And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth (John 1:14, KJV)
John says “we beheld his glory”. We all desire to see God’s glory. What does it mean to see or behold the glory of God? John was discussing the mysteries of the Word that became flesh and lived amongst men. They lived with Jesus as you would live with a friend. John says they beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of God.
The word behold or see means perception through the eyes, including the physical eyes. On the mountain of Transfiguration, Luke 9:32 records “But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory”. What did they see, that was called “his glory” here? It is simple. They saw the light from His face, the brightness of His clothing, the splendor and majesty around Him, etc. They saw supernatural manifestations of His divine qualities. This was the glory they saw. When we see the power of God in display, such as in healing, we are also seeing the glory of God being manifested as in Luke 11:40.
However, I have taught multiple times that the word “eye” or “seeing” in scripture is not limited to physical eyes. In its totality, it means perception, that is, receiving the knowledge or knowing a thing or someone r knowing, through the physical, mental and spiritual senses. It includes an intimate knowledge or experience of something. E.g, how did John and other Apostles see Jesus’ glory? It describes the totality of their knowledge of Him through relating with Him. They saw Him. They heard Him.They saw the power, wisdom and love of God in Him. It was not the physical shape of His body, skin color or even His Jewish dressing that revealed God. It was in His person, the way He related with them, talked and acted that revealed the Father. That expression of God in all His divine beauties, excellencies, and majesty in the person of Jesus, including supernatural phenomena like the transfiguration, is the totality of the glory of God John saw! The best parallel scripture of John 1:14 is 1 John 1:1 where the same Apostle speaking of the same thing but used different words and said
“THAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life”
God wants you to see His glory! And that is not enough. His glory was seen in Jesus, and Jesus is gone to heaven. You are the one today to reveal His glory to the world! God wants people to see, perceive and experience His beauties, excellencies, and majesty through your life. What an honor! This is what grace has brought us into, the glory of God!
What does it mean to “see”? What scriptural examples can you think of for the different ways we see?
APPLY THE WORD
First, God wants you to see His glory. He wants you to come to know Him, even better than the Apostles knew Him physically. Second, He wants you to be the revelation of His glory to the world around you! He wants His glory to be seen on you! Arise, shine for the glory of the Lord is risen upon you!!
Bless the Lord for the wonders of His grace that has blessed us with such an inheritance in Christ.