Glorification of the Son II by David K. Bernard
God planned this glory for the Son and loved the Son before the foundation of the world. Knowing that the human race would fall to sin, He foreordained a plan of salvation based on the birth, death, and resurrection of the Son of God. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in. these last times for you" (I Peter 1:18-20). Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8) .
Jesus Christ was not actually born before the creation of the world, nor was He actually crucified at that time. But in the plan of God the atoning sacrifice of Christ was a foreordained, certain. event. God does not inhabit time as we do; the past, present, and future are all alike to Him. He "calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17). He created the world with the Son in view, predicating all creation upon the future arrival and atonement of the Son of God.
When Jesus asked for the Father to give Him the glory He had with Him before the world began had with Him before the world began, He was not speaking of a time when He lived alongside the Father as a second divine person. Glory from such a time would be divine glory, which He could never have lost and which He could never share with His disciples.
Before the Incarnation, the Spirit of Jesus was the one eternal God, not a second person. The glory of which Jesus spoke was the glory He as a man would have in the fulfillment of God's foreordained plan of redemption for the human race. That was what Jesus looked forward to as He prayed, and that was what He asked the Father to give Him so that He could share it with all believers.
Jesus asked for glory so that He could in turn glorify the Father, and He also affirmed that He had already glorified the Father (John 17:1,4). Throughout His earthly ministry He exalted God through His teachings and through the miracles He performed. But He knew that the supreme glorification of the Father would take place through His crucifixion and resurrection. His crucifixion would reveal God's love in an unparalleled way (Romans 5:8), and His resurrection would supremely demonstrate God's almighty power (Ephesians 1:19-20).
Jesus prayed, "Father, glorify thy name" (John 12:28). In the context, the subject of discussion was Christ's death. Jesus wanted God to glorify the divine name through Christ's own life and death.
God's name represents His character, power, authority, and abiding presence. (See Exodus 6:3-7: 9:16; 23:20-21; I Kings 8:29, 43.) Jesus thus requested that God's character and presence be revealed through His human life. In John 17, Jesus stated that He had indeed revealed God's name, that is, God's character and presence, to His disciples. "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world. . . . I kept them in thy name. . . . I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it" (John 17:6,12,26). In short, Christ has revealed the Father to us. To put it another way, in Christ the Father has revealed Himself.
In John 17:1 1, Jesus prayed, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me." Interestingly, most scholars conclude today that in the original Greek text the word translated as "those" is actually in the singular rather than the plural. If so, the meaning would be, "Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me" (NIV).
This reading would correspond to other statements in Scripture that Jesus bears the Father's name. Jesus said, "I am come in my Father's name" (John 5:43). Hebrews 1:4 says of the Son, "He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name." Since the Son inherited His name, it must have first belonged to His Father.
The name that Jesus actually received was Jesus (Matthew 1:21). It was the name He bore all His life, and the name that was broadcast throughout the country as a result of His miracles and teachings. It was the name given credit for the miracles in the early church (Acts 3:6, 16). It is the only name in which we receive salvation and remission of sins (Acts 4:12; 10:43).
When we invoke the name of Jesus in faith, all the power and authority of God becomes available to us. Moreover, when God answers prayers offered in the name of Jesus, the Father is glorified in His Son. "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it" (John 14: 13-14).
The Father has chosen to reveal Himself to this world by the name of Jesus, which literally means "Jehovah-Savior" or "Jehovah Is Salvation." The Father glorified the man Jesus by investing His name (character, power, authority, presence) in Him, by leading Him to the cross to die for the sins of the world, and by raising Him from the dead. Far from manifesting to us a second person of the Godhead unknown to Old Testament saints, the Son has manifested to us the one, indivisible God for the purpose of our salvation.
David K Bernard is the associate editor of the Pentecostal Herald, and the pastor of the New Life United Pentecostal Church of Austin, Texas. His article appeared in the December '93 issue of the Pentecostal Herald.