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The Uninspirational Glory of Christ

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

One of the prayers of Jesus that Peterson examines in Tell It Slant is found in John 12:28 and consists of four words: “Father, glorify your name” (ESV). Commenting upon that prayer, Peterson says some things that I suspect Luther would have viewed approvingly. He writes:

The glory with which Jesus is glorified is not inspirational. It does not promote emulation. It is not conspicuous. It is not glamorous. It is not the sort of glory that is featured in glossy magazines and travel posters advertising sun and sand on the Greek islands. You can’t take a picture of it.
We pray in the company of Jesus in order to learn this, to re-learn the meaning of words that have been corrupted by our culture and debased by our sin. Jesus is the dictionary in which we look up the meaning of words. We look up “glory” and what do we find? Obscurity, rejection, a sacrificial life, an obedient death. And through and in and around all of that, the bright presence of God backlights what the world despises and ignores–what we so often despise and ignore. Jesus’ life and death come to focus in this prayer and illuminate life–all of life–so convincingly that we drop to our knees and say, “Glory–that is the kind of life I want. Father, glorify you name.”

So true. And a compelling case for why I absolutely need to spend time praying in the company of Jesus. The desire for such glory doesn’t come naturally.

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