1. Jake asked us on Sunday to go on a “treasure hunt” throughout the week, searching for God’s glory. Did you have any experiences or insights that you could share?
2. On Sunday, we learned that the “glory” of God is the manifestation of His qualities, whether that is His beauty, His words, His works, or His fame. Can you think of a time in your life besides this week when the glory of God was made known to you?
3. How does this definition help you understand God’s glory? If you previously thought of God’s glory in a different way, how did this help you gain clarity?
1. Let’s begin our Bible study by reading an example of God’s glory. The story we’ll read is the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Please take note of and/or underline any examples of God’s glory, that is, His “qualities made manifest.”
John 11:38-44 (English Standard Version)
38 Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Jesus is the exact representation of God (Heb.1:3, Col.1:15). He is the manifestation of God’s qualities; he himself is the very glory of God. What examples did you find in this passage that show Jesus revealing or expressing God’s qualities?
Jesus asked Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” What do you think? Did she believe and see the glory of God? Why or why not?
Jesus prayed “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear, but I said this on account of the people…that they may believe that you sent me.” Why do you think it was important to Jesus that people believe God the Father sent him?
2. Seeing and experiencing the glory of God transforms us. It shapes us; we can’t be the same. Just like tasting homemade spaghetti sauce ruins the taste of store bought. The glory of God makes all else pale in comparison. Consider the next passage.
2 Corinthians 3:9-18 (New Century Version)
9 If the law that judged people guilty of sin had glory, surely the new way that makes people right with God has much greater glory. 10 That old law had glory, but it really loses its glory when it is compared to the much greater glory of this new way. 11 If that law which disappeared came with glory, then this new way which continues forever has much greater glory.
12 We have this hope, so we are very bold. 13 We are not like Moses, who put a covering over his face so the Israelites would not see it. The glory was disappearing, and Moses did not want them to see it end. 14 But their minds were closed, and even today that same covering hides the meaning when they read the old agreement. That covering is taken away only through Christ. 15 Even today, when they read the law of Moses, there is a covering over their minds. 16 But when a person changes and follows the Lord, that covering is taken away. 17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Paul makes the point that Jesus is so much greater than Moses, and that the new agreement is better than the old. Essentially, grace is greater than rules and regulations. How does the revelation of grace in Christ Jesus transform your life today?
BRINGING IT HOME
What is something you can take from today’s study that will encourage you or call you higher?
Take some time to go around the room and list the people with whom you are a) studying the Bible, b) inviting to church, or c) hoping to reach for Jesus.