God glorifies Jesus in raising Him from the dead (John 13:32-33)

[32] This is a difficult verse. It is saying three things:

(1) God is glorified in Jesus, namely in his passion (suffering),

(2) God will glorify Jesus “in himself,” that is, give him a glory all his own, probably through validating Jesus’ identity and work by raising him from the dead but also by enthroning him in glory for eternity, and

(3) God will do all of this without delay. This is what Jesus is most focused on in this moment.

[33] This teaching is difficult so Jesus begins by reminding them of his affection for them before telling them what he had already told the Jews (7:34, 36; 8:21): He is leaving and they cannot come with him. One thing he said to the Jews that he does not say to them is that they will not find him. This is the only saying in John’s Gospel that is repeated three times in exactly the same way each time so it is significant. John likes to use expressions that have more than one meaning and this probably one. This could refer to Jesus’ death or his ascension and it may very well refer to both.

This is the core, the heart of Christian belief. A Christian, to be Christian, must believe that Jesus is risen from the dead. This resurrection was the God’s validation and stamp of approval on Jesus’ ministry. Because God raised Jesus from the dead, we know that Jesus’ claims are true.

This resurrection is also part of Jesus’ triumph and exaltation. This is why I think one of the most important verses in the Bible is Romans 1:4 which says of Jesus that he was “declared to be the Son of God with power by his resurrection from the dead.” This means that God has appointed the Son to a new position of Lord over all the earth.

The Psalmist sang the words of the Lord, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you” (Psalm 2:7) and “Sit here at my right hand till I may your enemies a footstool under your feet” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus has obeyed the Father (Phil. 2:6-11) and now “attains [by his resurrection] a new, exalted status as “Lord.” (Moo, Romans, 49).

He who was the Son of God for all eternity now becomes the Son of God “in power” able to save those who draw near to him (Heb. 7:25).

About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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