The Father is Praised through Christ

Easter 7 Tuesday

John 17:1

“Father, the hour has come to glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you as well.”


These are such insignificant, simple words that they do not appear to be worth a penny before the world’s ears. But who can fathom sufficiently what great things and excellent seriousness are under these words? … To glorify means to praise and to raise high, to make glorious and famous so that the whole world knows to sing and speak about it. And Christ indicates with these words how things look for him at the time and what his predicament is that drives him to utter such prayer: “The time has come for me to suffer and die the most shameful death so that my glory, light, reputation, and honor are darkened and must be extinguished.” Now, he carried out great things, preached and worked gloriously, showing his power and might so that the whole world should have justly praised, honor, and worshiped him. But the opposite happens to him: Instead of the honor and praise that is due him, he is drowned in nothing but shame and infamy, must hang on the cross between two murderers, and must die as the worst, most desperate knave who ever walked the earth. No murderer has ever been treated as shamefully and blasphemously. … Everyone thought that God was done the greatest service and the world was made whole when this man was eliminated from the earth. … This means to cast the precious, excellent man into darkness. This is how the dear Christ, the light and salvation of the whole world, must be received and honored by that world: He must be cursed and banned from the world as the worst devil. … Look, this is what Christ here calls “the hour.” For he prays with the mind and with earnestness as if he is was even then hanging on the cross, as if he wanted to say: “Now I am stuck in the midst of shame and death and lie in the deepest darkness. Now is the time for you to pull me out of it, lift me up, and give me a seat of honor because my light has been utterly extinguished, the world kicks me, everybody avoids me and flees from me, so that there is no advice or help than yours alone. For it takes an eternal, almighty, divine might to deliver me from death’s throat and the power of the devil who is a prince of darkness,” Ephesians 6:12. Now, how did this glorification take place? It happened when the Father raised Christ from death, cast the devil under his feet, and made him King and Lord over all creatures, and had this proclaimed publicly by the gospel so that it would become known throughout the world. For what happened once on Easter must always be preached until the end of the world and must be known throughout all generations. … Christ was sent to praise and gloriously proclaim the Father’s praise and honor. And he is also the man through whom the Father must be known and honored. If Christ were not glorified, the Father’s honor and praise would also be obscured and extinguished; in fact, it would remain in dishonor and shame with Christ (for whatever the Son endures the Father must also take on and endure) so that the world and everyone would have blasphemed: “Look, where is his God and Father now of whom he so gloriously boasted? How nicely he helped him!” To avoid this, the Father must show his might and power in him and place him in such high honor that the whole world must kneel before him to its shame and worship him. Thereby the Father is glorified, that is, he is known and preached as the one who can help in weakness, shame, and death and turn them into life, honor, and strength. And this indeed began when Christ entered his glory from death and ascended into heaven and gave the Holy Spirit and keeps the proclamation going throughout the whole world until the Last Day. For it is the Holy Spirit’s office and work to reveal by the gospel how great and glorious a thing God did for us through Christ, namely, he redeemed us from sin, death, and the power of the devil, took us under his grace and protection and gave himself for us completely.


St. Louis ed., 8:751-754.

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