Jesus Came To Glorify The Father | Advent
There is no question that Jesus came to glorify the Father. John 12 and John 17 make this purpose abundantly clear. But, why? And—how does that work? God the Father and God the Son (Jesus) purposed together to redeem the lost (us) — and glorify the Father’s name.
Let’s study what Scripture teaches.
Bible Reading: John 12:27-36 & John 17
“‘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.’ …. (Jesus) ‘The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light…'” (John 12:27–36)
“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me…'” (John 17:1–8)
Read: John 12:27–36; 17:1-26
Why Did Jesus Glorify the Father?
The simple truth is that the birth of Christ is all about God’s glory.
Yes, Jesus came to be a servant and our Deliverer. But, the Advent of Jesus is most ultimately about the glory of God! God’s plan is for His own glory to be made manifest throughout the universe so that we can find fulfillment in Him alone, worshipping His glory eternally. The Advent of Christ, the birth of Jesus in a manger, was an integral part of our Lord’s mission.
The Gospel of John is a magnificent account of Jesus’ life — fully inspired by the Holy Spirit to give us a greater understanding of Christ as the eternal Son of God. John’s gospel leaves no doubt that Jesus is very God and very man—the promised arrival of God himself who was coming to redeem mankind.
How Did Jesus Glorify the Father?
These passages in John 12 and John 17 both refer to the coming Crucifixion.
Everything about Advent points to the Crucifixion, and the Crucifixion points to the Resurrection.
The birth of Christ is about God’s glory, because the death of Christ is about God’s glory. His perfect obedience was the only acceptable sacrifice that could atone for our sins. Christ’s perfect submission to God the Father was the permanent sacrifice that amplified the eternal glory of our trinitarian God.
Jesus came to glorify the Father in life and in death. His life pointed people to the Heavenly Father with every breath, every step, and every miracle. In the glorious mystery of the Trinity, God the Son is joyfully obedient to God the Father and glorifies His name: “…for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name” (John 12:27). Then, Jesus urged the crowd to “believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (John 12:36).
Jesus, the light of the world, is simultaneously glorified with the Father. In John 10:30, Christ already revealed: “I and the Father are one.”
When the Son is exalted and honored, the Father is honored as well, because the Father and the Son are one.R.C. Sproul
The High Priestly Prayer
John 17 contains the High Priestly Prayer, Jesus’ prayer over the disciples the night before His crucifixion. On the night before His torture and death, His highest concern was for the Father’s glory and the Church’s unity. Read over this chapter several times this week and let the richness of Christ’s love transform your heart! Christ provided the world with the words of eternal life, thereby glorifying the Father and sealing the faith of those who believe. Notice the fervent prayer the Lord Jesus prays for us, the Church. His desire is for us to experience the same unity with one another (and with the Father) that He has with the Father.
The Advent of Christ is for our good, the Church’s unity, and God’s glory!
After the Resurrection, Jesus found the Apostles hiding in a locked room, afraid for their lives. Jesus responds with a loving command that is filled with all the authority of the Son of God. The One who has “authority over all flesh” (John 17:2) has sent His people with the power to go, make disciples, and bring glory to the Father.
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)
How Should We Respond?
- Have you trusted in Jesus, the Light of the World (John 8:12-18)? If so, then you are now a son or daughter of the Light—a child of God! If not, then read over Jesus’ prayer in John 17 and think about what in your heart stops you from trusting Jesus completely and turning away from your sin.
- Whenever you read the gospel accounts, pay attention to mentions of the Trinity. There are several places in Scripture that we read of Jesus praying to the Father, ministering in the Spirit, and glorifying the Father. God reveals His character and nature through all three persons of the Trinity (Father, Spirit, Son). Don’t miss the beauty of the mystery!
- Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus prayed for you! Whatever struggle you’re in right now, whatever sin you are fighting against—know that Jesus is God in the flesh. He has authority over all, and He sits on His throne as your mediator. He has conquered the sting of death for all who are His.
“Lord Jesus, you are the Messiah, the king of Israel. All nations will come and bow down before you. God wields the world to see that you are worshiped. Therefore, whatever opposition I may find, I joyfully ascribe authority and dignity to you and bring my gifts to say that you alone can satisfy my heart, not these.”John Piper
Family Discipleship Time
Questions for Discussion – Jesus Came to Glorify the Father
- Was Jesus angry or upset that the Father sent Him to earth to rescue us? (No, Jesus came joyfully so that we could see the wonderful glory of God and that one day we can be with Him in Heaven.)
- This was the night before Jesus died on the cross, and Jesus knew that. Is this what most people would pray about on such a sad and scary day? (No, our natural instinct is to protect ourselves and ask God to keep us safe. But Jesus loved us so perfectly that He prayed for us to understand and love God’s Word so that we can be saved by the message of Truth. John 14:6 shows us that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is our way to the Father!)
- What does it mean for us (Christians) to “be one”? (Jesus prayed that all Christians, spiritual brothers and sisters, would love and care for one another in perfect unity. Just like Jesus and God the Father have a perfect relationship, with no barriers between them, Jesus desires the same thing for all Christians. After we are connected to Jesus with a new heart, He connects and reconciles us to our new brothers and sisters in the family of God.)
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me…I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Free Advent Bible Study (2023)
Let’s stand back and marvel at God’s grace and sovereignty, and focus on God this Christmas. May we join with the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).
Join this 25-day Advent journey as we worship Christ and celebrate his coming.
John Ragon is Snowbird’s website manager. He lives in Western NC with his wife and six amazing kids, and began serving at Snowbird in 2009 after graduating from Union University.
Subscribe To Our Newsletter
Get resources, podcast episodes, and SWO updates sent directly to your inbox.