Eugene Peterson on Glory
In Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places, author Eugene Peterson comments at length on the use of the word "glory" in John's Gospel. He points our attention to chapter 12, when Philip and Andrew come to Jesus with the news that some Greeks have asked if they might meet with Jesus. This could be Jesus' opportunity to reach a wider audience. But Jesus, as so often in John's gospel, answers ambiguously. In fact, he speaks of his own death.
And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." John 12:23-26Now, here's an excerpt from Peterson's wonderful commentary on this passage:
Jesus begins and ends this passage with the word "glory." Glory, the brightness of God's presence right here on our home ground, clearly has something, maybe everything, to do with his approaching death and burial. This is going to take some relearning. The dictionaries and word studies in Hebrew and Greek, the etymologies and definitions that we are so fond of, at this moment are radically relativized. Jesus takes the brightest word in our vocabularies and plunges it into the darkest pit of experience, violent and excruciating death. Everything we have associated with glory has to be recast: we have entered a mystery. (p.101-2)