“Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Pet. 1:2-4). Will a Christian be able to truly know God? Will a Christian be able to participate in the divine nature? Will a Christian be able to escape the corruption of the world caused by the lust of the flesh by sharing in the divine nature?
We can only in some degree know the glory of God by getting to know him. But Jesus said: “All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him” (Matt. 11:27). The Jews knew the carpenter of hardy hands, son of Joseph (Matt. 6:1-3). They could never imagine that behind that humble appearance was the anointed Messiah, the savior of all men, the universal judge, the incarnate God (1 John 5:20). In another opportunity Jesus declared to the religious Jews who asked him: “Where is your Father?” Jesus said, “You know neither me, nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (John 8:19). The princes and priests, the Pharisees, the scribes, the Saducees…they all failed to recognize Jesus. When they did not recognize him, they did not recognize the Father. Paul said: “But we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory, which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn’t have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:7-8). John said: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own, and those who were his own didn’t receive him” (John 1:10-11). Not knowing Christ, they did not know the Father; not receiving Christ, they did not receive the Father. How would they give glory to that which they did not know? Not glorifying Jesus Christ, they did not glorify the Father. John again says: “That all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:23). And John continues to say: “Whoever denies the Son, the same doesn’t have the Father. He who confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23). The Jews denied Christ and delivered him to be crucified as an impostor. Until today they have not accepted, therefore, they do not know the Father, do not honor the Father, and have not given glory to God the Father. And if the Jews, who were the chosen people, did not glorify God, much less the Gentiles have glorified him. Many Christians and doctors of our days will say: We glorify God and live for the glory of God. There is a detail that should be considered: Christians believe in the same god that the Jews knew and worshipped when they crucified Jesus.
And Jesus declared in a loud voice: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). The god that the Israelites knew, they did not know through Christ, but through Moses, who was the mediator (Gal. 3:19). Believers insist in the glory of the god who was revealed without Jesus and prior to Jesus, and who was avid for glory.
Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are one single essence, and so, as three persons, they are one only truth. This is the mystery of the trinity. Jesus then declared: “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30). And Jesus said more: “I don’t receive glory from men” (John 5:41). As Jesus and the Father are one single essence, the Father does not receive glory from men. And why don’t the Father and the Son receive glory from men? This is because men change. The same ones who glorified Christ when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey, and who had called out, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest”, these same people delivered Jesus to be crucified (Matt. 21:8-10; 27:20-25).
There is yet another detail to be considered. The worshippers of Jehovah argue that Jehovah god manifested himself to them, but they did not recognize him because they were blind by their sin and hardness of heart. This argument does not convince, for it is Jehovah who declares that he has revealed himself: “Thus says the Lord: In the day when I chose Israel, and swore to the seed of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Jehovah your God” (Ezek. 20:5). “But let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Jehovah who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Jehovah” (Jer. 9:24). “Jehovah has made himself known. He has executed judgment” (Ps. 9:16). “In Judah, God is known. His name is great in Israel” (Ps. 76:1). “I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me” (Ps. 87:4). Many are the texts in which the very Jehovah says that he is known. But Jesus states, as we have seen above, that no one knows the Father. Jesus should have said: You do not recognize me, but you know the Father, who has sent me. The Jews gave glory to Jehovah, but did not give glory to Jesus. And Jesus declared that they did not know the Father, who had sent him. We choose to be on Jesus’ side. When Jesus returns, the true heretics will be recognized.
As they did not believe in Jesus, they did not glorify the Father, for to glorify the Father they should believe in Jesus. As we said in the beginning, Jesus does not receive glory from men (John 5:41). And obviously the Father does not receive glory from men either. But Jesus declared, saying to the Father: “I GLORIFIED YOU ON THE EARTH. I HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THE WORK WHICH YOU HAVE GIVEN ME TO DO. Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed” (John 17:4-5). No man could do the work that Christ has done; therefore they could never glorify God. God, the Father, only receives glory from the only begotten Son, and the Son receives glory only from God the Father. For this reason Peter declared: “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Pet. 1:17).
Only Jesus can glorify God the Father, because the Father can be known only in Christ, not through Christ. “No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him” (John 1:18). Only Jesus can glorify the Father, for we read in the letter to the Hebrews: “has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:2-3).
What about Christians? Are they a shame to God and Jesus? No! We Christians were predestined according to the will of God to the end that we should be for the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:11-12). Our lives and our works force praises out of the wicked. Those who glorify God are the non-Christians. Jesus said: “Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).