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As my heart has so often cried out to the Father: “Show us Your Glory, Lord!” … I hear the voice of my Father: “Look to Jesus for in Him you will find the fulness of My Glory!”
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Not Quite a Cosmic Spectacle

Have you ever found yourself praying words without really understanding what you’re saying? I believe we all have repeated what we’ve heard others pray from time to time without taking the time to really grasp exactly what we’re saying. But, before I go further, please be forewarned that my comments may also challenge your own commonly used prayer. I’m not saying we are praying wrong or amiss, but I believe we may have something to learn about a yearning in our hearts that we put into words during our seasons of deep, heart-rending prayer. Let me give you a little background about our prayer: “Show Us Your Glory, Lord!”

My understanding was challenged just a few days after Christmas while thinking about the popular and traditional carols being sung about the proclamations of the Heavenly Host: “Glory to God in the highest!” While those words continued to ring in my heart, I happened upon the first chapter of John and suddenly began to wonder what the Heavenly Host was really saying. Were they giving glory to the Father? Or, were they declaring the Glory of the Father now seen as a newborn Babe — God in the flesh having transcended the veil between the unseen and seen realms. This had never happened before in all of history. Suddenly, the prophecies of old began to make sense as the Host of Heaven looked on in wonderment and amazement. There! A human woman brought forth the Glory of God in the form of a tiny child who would grow to show increasing glory as he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God (the Father) and man (Luke 2:52)..

Neither Greek philosophers nor Jewish teachers at the time could conceive of the Word (the Torah) becoming flesh. Since the time of Plato, Greek philosophers had emphasized that the ideal was what was invisible and eternal; most Jews so heavily emphasized that a human being could not become a god that they never considered that God might become human.

But, it happened as inspired by the Spirit of God and explained by John … read carefully and capture every word, every phrase, every sentence. There’s truly more than meets the eye…

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (John 1:14-18)

Now look at the comparison between Exodus 33-34 and John 1:14-18 … remember that the devout Jews at the time would quickly link John’s words with the Torah. We’re invited to think carefully (deeply) about the connection between the Glory of God as revealed to Moses and the Glory of God revealed in the form of the Word made flesh

The Heavenly Host not only glorified God, but they recognized, affirmed and declared the Glory of God was now seen in a new tabernacle, not one made by the hands of man, but one divinely and miraculously crafted by the Father’s own Hand to take the form of a tiny Babe now appearing in the flesh. Jesus … the Glory of the Father, now once again dwelling among men.

The Jewish people were expecting God to reveal His glory in something like a cosmic spectacle like fireworks. They were thinking about Moses’ experience with God and the burning bush, about the tabernacle, the Red Sea parting, the miracles of the Exodus, etc. (Exodus 33-34). They were looking for a miracle that totally defied nature or anything a man’s imagination could conceive. In His appearing, however, Jesus revealed the Glory of the Father and same side of God’s character that was emphasized to Moses … His covenant love full of grace and truth.

Grace and truth were clearly present in the law (Ex 34:6), but Moses could not witness their fulness because he could see only part of God’s glory (Ex 33:20–23). Their ultimate expression would come in the Word/Torah made flesh (John 1:18).

There’s so much more I could share. But as the Word began to open up to me … as my heart has so often cried out to the Father: “Show us Your Glory, Lord!” … I hear the voice of my Father: “Look to Jesus for in Him you will find the fulness of My Glory!”

To all of us who long to see His Glory, just know that His Glory has appeared in the Word made flesh. Jesus, the Glory of the Father … we need look no further.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20)

1 Keener, C. S. (2014). The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Second Edition, p. 250). Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press.