The Divine Glory

In the Gospel of John, Jesus is the Logos, the “Word become flesh” in whom the “Glory of God” resides. He is the Greater Tabernacle foreshadowed by the Tent carried by Israel in the wilderness, the place where the Glory of Yahweh was seen. John’s declaration anticipates his later passages that link him to the Father. Thus, the man who gave his life for all humanity on the Cross is the true and full manifestation of the Glory of the Living God who created all things.

It is through this same crucified and resurrected Messiah that God is redeeming men and women and the creation itself, a process that will culminate in the arrival of Jesus at the end of the age when he raises the dead, thereby overthrowing death once and for all, and ushers in the “New Heavens and the New Earth.”

During her sojourn in the wilderness, Israel carried the “Tent of Meeting” wherever she went. It was the place where Yahweh met His people through their priestly representatives, the temporary dwelling place of His presence on Earth, although access to it was limited.

Beach Sunrise - Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash
[Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash]

Only Moses on one occasion was granted the favor of beholding the Glory of God, but he only saw His “
backside.” Full exposure to the Divine Glory would have ended the Great Lawgiver’s life then and there - (Exodus 33:17-23, 34:1-6).

The Tabernacle was a temporary structure, and its various functions foreshadowed the Greater Tabernacle to come. Moreover, as the Gospel of John confirms, the true and permanent “Tabernacle” was none other than Jesus of Nazareth, the “Word become flesh.”

Moreover, John applies the verbal form of the Greek word for “tent” to the life of Jesus. In His Son, God began (and continues) to “tabernacle” with His covenant people – (John 1:14).

In this same Jesus, all believers behold the Glory of the one true God and experience His presence. Access to Him is no longer confined to the Temple in Jerusalem, the Tabernacle in the wilderness, or the Levitical High Priest, nor is it limited to the geographic boundaries of the land of Canaan or the city of Jerusalem– (John 1:14).

Both the ancient Tabernacle and the Jerusalem Temple were “types and shadows” of the greater reality that is found only in Jesus. In Him, the Father is revealed, and apart from him, there is no accurate knowledge of God.

The Son now “sits” in the very presence of God where he intercedes continually for his “brethren” as their faithful High Priest, having “achieved the purification of their sins” through his “one for all” sacrifice – (Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:14-18, 8:1-6, 10:12).

Thus, every man and woman who believes the words of Jesus “will see the glory of God.” The Son of God is the “way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to the Father except through him” – (John 11:40, 14:6).

The Father can only be known in His Son. Anyone who knows Jesus has seen the Father and His Glory. The man who beholds the Nazarene “beholds Him who sent me.” No one can experience the presence and knowledge of God apart from the “word made flesh.” He is the only place where the Divine “Glory” is manifested openly – (John 12:45, 17:24).

Norway Sunshine - Photo by Jonas Allert on Unsplash
[Photo by Jonas Allert on Unsplash]

When Philip asked Christ to reveal the Father, the Messiah of Israel responded: “
He who has seen me has seen the Father!” As he declared earlier, he “that believes on me believes not on me, BUT ON HIM WHO SENT ME”– (John 2:44, 14:7-9).

In Jesus of Nazareth, the Divine Glory is revealed both now and forevermore. He is the ultimate expression of the Living and Life-Giving God. Moreover, though the Gospel of John maintains the distinction between Father and Son, they speak and act as one. Jesus only declares the words that he first hears from his Father, and the Glory that he manifests is the Father’s Glory.



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