Father, Glorify Your Name
“‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’ The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.’ Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.”
- John 12:27-33
Knowing that his time was drawing near, Jesus acknowledged that he was troubled. The way before him would not be the easy way. Yet Jesus accepted the calling on his life and surrendered fully to what was to come. As opposed to whining, complaining, or embracing fear, Jesus modelled the Christian response to hardship: “Father, glorify your name”
(verse 28). Personally, I would have been asking for a Plan B. Jesus didn’t seek his comfort; Jesus sought God’s glory.
Following this brief and pointed prayer of Jesus came a voice from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again”
(verse 28). For the third time, the voice of the Father affirms the Son. The Lord spoke at the baptism of Jesus, the transfiguration, and now as Jesus prepares himself to walk the road to Gethsemane. Jesus never doubted his identity or his calling; he didn’t need the Father’s voice to affirm him. Jesus heard the Father’s voice constantly in his times of prayer. However, those who were present were the ones who needed to hear the voice of the heavenly Father.
All throughout the ministry of Jesus, there were those who were willing and able to see and believe, and then there were those who would not receive his words of truth. This time was no different. There were those present who claimed the voice was the sound of thunder and others who said an angel spoke to Jesus. They downplayed the miracle and missed the significance of the words of God. Jesus was the glory of the Father just as the Father was the glory of Jesus. Jesus and the Father were one.
Jesus took no offense at their unbelief though he spoke the hard truth that judgment was here. To reject the Son was to reject the Father. A person can belong to this world and the ruler of this world (Satan), or a person can belong to the kingdom of heaven and to the Lord. There were two clear options – the world/Satan or the kingdom of heaven/God. Jesus allowed the people to wrestle with this judgment and their allegiance.
As for Jesus, he was set on the will of his Father. The way ahead was certain, and that way was the cross. Jesus knew that in being lifted up on the cross, the barriers between God and people would be broken. The blood of Jesus made the way for all to become children of God. In fact, the kingdom of God expanded from focusing on the nation of Israel to all nations and all people. All were invited to look upon the crucified Savior and to find life through his atoning death. Reflection:
Are you willing to pray the prayer of Jesus: “Father, glorify your name” in your life, in your challenges, and in your good times?