"If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the One who glorifies me. Though you do not know Him, I know Him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." (John 8:54-56)

Jesus is responding to further offensive and accusatory remarks by the Jewish priests: Among other offensive language, they said:
"Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" (John 8:52-53)
With his response, Jesus again clarifies that he is not representing himself. He is representing the Supreme Being. He is representing the God who these Jews are supposedly worshiping but are not. Rather, Jesus is concurring that he is representing the same God that Abraham worshiped and represented.

When Jesus says that God is “the One who glorifies me” he is speaking of the confidential loving relationship that exists between the loving servant of God and the Supreme Being. As the loving servant of God is dedicated to glorifying God and not himself, God seeks to glorify His loving servant. This may not be taking place in view of society or people. It may even be that God might be allowing His loving servant to be ridiculed by people, as Jesus was seemingly in front of these Jewish temple officials. But God only does this because He has an ultimate plan, one that far outreaches our puny perspective of things.

As an example, consider whether these Jewish pharisees had any concept of just how empowering Jesus' teachings would become, even after 2,000 years? Did they realize that while they were ridiculing Jesus, people 2,000 years later would be ridiculing their short-sightedness? Likely not.

This is how the Supreme Being has glorified Jesus. 2,000 years later, people are still quoting what he said, and even debating about who he was. Now that is glory.

Why does this happen? The relationship between the Supreme Being and His loving servant runs deep. Because of this relationship, the loving servant is delivering a powerful message from God. This message is powerful because it is the Truth. And God's Truth is heavy. Truth is not of this temporary physical world. Truth is spiritual in essence, and comes from the Supreme Being.

For this reason, when we truly hear the Truth with humility, we can experience realization. When we hear Truth from God's representative with respect and humility, and we act to please such a representative of God, we realize not just with our ears and minds: We realize with our hearts and our actions. As we put the messages of God's representative into action — and apply them — we begin to experience the relationship that God's loving servant feels for God. That is Truth.

This is the meaning of Jesus' statement above about Abraham. It is not as if there was some magical prophetic prediction of Jesus by Abraham. Certainly Abraham, through his relationship with God may have become aware of Jesus' future appearance, but this is not what Jesus is referring to here. Jesus is referring to the fact that Jesus knows that what he is doing in his service to God is pleasing to Abraham, because Abraham also loves God, and Abraham is alive in the spiritual world. Jesus knows that Abraham is pleased with Jesus' teachings and the sacrifices Jesus is making to deliver God's message to these wayward Jews.

This is evidenced by Jesus saying, "he saw it and was glad." Why was Abraham glad? Abraham was pleased that Jesus was acting in a way that is pleasing to God.

Such is the nature of loving servants of the Supreme Being. They are not envious of each other's efforts to please the Supreme Being as displayed by these Jewish priests: Rather, God's loving servants are pleased when they see someone else pleasing God because they love the Supreme Being and want to see Him pleased.

And the interpretation that ἐμήν καὶ εἶδεν καὶ ἐχάρη must refer to Abraham's "seeing" in the past and being "glad" in the past was assumed in the course of translation from Aramaic. In reality, Jesus knows that Abraham is still alive in the spiritual world. And that is why Abraham can see what Jesus is doing and be glad. It is the translators' lack of faith in the spiritual dimension and their lack of understanding regarding the spirit-person that produced this inference about Abraham seeing Jesus and being glad thousands of years before.

Consider for a moment Abraham's special relationship with God:
Then the LORD said, "Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just...." (Genesis 18:16-19)
Does this statement ring any bells? “For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD.” This approach to the Supreme Being was also displayed by Jesus:
"My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will." (Matt. 26:39)
What is common between God's statement about Abraham and Jesus' statement? Both are intent on doing God's will. They are both focused upon doing what pleases God. What does this mean? It means both Abraham and Jesus loved God, just as Jesus and Moses instructed:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38 and Deut. 6:4)
We can also see Abraham's focus on worshiping and loving God in this verse:
"Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the Name of the LORD, the Eternal God. And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for a long time." (Gen. 21:33-34)
This verse describing Abraham is consistent with Jesus' statement above. Jesus didn't glorify himself. He glorified God. Just as Abraham did, as we see from the above verse. To "call upon the Name of the Lord, the Eternal God" means to glorify the Supreme Being. And glorifying God by calling His Names is the means for re-establishing our lost loving relationship with Him.


(For a more appropriate translation of Jesus' statement, see the Devotional Translation of the Gospel of John Chapter Eight - translated from the original Greek texts without ecclesiastical sectarian influence.)