What was the 'work' that God gave Jesus to do?The word "Work" means service. The word "work" here is translated from the Greek word ἔργον (ergon). This, according to Thayer's lexicon, means "business, employment, that which any one is occupied;" and "that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking."
To work on behalf of someone else is to serve them. It means doing not what we want to do, but what someone else wants us to do. This is the difference between working and going on vacation. A person who is working is doing something that someone else wants them to do. If they did what they wanted to do, that would not be work.
The 'work' that Jesus was doing on behalf of God was teaching. Jesus was teaching his followers - and all of us - about the Supreme Being. He was teaching us how to love God.
Jesus is stating clearly that he was working on behalf of God in this effort. He was serving God. This means that his position was one of servant: Jesus is God's loving servant.
The difference between service and loving service is that loving service is done without any hopes for compensation or other return. If a person is expecting a return on their service that is not loving service - that is business.
Jesus was doing his service to God out of love. He was God's perfect loving servant. So while he was teaching us how to love God, he was also loving God. He was showing us how to do it, in order to save us.
How did Jesus bring God 'glory on earth'?"I have brought You glory on earth" is a clear testament that Jesus' purpose was to bring those who received his teachings closer to God. This included glorifying the Supreme Being.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
Why did Jesus teach that glorifying God is important?Jesus brought glory to God by praising Him. That is what he is doing when he taught his followers to pray:
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name..." (Matt. 6:9)Jesus' followers also recognized that Jesus praised God and glorified His Names:
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!" (Mark 11:9)Jesus was identified as someone "who comes in the Name of the Lord" because Jesus was preaching the glorification of God's Holy Names. Glorifying God was a major part of the teachings of the Prophets and teachers that came before Jesus:
At that time men [of the earth] began to call on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 4:26)
From there he [Abraham] went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 12:8)
...and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the Name of the LORD. (Genesis 13:4)
Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the Name of the LORD, the Eternal God. (Genesis 21:33)
Isaac built an altar there and called on the Name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well. (Genesis 26:25)
“You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name.” (Exodus 20:7)
“You shall not misuse the Name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses His Name.” (Deuteronomy 5:11)
“...he may minister in the Name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD.” (Deuteronomy 18:7)
“If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of Him.” (Deuteronomy 18:22)
“The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the Name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.” (Deuteronomy 21:5)
“Then all the peoples on earth will see that You are called by the Name of the LORD, and they will revere You.” (Deuteronomy 28:10)
“I will proclaim the Name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!” (Deuteronomy 32:3)
David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the Name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1 Samuel 17:45)
Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the Name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’” Then David left, and Jonathan went back to the town. (1 Samuel 20:42)
He and all his men set out from Baalah of Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the Name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim that are on the ark. (2 Samuel 6:2)
After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD Almighty. (2 Samuel 6:18)
The people, however, were still sacrificing at the high places, because a temple had not yet been built for the Name of the LORD. (1 Kings 3:2)
“You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the LORD his God until the LORD put his enemies under His feet.” (1 Kings 5:3)
“I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God, as the LORD told my father David, when He said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for My Name.’” (1 Kings 5:5)
“My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:17)
“The LORD has kept the promise he made: I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (1 Kings 8:20)
When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the Name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions. (1 Kings 10:1)
Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the Name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire – He is God.” Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” (1 Kings 18:24)
With the stones he built an altar in the Name of the LORD, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. (1 Kings 18:32)
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD?” (1 Kings 22:16)
He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the Name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. (2 Kings 2:24)
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the Name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:11)
“Sing to the LORD! Give praise to the LORD! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked.” (Jeremiah 20:13)
After David had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the Name of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 16:2)
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the Name of the LORD. (1 Chronicles 21:19)
David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God.” (1 Chronicles 22:7)
“Now devote your heart and soul to seeking the LORD your God. Begin to build the sanctuary of the LORD God, so that you may bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD and the sacred articles belonging to God into the temple that will be built for the Name of the LORD.” (1 Chronicles 22:19)
Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the LORD and a royal palace for himself. (2 Chronicles 2:1)
“Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the LORD my God and to dedicate it to Him for burning fragrant incense before Him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on Sabbaths and New Moons and at the appointed feasts of the LORD our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel.” (2 Chronicles 2:4)
“My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:7)
“The LORD has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the LORD promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel.” (2 Chronicles 6:10)
The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the Name of the LORD?” (2 Chronicles 18:15)
The other events of Manasseh’s reign, including his prayer to his God and the words the seers spoke to him in the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, are written in the annals of the kings of Israel. (2 Chronicles 33:18)
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the Name of the LORD be praised.” (Job 1:21)
“I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the Name of the LORD Most High.” (Psalm 7:17)
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the Name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7)
“The nations will revere the Name of the LORD, all the kings of the earth will revere Your glory.” (Psalm 102:15)
“So the Name of the LORD will be declared in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem.” (Psalm 102:21)
“Praise the LORD. Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 113:1)
“Let the Name of the LORD be praised, both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 113:2)
“From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the Name of the LORD is to be praised.” (Psalm 113:3)
“Then I called on the Name of the LORD: “O LORD, save me!” (Psalm 116:4)
“I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:13)
“I will sacrifice a thank offering to You and call on the Name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:17)
“That is where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to praise the Name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel.” (Psalm 122:4)
“Our help is in the Name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)
“May those who pass by not say, “The blessing of the LORD be upon you; we bless you in the Name of the LORD.”“ (Psalm 129:8)
“Praise the LORD. Praise the Name of the LORD; praise Him, you servants of the LORD” (Psalm 135:1)
“Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.” (Psalm 148:5)
“Let them praise the Name of the LORD, for His Name alone is exalted; His splendor is above the earth and the heavens.” (Psalm 148:13)
“The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
“At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers – the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.” (Isaiah 18:7)
“Therefore in the east give glory to the LORD; exalt the Name of the LORD, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.” (Isaiah 24:15)
“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the Name of the LORD and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)
“And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve Him, to love the Name of the LORD, and to worship Him...” (Isaiah 56:6)
“From the west, men will revere the Name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere His glory.” (Isaiah 59:19)
“At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the Name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.” (Jeremiah 3:17)
Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man should not be sentenced to death! He has spoken to us in the Name of the LORD our God.” (Jeremiah 26:16)
Now Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath Jearim was another man who prophesied in the Name of the LORD (Jeremiah 26:20)
“You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the Name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed.” (Joel 2:26)
“And everyone who calls on the Name of the LORD will be saved” (Joel 2:32)
“...we will walk in the Name of the LORD our God for ever and ever.” (Micah 4:5)
“He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the Name of the LORD his God.” (Micah 5:4)
“Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.” (Zephaniah 3:9)
“But I will leave within you the meek and humble, who trust in the Name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:12)
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9)
“‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Matthew 23:39)
“Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9)
“‘Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:35)
“Blessed is the king who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (Luke 19:38)
“Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the Lord!” (John 12:13)
“And everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)
So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the Name of the Lord. (Acts 9:28)
“Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who confesses the Name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”” (2 Timothy 2:19)
“Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord.” (James 5:10)
“Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Can glorifying God save us?Many preach that Jesus died for our sins - we just have to accept it and we are saved. Is this really true?
But the real person of Jesus left them. He left behind that physical body and returned to God's kingdom:
Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. (Luke 23:46)
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. (Matt. 27:50)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)
Then he [a criminal who was crucified next to Jesus] said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)Thus we know from these statements that only Jesus' physical body died. The person of Jesus - his spirit-person - left his body and returned to the spiritual realm.
This means that Jesus did not die, so how could he have died for our sins?
Some preachers like to focus upon Jesus dying for our sins because their ministry is focused upon gaining followers, and in order to gain followers they promise an easy solution to the prospect of going to hell. This means they are attracting followers using a scare tactic.
After they get everyone scared, they offer their solution - that we can just accept that Jesus died for our sins and we are miraculously saved. Wow, that is easy!
However, this doesn't require any sort of change of heart. It is a self-centered prospect - believing that Jesus died for my sins so I won't have to suffer the consequences of my self-centeredness.
If Jesus died so we don't have to suffer the consequences of our self-centered activities (sin) then why do those who commit crimes still go to jail despite whether they belong to a church or have been baptized? Is not a crime sin? And is not jail time the consequence of that sin?
Jesus did not die to relieve self-centered people from consequences. The Supreme Being designed the physical world for us to learn through consequences. And every self-centered action (sin) - good or bad - has a consequence.
And to understand Jesus' life as God's loving servant, and to understand that his loving service was so complete that he will willing to suffer physically on behalf of that service - can save a person.
A person who comes to understand Jesus' mission and position as God's loving servant may have a change of heart - should they follow Jesus' teachings.
What is that change of heart? To want to truly know and love God, and truly want to serve God. This is the change of heart that Jesus was seeking his students to have.
How can a person change their heart and learn to love God? The process that Jesus gives is confirmed in his statement. Glorifying God has the ability to gradually change our hearts - which will ultimately save us.