Those Who Beheld the Glory of Christ :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard


John 1:14-18, Luke 9:28-32, 2 Peter 1:16-18, John 2:11, Colossians 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:1-4, Philippians 2:9-11

Summary: In John’s prologue, he presents the Lord Jesus Christ as God the Creator who came into the world to be among us and is due all majesty, glory, and splendor.

In the previous verses of John’s prologue, he has presented the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who was in the beginning with God and Who is God, the source of life and the light for all to see yet was rejected by His own people. Those who followed Him, though few, received the right to be called the children of God, establishing a personal and intimate relationship with the Father (John 1:1-13). He goes on to present Jesus as the One who is worthy of all glory, majesty, and splendor.

Our poor vocabulary cannot fathom the full extent of the reward and joy that awaits us because of the redemptive mission of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2:8-9). We owe Him reverence, praise, gratitude, and glory for what He has done for us so that we may be assured of both eternal life and the fellowship with Him that awaits us not too far in the future (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10).

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines the word “glory” using Scripture as the foundation. It is “brightness, splendor, or luster” (2 Peter 1:17), magnificence (Matthew 6:29), praise ascribed in adoration and honor (Luke 2:9), the joy of heaven prepared for the children of God (Psalm 73:24), the Divine perfection of excellence (Psalm 19:1), and an honorable representation of God (1 Corinthians 11:7).

You won’t find this in modern editions of most dictionaries. Glory belongs to God alone, and any use of it by humanity is a type of self-edification and source of arrogance, as demonstrated by the proud Nebuchadnezzar in ascribing the wonders of Babylon to his own credit. Because of this, he was struck down by God for seven years and returned to his throne a humbled man who saw the hand of God in everything and gave praise to Him (Daniel 4:28-37).

That should be a blunt lesson for us, yet we continue to follow in the footsteps of the devil as we continually declare ourselves to be the center of all things, an attitude that will be judged and sentenced by the Lord Jesus Christ at the time of His return and the establishment of His kingdom (Matthew 25:33-41; 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15).

John wrote of the glory of Jesus’ deity (John 1:14a) and received the dignity appropriate to the only begotten Son of God. Such glory, splendor and honor belong to no other and expresses His rank and character. We see this in events such as His Transfiguration before Peter, James, and John (Luke 9:28-32; 2 Peter 1:17). His glory was seen in His miracles, doctrine, resurrection, and ascension, all of which illustrated absolute perfection and manifested that glory that belongs only to the Divine Son of God. Jesus is glorified through His grace, truth, kindness, His works of power before the people (John 1:14b, 16-17; Acts 10:34-43).

Albert Barnes, the 19th century Bible expositor, said this of Christ’s grace: “He was kind, merciful, gracious, doing good to all, and seeking the welfare of people by great sacrifice and love, so much so, that it might be said to be characteristic of Him as He bounded in favors to humanity.”

Again, while these comments are an admirable description of the gracious work of the Lord Jesus Christ, our poor vocabulary is not able to grasp the totality of His being and majesty.

John goes on further to add that Jesus’ glory was also in His role as the Truth of God, declaring nothing but absolute truth, devoid of falsehood, unlike the false “Messiahs” and prophets within the pages of Scripture who were exposed as imposters and frauds (Deuteronomy 18:20-22). He represented things as they are, reality and fact, and personified the truth and well as the way and the life (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). His glory was witnessed by John the Baptist and later the apostle Paul as they recognized His absolute superiority, pre-existence, and that He was the Creator (John 1:15, 27, 29-30, 8:58, 17:5; Colossians 1:16-17). He is also glorified through His revelation, which He sovereignly chose to present before the prophets and apostles (Numbers 12:8; Isaiah 6:1-13; John 14:9, 17:6, 24; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:1-4).

The world in which we live today, by contrast, has arrogantly declared that concepts such as absolute truth and especially the claims of the Lord Jesus are to be dismissed, ignored, ridiculed, and destroyed.

We have adopted the rule of “do as you will,” “You can’t force your beliefs on me,” or “true for you but not for me,” which is nothing more than one of the laws of Satanism. The idea that you are your own god and accountable to no one is the religion of the end times.

It is only by the steadfast and uncompromising presentation of the Gospel and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit that will draw the final remnant of believers to the foot of the cross before the day of what is known in Scripture as “the rapture of the church” (John 6:44, 16:5-15). At that time, God Himself will place upon those who have rejected the free offer of the Gospel a strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). He will be glorified yet even in this, for He has been patient, not willing that any should eternally perish (2 Peter 3:9). But there will come a day where His patience will cease. He will judge the world for its rebellion, hatred, and animosity towards Him. He will show all of creation that He is the Sovereign Almighty LORD and will not be mocked or denied for the sake of miscreants who want nothing to do with Him.

The Final Judgment of the wicked dead will also manifest His glory, for He will give perfect justice and bring an end to the evil and malevolence that has plagued us since Eden. The guilty will be punished, all confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, even the devil and his demons who join the chorus of the condemned and depraved in the Lake of Fire for eternity.

We are all accountable to Him, and we will all stand before the glorified Lord Jesus Christ one day with no exceptions or excuses. Either we glorify Him in the wonders of heaven or the horror of hell. I implore you this day to come Him and Him alone for salvation, eternal peace, and full forgiveness of your sins. At that moment, you will be able to proclaim His magnificent glory, love, mercy, and compassion. He promised (Matthew 11:28-30). Glory to His name.

My YouTube broadcasts titled “The Reality City Review” will be posted on Facebook, GETTR, Parler, and on my website when completed. My main area of discussion will be on the basics of the Christian faith but will also deal with prophetic issues and other topics as the Lord impresses upon me to handle.