Sunday 02 May 2010

Bible Book:

"When he had gone out, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.'" (v.31)

John 13:31-35 Sunday 2 May 2010


The setting for this passage is a supper just before Passover,one of the holiest festivals in the Jewish calendar. Jesus and hisdisciples were gathered for a meal and Jesus got up to wash thedisciples' feet. This was an act normally performed by the lowliestof household servants - the 1st century equivalent of cleaning thetoilets. It was an act of humility, not an act of glory.

The "he" who had just left the room was Judas Iscariot, sent awayby Jesus who told him "Do quickly what you are going to do" (verse27). And so Judas left in order to hand Jesus over to the peoplewho wanted to see him receive the most humiliating form of capitalpunishment of the time - crucifixion.

In the way the writer of the Gospel of John tells the story, Jesusknew that on this particular night he was going to be handed overto his enemies. Today's reading is viewed by some as the beginningof 'The Farewell Discourse', a four-chapter section unique toJohn's Gospel where Jesus says goodbye to the disciples and givesthem his final teaching. A lot of this was difficult for thedisciples to understand and it can be difficult for contemporaryreaders too.

Jesus knew that he was about to be handed over to the authoritiesfor crucifixion and yet he is talking about being "glorified". Butno glorious leader who had several hours' notice of a lynch-mob'sarrival would have eaten tea, cleaned toilets and then walkedwillingly to his death. This kind of 'glory' makes no sense in theusual definition of the word.

To Ponder

If someone asked you "What is the glory of God?"what would your answer be?

What do you think Jesus meant when he said "Nowthe Son of Man has been glorified"? If you are a Christian, can youcommunicate your answer without using Christian 'jargon'?

How do you think it might be possible for aperson to be glorified in death?

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