Revelations from the Word

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The Son of Man must be glorified

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Jesus answered them: The hour has come when the Son of Man must be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, if the grain of wheat which has fallen into the ground does not die, it remains alone; but, if it dies, it bears much fruit… And when I have been lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself. In speaking thus, He was indicating by what means he was to die" (John 12:23-24, 32-33).

The hour had come for Jesus to be glorified, and He used the metaphor of the grain of wheat to teach His disciples about glory. As the grain of wheat dies to produce many ears and hundreds of grains, the Son of Man Himself must also die to multiply and bear much fruit. The glory of the grain of wheat is in its death for this is going to produce a lot of fruit. Likewise the glory of Jesus is in His death for this is going to give eternal life to a lot of souls.

The grain of wheat has probably not chosen the ground in which it has been sown, but it dies to produce fruit when the conditions become favourable. God the Father has chosen to send His Son, that is to say to sow Him on the earth, and Jesus Himself chose to die lifted up on the cross in order to draw all men to Himself (John 12:32-33). Therefore Jesus has been glorified by offering His life on the cross to overcome Satan and to bring salvation to all men.

Isaiah saw Jesus glorified, seated on the throne and seraphim proclaiming, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of Hosts! The whole earth is full of His glory!" (Isaiah 6:1-3, John 12:41). But because of his iniquity, Isaiah had to be purified by an angel before becoming God’s spokesman to announce the time of Jesus' Coming (Isaiah 6:9-13). We ourselves must be purified to announce "The good news of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Like Isaiah we can say, "Here I am, send me!", and Jesus said to the one who wants to serve Him (by proclaiming the Gospel), "Let him follow Me! And where I am, there also will My servant be; and if any one serves Me, the Father will honour him" (John 12:25-26). Jesus therefore asks us to take the same path as Him, that is to die to ourselves in order to be with Christ in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:4-7). And it is in this way that we will be like vessels of honour to proclaim the Good News of the Glory of Christ (2 Timothy 2:21)!