John 13:31-32

Wednesday, April 5
Rev. David R. Lyle

When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

Betrayal is many things. Betrayal is painful, surprising, dishonest, and treacherous. But glorious? That’s hardly the first word that comes to mind. Yet this is what we find in the gospel appointed for the Wednesday in Holy Week. Our verses come immediately after Judas departs the Upper Room to put his plans into motion. With a piece of bread from Jesus in his hand, and for the thirty pieces of silver that await, Judas goes to betray Jesus to the authorities.

Jesus sees in this action the beginning of his glorification. Having knelt and washed his friends’ feet, he goes even lower. He allows this betrayal, and the arrest and execution that will follow. It doesn’t look like glory, like the winning of great renown or the manifestation of the divine presence. Yet that is what Jesus says God is doing. God is glorifying Jesus through suffering, abasement, and death.

Have you ever been betrayed? I’ve never had someone turn me in, but I’ve had people turn on me. In a previous call, a cadre of people who didn’t like some of my decisions took it upon themselves to spread lies about me throughout the church and community. This was not a glorious time in my life or ministry. It was hard. It hurt. I will never forget the voice of my bishop over the phone: “You must really be doing some things right for Satan to come after you like this.”

Jesus suffers and dies for our betrayal. He also suffers and dies to join us when we are betrayed. He is present in these moments to remind us that, even when others have turned on us, he is for us. The glory of God is manifest in moments of pain, hurt, and shame. Jesus has lived it. But nowhere is God more glorified that at Jesus’ lowest moment as he is lifted high upon the cross. In our baptism into his death, Jesus has forged an unbreakable bond. Our God is faithful.

Gracious God, thank you for glorifying your Son. Help me cling to Jesus Christ alone. Amen.

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