We see the fact that Jesus is God’s Son in the names that are given to Him. He said, “I am the Son of God” (10:36), “I am the good shepherd” (v. 11), “I am the door” (v. 9), “I am the bread of life” (6:35), and “I am the true vine” (15:1). His glory and deity were revealed in the miracles that He performed. Jesus’ first miracle is recorded in John 2; He went to the wedding feast and turned water into wine. John, led by the Holy Spirit, added this little note: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory” (v. 11). In His names and in His miracles we see the glory of God.
God the Father has told us plainly that Jesus is His Son. When our Lord was baptized in the River Jordan, God the Father spoke from heaven and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). On the Mount of Transfiguration God the Father spoke again and said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye [listen to] him” (17:5). Before our Lord went to the cross, God the Father spoke again from heaven to His Son (John 12:27-30).
Peter made a terrible mistake when He saw Christ’s glory. He said, “Let us make here three tabernacles [booths]; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Matt. 17:4). And while he was speaking, God the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, . . . hear ye him” (v. 5). Peter gave Jesus priority but not preeminence. He put Jesus first, but he also put Him on the same level with Moses and Elijah. Moses represented the Law; Elijah represented the prophets. But the Lord Jesus fulfilled the Law and the prophets. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1,2). Don’t make the mistake that Peter made. Don’t just give the Lord Jesus prominence, or priority; give Him preeminence. John emphasized the glory of the Son, for Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
There is a second truth to consider: Jesus reveals the glory of God. When our Lord Jesus was transfigured, He was not put into the spotlight where He reflected glory; He radiated glory! From the Greek word for “transfigured” comes our English word “metamorphosis.” If you have ever studied biology, you know that a metamorphosis is a change on the outside that comes from the inside. Satan is able to change, or transform, himself into an angel of light (II Cor. 11:13,14), but that is not the word that is used here. The word used concerning Satan in 2 Corinthians 11 could be translated “masquerade.” Whenever Satan changes, the outside changes but not the inside. Satan is a liar, a counterfeit. Our Lord’s transfiguration was a change on the outside that came from the inside. He was revealing God’s glory from within.
Have you ever traced the glory of God in the Bible? In the tabernacle God dwelt in great glory. The Israelites dedicated the tabernacle, and the glory of God moved in. Then Israel sinned, and 1 Samuel 4:21 records the name “I-cha-bod,” which means, “the glory has departed.” Then they built the temple, Solomon dedicated the temple, and the glory moved in (1 Kings 8). But the people sinned again. When you read the Book of Ezekiel, you find the prophet watching God’s glory leave the temple (8:1-4 9:1-4; 10:1-7, 18; 11:22-25). That glory did not return to earth until Jesus was born. The glory of God appeared in the Person of Jesus Christ. He reveals the glory of God. Jesus is the Son of God, and Jesus reveals the glory of God. The third truth is this: Jesus shares the glory of God. The Transfiguration would be only an event in history if it were not for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God came down at Pentecost and filled the believers, and today we share the glory of God.
One of my favorite passages in the Gospel of John is our Lord’s intercessory prayer in John 17. In it He mentioned the glory of God at least eight times. He opened His prayer with “Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee” (v. 1). Later on He prayed, “The glory which thou gavest me I have given them” (v. 22). You and I as Christians already share the glory of God because we have trusted in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. Do you know what this can mean in your life? It means that you can wash dishes to the glory of God, drive a truck to the glory of God, study for examinations to the glory of God, make visits to the glory of God, use your telephone to the glory of God. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” He shares His glory with us that we might glorify Him on this earth. The Apostle John remembered and recorded the glory of the Son. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Jesus Christ reveals the glory of God. Jesus Christ share the glory of God. Let’s permit that glory to shine through our lives that He might be glorified in us.
© 2005 Warren W. Wiersbe
© 1989 by The Good News Broadcasting Association, Inc. All rights reserved.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).