you follow a Messiah who promised rejection and persecution and pain. I sometimes wonder why I do. I often say to Jesus, I wouldn’t do this for anybody but you, and sometimes I wonder if you are enough, but I’m still here. I can identify with someone who said that it wasn’t good enough to be a saint, but she could be a martyr if they killed her fast, but I’m still here and I’m thankful for a God who gave us permission to cry out in our lament and even gave us the words when we do. And let me at least open this subject, we’ll talk about it next week. The question before the house is why, a partial answer is the glory of the battle. There’s something challenging and attractive about standing for what most people think is a lost cause. Being willing to die for that cause and clinging to that cause no matter what the opposition or the pain. In fact, we’re living in that kind of culture right now. And I was always kind of glad I was a Christian. I was always kind of glad to say I’m with them when they had the power and the president was a Christian and a lot of the politicians were Christians and the pathway to Washington was well worn between the church and Washington. But now that’s not true. And you know something? I’m kind of glad because it gives me an opportunity to stand, and there is glory in doing that. Glory in the battle. You know, we live in a culture where we’re not winners anymore, a culture where people don’t like us, that hasn’t always been true. A culture where political personalities go after Christians. This is a time to shine. This is the time when Christians are glorified. Don’t you shilly shally. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And with that, we wrap up this week’s exploration of Steve’s latest book, Laughter and Lament. Remember if you missed any episodes, come see us at keylife.org where you can stream every single episode of Key Life, for free. And be sure to join us tomorrow for the nearly world famous Friday Q&A. Tomorrow, Steve and Pete will answer this question. Biblically, can I get a divorce? That’s a big one, tune in tomorrow for that. So, we’ve been talking about Steve’s new book, Laughter and Lament, but you may not have picked up a copy yet. Well, it is for you that we created the new Laughter and Lament booklet. It features several excerpts from the book. Can we just send you a copy of that, for free? If so, call us right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that booklet. Or to mail your request go to Keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses. Just ask for your free copy of the Laughter and Lament booklet. And before you go, a question, would you partner in the work of Key Life through your giving? You can give by charging a gift on your credit card or including a gift in your envelope. Or simply text Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, we are a listener supported production of Key Life Network.