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“Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved Me before the creation of the world.”

The answer to this part of the prayer of Jesus in John 17 was to have been on the Mount of Transfiguration on resurrection morning… which was one reason why they were to meet Him in Galilee. For until one sees and understands the glory of God, a person does not know the price of that glory, the price God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – paid for glory.

Be reminded, dear reader, that Jesus said to John’s disciples, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard…” This command would set in place and define for all times the behaviour of all witnesses that they be one and ones who would report what they have seen and heard. They are to be eyewitnesses as well as witnesses who have heard the message. That is one reason why Jesus did not come just preaching a message, but performed signs, wonders and miracles in such multitude that John the Beloved testified: Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. A high multitude of healings, miracles and deliverances that are mentioned in the Gospels beyond the seven written in John’s gospel. It remains an enigmatic mystery that the only writer who was an eyewitness of the transfiguration left out the transfiguration in his gospel, but wrote down for us Jesus’ seven miracles only.

Jesus was not and is not satisfied with telling us about His glory, but as He clearly stated and prayed, He wanted us to see it, giving mention of this request at the end of His prayer to the Father in the third verse from the end… just as He defined what eternal life truly is in the third verse from the beginning… “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” An eternal life that is meant to begin with seeing the glory of God… rather than hearing and imagining the glory of God and fantasying as to what it might be.

It is therefore no coincidence but a confirmation of this divine plan of God, that His witnesses are to be those who have seen and heard rather than just those who have heard of His glory, so that we have Jesus Christ displaying His glory with His first miracle at the wedding at Cana before He even started His preaching ministry. As John the Beloved wrote for us in his testimony: This, the first of His miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples put their faith in Him. If the minute revelation of His glory helped the disciples to put their faith in Him, what would the full exposition of His glory do for those who become His brothers and sisters, who themselves would one day be the kings and lords of the Kingdom of God, turning it into an empire?

The revelation of the Father through Jesus Christ to those who are His disciples remains incomplete unless that revelation is taken to those who having believed, having been discipled, have served and befriended Jesus, have then also chosen to take up His invitation to be His brothers and sisters. Surely the revelation of God the Father does not attain full fruition unless that revelation is to His sons and daughters. The revelation of the Father to those who are merely subjects, servants and friends, although nice, is wasted. The revelation of the fullness of the character and personage of any father finds true satisfaction when it is revealed to his children and especially to the mature… those who are sons and daughters. Any father, every father, finds the greatest satisfaction when his grown up sons and daughters understand and appreciate the fullness of his labour and sacrifice to give them the life he has dreamt of for them.

If God can say to disobedient Israel, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future,” then what do you think God the Father who is, according to Jesus, the only good Person… what do you think God the Father has planned for His sons and daughters who believe Him, obey Him, serve Him, love Him and above all else understand and appreciate Him?

That is why God told Peter, James and John to listen to Jesus, the only begotten Son, for no one else believes, obeys, serves, loves, understands and appreciates God as much as the Man, Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God and the Son of Man. In the same way then, being the Son of Man, no one believes, knows, serves, loves, understands and appreciates man the way Jesus does. For Jesus alone and only Jesus can reveal to us the side of the Father that can inspire His brothers and sisters to believe, obey, serve, love, understand and appreciate Him as He, Jesus, does. And at the core of this relationship, which is defined by faith, obedience, servitude, love, understanding and appreciation, is the glory of God and the true price of that glory.

If the glory of God came without a price, then it is cheap glory and we can rightly say, “What glory?” for after all He is God and He does whatever He pleases; a sentiment expressed again and again by Job in his discourses until God spoke to him. When God revealed to Job the grandeur and magnificence of creation, what was it that made Job say, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes”? Surely Job was confronted with the bigness of God, but more than the bigness and the power… in the midst of all that God was showing Job… this one verse should make us all despise ourselves and repent in dust and ashes: “Would you discredit My justice?” For even as God was speaking to Job… and that is all we are told, what God said to Job… God was also showing Job not only the magnificence of creation, but the price God paid for creation. That is why Job said, “My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You. Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

We know through Jesus that He is not the One seeking glory… but there is Another who seeks the glory… “I am not seeking glory for Myself; but there is One who seeks it, and He is the Judge. I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death.” So who is this One who seeks the glory? The Father who gave His glory to Jesus? The Spirit who will bring glory to Jesus by taking from what is Jesus’ and making it known to us?

The seeking of glory is not new to us at all. Kings seek glory; athletes seek glory; all men seek glory; and all who have sought glory know well there is a price to be paid for that glory. So the question is: What price did God have to pay for His glory? To understand the price, you must come to know what is glory in God’s eyes. Not as what men define as glory of fame, fortune, reputation, pride and self-exaltation, but as Jesus revealed to us at Cana and at Lazarus’ graveside. Glory to God is the nature changing power of love… agape love. It changes water to good wine, lack to abundance, disrepute (scorn) to praise, death to life, mourning to joy, and unbelief to faith every time it is revealed.

So what would the eleven and the women have seen on the Mount of Transfiguration had they gone there on resurrection morning as once more the cloud enveloped them and they all heard the voice of God speaking to them in the light of the resurrected Christ?

As it was for Moses on his 40 days atop Mount Sinai, so it would have been for the eleven and the women. It would be a time of receiving the laws of the Kingdom of God. This time not written on tablets of stones, but as God had said… written on their hearts by the same finger of God that wrote in stone for Moses… the Spirit of God. For Jesus said in Matthew 12.28, “But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you,” but in Luke 11.20 He said, “But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the Kingdom of God has come to you.” So then clearly the Spirit and the finger of God are one and the same… the same finger that Moses mentioned: The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. For God did say, “I will put My law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people,” speaking of the house of Israel. This prophecy was to have been fulfilled in its entirety on the 40 days on the top of the Mount of Transfiguration as the eleven Jewish men and the Jewish women would see for themselves the laws of the Kingdom of God and hear from themselves the price of that law and its glory.

Yes, they would have seen the Kingdom of God in all its glory as Job heard of all the magnificence of the creation, but they would have also heard the secret of the Kingdom of God in its full reality just as Job saw the cost of creation for God who is Justice.

The eleven only heard Jesus continue to speak to them of the Kingdom of God during the 40 days they stayed away from that mountain. They did not see for themselves what Jesus was trying to tell them. At least John’s disciples could report to John what they had seen and heard. The eleven could only report to us what they had heard, and as the library testifies, there is a silence from the eleven about the Kingdom of God that is deafening. A silence that is disguised by the cacophony of prayer meetings, preaching, council meetings and arguments. The silence is not in the lack of words, but the lack of sight… for it is the picture that paints a thousand words. They had only heard and had not seen as Job had heard and seen, so the eleven never came to despise themselves as Paul did. Paul who called himself a wretch as he discoursed on his own sinfulness in Romans 7… but yet, having seen what he had seen in the third Heavens of the glory of God, which is not lawful or permitted for men to tell… he was able to assure us, writing: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the Law of the Spirit of Life set me free from the Law of Sin and Death.

For what Paul saw that was not permitted for him to tell is revealed to us that we may shout it from the top of roofs, for as Jesus said to the twelve when He first sent them out to preach the Kingdom of Heaven, “What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs,” so it is now for us. For who can reveal to us what God intended for the eleven that morning except the Spirit of God, that same Person who spoke to Elijah in a gentle whisper after He vented His anger in a rock shattering wind, earthquake and fire. It is the Holy Spirit who whispers to us that which He will shout from the top of roofs, even from the roof of God’s temple. For what no eyes have seen, no ears have heard and no mind conceived has been made known by the Spirit to those He has elected, who are from those Jesus chose from those the Father has called.

And what is this that all can see if only they listen? For the command is “Listen to Him!” not “Watch Him and see.” Indeed, as Job saw something that made him despise himself and repent in ashes and dust for his words without knowledge, so all who listen intently to Jesus will see the glory of God, but not only the glory of God, but the price of that glory, which will put the law into our minds forever as a vision burnt into our eyes and the fiery finger of God would forever ignite our hearts with love and love most agape.

For when a man misses his appointed time to behold the glory of God, he can only offer phileo love when agape love is being asked for. No man, not even an apostle, can answer the Lord when He asks, “…do you truly love [agape] Me more than these?” if they have not developed the reflex of listening with all intent of faith, obedience, servitude, agape, understanding and appreciation. Anyone who is still distracted with self-righteousness, self-exultation and lacking in courage to openly confess and repent will always offer the lesser when asked for the greater.

For the Lord Jesus Himself is not here to exalt Himself… that is not why He wanted the disciples to see His glory, the glory He had been given by the Father, but rather, He wanted us to see the price God paid for the glory He had received… which we have received.

For who was there that day when the love of God changed the very nature of God… when God, the Giver of life became the Giver of death when He slew that lamb for its skin to cover the nakedness of His image, man. As it is written: The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. To make garments of skin, animals have to die. Death had to come and that by God’s own hands. The glory of God is that love changed His nature from One who gave life to One who now also brought death. God who had never given death but only life now brought death. God who being Himself eternal and immortal, who up until now had only ever given life and life abundantly to all His creatures and creation, now killed the lamb that was never meant to die, all for the sake of His love for man. The immortality of angels, cherubs and seraphims are testimonies of God who gives life without death, but now… on that day, God the Giver of all life is God who brought death. And who was there to witness this… but the Son of God, the Word, and the Spirit. The nature changing power of God’s love brought Him glory… glory of a price mere words are an insult to describe… but nevertheless, these are the words that can begin to describe the price God paid for His glory…

For it is to God’s glory that His love for us and all creation changed Him who is the Giver of life to the Bringer of death; it changed Him who is without sin to be sin that we might be the righteousness of God as He hung on a cross; and it changed Him who is the Holy Spirit to be the Spirit common to all men and women as He was poured out upon all flesh. God’s glory… it comes with a price, a price paid by God and appreciated by few, for who really understands what it is to be the Giver of life who brings death, the One who is without sin to become the Sin Offering, hung from a tree made by men, and the One who is Holy to become the One who is common?

It is when you can see the price of God’s glory in these words you hear now that your heart’s circumcision is finished and your mind’s renewal is complete so that your zeal for His house and His kingdom is that of an only son for the Father who alone is good.

Therefore, consider what God wanted to show the eleven and the thirteenth apostle… then consider your privilege and your responsibility, for to those who have been given much, much is demanded.

But who can say anything is being demanded of them in the sight of hearing what has been given them? So let us join with Job, God’s champion, and repent in dust and ashes… becoming the very dust and ashes of the Mount of Olives upon which our King, the King of God’s glory, will put His feet.

So then, before you see what the Kingdom of God has in store for you, understand and appreciate the price paid for its glory that adorns you.

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