"Now is the son of man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in Himself, and will glorify him at once." (John 13:31-32)

Why is glorification so important to this event of Jesus being arrested and persecuted?

The word "glorified" is being translated from the Greek word δοξάζω (doxazō), which means in this context, according to the lexicon, "to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate" and "to honour, do honour to, hold in honour."

Let's break Jesus' statement down:

First Jesus is saying that from this event Jesus will be glorified (he refers to himself as "son of man" but this is a mistranslation - the Greek phrase υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου is better translated to "servant of humanity" - see this commentary for more info.)

Why will this event glorify Jesus? Because Jesus knows that his students and followers will see that Jesus has sacrificed his physical life in the service of God. This event will make Jesus glorious – not just in the opinion of humanity – but because he will be pleasing the Supreme Being. This is what glorifies Jesus.

Next Jesus says that "and God is glorified in him." Because Jesus' teachings were about God, God will be glorified when Jesus is glorified. Consider how even Jewish disciples described Jesus:
"Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth." (Matt. 22:16)
Because Jesus taught "the way of God", and because Jesus was ultimately executed because of his teachings, we can see clearly that Jesus' execution served to glorify or give honor to God.

Jesus' entire life and teachings were about glorifying God. Jesus frequently praised God in his teachings and prayers, and encouraged others to praise God:
"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name..." (Matt. 6:9)
"I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth...." (Matt. 11:25 and Luke 10:21)
"Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" (Luke 17:18)
"In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:16)
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (Matt. 26:30)
They were all filled with awe and praised God. (Luke 7:16)
When all the people saw it, they also praised God. (Luke 18:43)
Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. (Luke 13:13)
Simeon took him in his arms and praised God... (Luke 2:28)
And they praised the God of Israel. (Matt. 15:31)
This amazed everyone and they praised God... (Mark 2:12)
So we can see that giving praise to the Supreme Being - glorifying God and His Holy Name - was a central part of Jesus' teachings and his activities. His actions promoted praising God. His life was all about glorifying God. Why? Because Jesus loves God. When a person loves someone, they naturally want to praise and glorify them.

Jesus then says, "If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in Himself." He is saying that while Jesus' activities will serve to glorify (give praise to or honor) God, then God will also honor Jesus. The phrases "in him" and "in Himself" come from the Greek phrase ἐν αὐτῷ, which relates to pronoun inclusion - within himself or through himself. This would refer to being pleased with someone. To "honor within" oneself regarding another means not only to honor that person, but also to be pleased with that person.

In other words, Jesus is saying that while the event will serve to glorify and honor God, God will in turn be pleased, and glorify and honor Jesus.

This is what occurs within a relationship. Jesus and God are involved in a relationship.

As for those ecclesiastical sectarian teachers who have tried to interpret this to mean that Jesus was saying that he was the Supreme Being, there is no functional support for this. Jesus was obviously referring to someone other than himself. Glorifying someone else means that someone else exists.

Jesus finishes with: "and will glorify him at once". This simply indicates that Jesus knows that he will become not only immediately famous through his act of sacrifice, but will also be pleasing to the Supreme Being. Jesus' many followers and students, along with the general population in Jerusalem and God Himself, will all see just how committed Jesus was to his teachings. They will see that even though he had every chance to evade and escape execution he did not. They will see that even though Pilate offered him a way out by denying his teachings, Jesus stood by his teachings.

Today we often will honor those military veterans who were killed in action. Why? Because we recognize that they volunteered for the military and thus made a sacrifice: "They gave their life" will often be said. This is considered by society to be the highest honor, and it is celebrated with a badge of honor.

Jesus didn't sacrifice his physical body for his country or his people. He sacrificed his physical body for the One he loved: God. And by doing this, his sacrifice also serves all of humanity. Why is that? Is it because we can just accept that he "died for our sins"?

No. The event and motivation must be understood. We must understand why Jesus was willing to undergo the pain and suffering related to being tortured and hanged until his body died. We must come to understand his purpose and intention.

We must remember why the high priests were so upset about Jesus, and why they wanted him out of the way: Because of his teachings. Jesus was persecuted for his teachings. And what were his teachings? They praised and glorified the Supreme Being. So Jesus died on behalf of his relationship with the Supreme Being. His commitment to God and his love for God. And his love for all of humanity, because his teachings were intended to save humanity.

And it is through having a small glimpse of how important Jesus' teachings are, and how important the Supreme Being is to Jesus, that we can be saved.

How are we saved? Are we saved by having our sins cleansed? While having our sins cleansed might be a byproduct (and a selfish one if this is the intent) actual salvation is having our consciousness purified.

And how is our consciousness purified? Because by seeing how important Jesus' teachings are, and how important the Supreme Being is to Jesus, we are given a glimpse into the intimate relationship of love that exists between the Supreme Being and His loving servant. We are gaining access to the spiritual realm, and this can purify our consciousness.

The residents of the spiritual realm have so much love for the Supreme Being that they would do anything for Him. They love the Supreme Being so much they do not even recognize Him as God. They simply adore Him, and they exchange loving relationships with Him. They do not see Him as a vehicle for receiving benefits of salvation or anything else. They are simply His care-givers. They want nothing but to please Him.

A temporary physical body thus means nothing to a resident of the spiritual realm. In comparison, losing our physical body is of utmost importance to those of us who live our self-centered lives seeking our own satisfaction. But a resident of the spiritual realm lives only for the satisfaction of the Supreme Being. Everything else is meaningless. The death of the temporary physical body is like stepping out of a car after driving it around for awhile to the resident of the spiritual realm. It is considered only as a tool or vehicle to please God with.

Jesus used his physical body to teach, and then to show us how we can also become residents of the spiritual realm. And what did he teach?
"'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. 23:37-38)


(For a translation of The Gospels of Jesus  - translated from the original Greek texts.