How does one achieve glory? Humans think glory means to exalt self above others, and so people have tried to find a way to become the most exalted on earth.
Many used politics to find a route to glory by becoming a ruler. Others accumulated wealth as a way to find themselves exalted and enshrined in memory. Others have simply dominated others in an attempt to gain it. All of them have failed because they never understood what glory is.
The Lord defined glory, though it is unlikely his disciples understood what he was trying to show them. He simply took a towel and began washing their feet (John 13:5, 14). Jesus defined glory by showing it is serving God and others.
In John 17, Jesus dramatically showed us this definition of the word as he prayed to his father.
He said he had glorified his Father by fulfilling the work God gave him to do (John 17:4). The road to glory is obedience, and Jesus exemplified the meaning. There was one more act Jesus must perform, however, to glorify God. He knew what that last act of obedience was — his death on the cross.
As Jesus prayed for his disciples, he said, “But now I am coming to you, and I am saying these things in the world so they may experience my joy completed in themselves” (John 17:13). Jesus was talking about his death. It was glorious because it was his last act of obedience to the Father and the capstone of everything God wanted.
Most people don’t often think of death as a means to glory. Most of us would do almost anything to avoid death. But if death was what God wanted and needed from us, would we do it in obedience to his will?
Jesus humbled himself and became mortal (Philippians 2:5-7). He emptied himself of immortality so that he could teach us the truth and lead us to understand the importance of obedience to God. His lessons were capped with the seeming finality of the cross so that he might save us through his death (Romans 5:6-11). The loss of his life became the beginning of our receiving eternal life provided we will obey the gospel and live for Jesus.
Is this your life? Jesus wants to share his glory with you provided you will obey him. Do that today!