My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

28 August 2007

Jesus Glorified

Luke says that when Jesus returned to Galilee and began teaching in the synagogues, he was "glorified by all" (4:15). But then they tried to kill him. What gives?

Turns out Jesus' so-called glorification was the same type of glory he suffers from so many of us. We appreciate Jesus as a great teacher, we admire Jesus as an upright person, we even adorn him by saying nice things about him. And so we think we've glorified him. But the real test is when the devastation of the gospel comes home: when Jesus claims to have fulfilled all Scripture, when he points out our sin, when he claims divinity - this is when the world tries to push him off the cliff.

Thus as we seek to glorify our Savior, we must not settle for the "glory" this world gives him. We cannot be silent when people seek to relegate him to the category of Ghandi and Confucius and any other admirable religious-type folk they can remember. Jesus doesn't let himself be "admired" and we shouldn't either, whether in our hearts or in the minds and lives of our neighbors. You either worship him or you hate him. Any middle ground is pure fantasy.

p.s. - One possible reading of Luke 4:14-15 is that Jesus was glorified in the greater area of Galilee, but not in Nazareth. The problems with this are (1) the people's initial reaction to Jesus in Nazareth was one of supposed "glory" as well and (2) the people of Galilee didn't uniformly exalt Jesus as Lord in their hearts.

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