Have You Seen His Glory? A Wrap Up of the book of John
John’s gospel is unique among the Gospels because it is different in its very nature. John helps us see the spiritual realities that transcend the events being reported on. When the eternal Logos of God became flesh, the “disciple whom Jesus loved” proclaimed, “We have seen his glory (1:14) While no person has ever seen God, the author says, ‘The only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (18)
Jesus told Philip “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (14:9). What does this mean?
As we have looked at the Gospel of John, certain statements point to spiritual realities about Jesus. The Logos made flesh is “the true light, which gives light to everyone” (1:9). So there is light as we know it, and there is “true light” that only Jesus brings. There is water that comes from Jacob’s well and the “living water” of the Holy Spirit that only Jesus can give. Unlike food that perishes,” Jesus is the “bread of life” and the “true bread from heaven” (chapter 6).
To His apostles, He explained He is the “true vine” and they are the branches (15). In each of these cases, the mundane reality of light, or bread or water or vine is only a reflection of the ultimate spiritual reality that is the glory of the incarnate Word.
Many analogies in this gospel help us see the glory of Jesus. In 1:51, Jesus told Nathanael that he would see the “angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man.” The language is the same of Genesis 28:12, where the angels of God are ascending to heaven and descending from heaven on Jacob’s ladder. When we see His glory, we realize Jesus is the ladder that enables God and man to connect with one another.
In John 2, Jesus saved the day at the wedding by changing the water into wine and providing what was needed to carry on the wedding feast. The master of the feast told the host that most people serve the better wine first and save the inferior wine until later in the feast, but he “kept the good wine until now” (2:10). Is there a spiritual message in those words? Is John trying to tell us that the law (the inferior wine) may have come through Moses, but grace and truth have finally come through Jesus the Christ? (1:17)
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about being born anew, He spoke of something spiritual. Nicodemus wondered how it could be possible to enter again into the womb and be born. Jesus countered with “That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (3:6) Those who receive Jesus are “children of God” (1:12) or “born again” (3:3) or “born of water and the Spirit” (3:5). Jesus is the bringer of a new birth, which transcends physical birth and regenerates the soul of man.
Read with me in I John and read 2:29; 3:9; 4:7 and 5:1-2
When Jesus cleanses the temple, He said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews were confused and said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” John explains that Jesus was really speaking of “the temple of his body” (2:19-21). Only after the resurrection did His disciples remember this saying of Jesus. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” and the scripture ? Zeal for your house will consume me” (Psalm 69:9). What is the “temple of his body” that Jesus raised through the redemptive work of His death and resurrection? Does John refer here only to the resurrection of Jesus’ physical body or to the building of the new temple, His body, the church? When we “see his glory,” do we see Jesus as the destroyer of the old temple and the builder of a new one?” Certainly something spiritual is being said.
The woman at the well came to draw water. Jesus told her that if she knew His true identity she would ask Him and He would give her living water. The woman, marveling that Jesus would even speak to her remarked that He had no bucket to draw with. Jesus says, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:13-14) Only Jesus can give us the heavenly water that quiches the thirsty soul.
Read John 7:37-39
John has been concerned with two things in the Gospel of John. He is building our belief in Christ as the Son of God but also through a stronger faith in Christ to have a more abundant life.
John points us that as we draw closer to Christ in faith then our lives begin to be greatly blessed. He is the source of real life.
This gives us a good picture of better understanding who Jesus Christ really was and what was He offering us. He is saying that what He can do for you is something you should have.
In John 5, Jesus found a lame man beside the pool waiting with other hopeful sick people for the therapeutic value of the waters. Jesus asked the man a simple question, “Do you wish to be healed?” (5:6). The word translated healed means healthy as opposed to being sick. Throughout the passage this word is repeated in various phrases.
Who made you well? How did you get well? Jesus said to the man “See, you are well Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you. (5:14). Does this mean that all who are without Jesus are fundamentally and spiritually sick? Does it mean that only Jesus, the Great Physician, can truly heal one’s soul and make one well?
In John 6, Jesus fed the 5,000 men in the desert with five loaves and two fish. They pursued Him across the sea, seeking more bread. Jesus says, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give you.” (6:27) The He explained, “I am the bread of life, whoever come to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (35) Jesus is the “true bread from heaven. (32) We must keep coming to Jesus and trusting in Him to get the food that sustains the soul!
Jesus encountered a man blind from birth, having lived his entire life in darkness. Right before Jesus opened the man’s eyes, He said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. (9:5) When the man received his sight, the opponents of Jesus wanted to know who opened his eyes and how they were opened. The blind man told them that the man called Jesus made clay and put it on his eyes, and after he washed, he could see! Later the man said, ‘Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (9:25).
At the end of this account, Jesus explained, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” (9:39) All who are without Jesus are blind. They cannot see the world and life as they truly are. Only Jesus, the light of the world can open our eyes so that we can truly see things as they are.
John’s gospel speaks of life and death in terms of both shadow and spiritual reality. Jesus called dead Lazarus from the tomb. Dead Lazarus heard the voice of the Son of God when He called, “Lazarus, come out!”, and Lazarus come to life.
Earlier in the book, Jesus said, “An hour is coming and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live” (5:25) Jesus is the resurrection and the life. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, though he dies yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die” (11:25, 26). All who don’t have Jesus are dead. Only those who hear His words and believe in Him come to life. These people have “passed from death to life.” Even physical death cannot take their spiritual life away from them (5:24).
When Jesus hung on the cross, we are told that the Scripture was fulfilled that said, Not one of his bones will be broken” (19:36). That passage, however, is part of the cooking instructions for the Passover lamb. “It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones” (Exodus 12:46). The spiritual reality we see in the incarnate Word is that He is the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” John 1:29.
If we simply look at the bare facts of the events in the life of Jesus, then we never see His glory. Jesus is Jacob’s ladder, the bridge between heaven and earth. He is the good wine God has saved until now. Jesus is the destroyer of the old temple and the builder of the new. Jesus is the bringer of new birth.
He is the living water that quenches the thirsty soul. He is the only Physician who can truly make people well. Jesus is the true bread that satisfies the hunger of the soul.
Jesus is the light of the world that opens the eyes of all who are blind and frees them from stumbling through life in the darkness. Jesus calls the spiritually dead to life. He is the true vine to which the branches must be connected in order to bear fruit. He is the way to the Father’s house, the truth about everything, and the bringer of life. He is the Lamb of God who takes away our sin and the King of kings who rules us forever!
When you begin to see His glory, you will forever be changed.
John 20:30-31 “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Have you seen His Glory?