MULTIPLICATION FOR GLORIFICATION
In my study of the Gospel of John, I first came to understand chapters one through eleven. But for a long time I did not know what it meant for the Lord to be glorified. Now I see that there is a section of five and a half chapters, from the middle of chapter twelve to the end of chapter seventeen, and that the subject of this section of John’s Gospel is the divine glorification. In this section of the Gospel of John we see how Jesus is glorified, that is, how He, the one grain, is multiplied to become many grains. As we have pointed out, the Lord’s multiplication was His glorification. Let us, then, keep in mind that the main topic of this section is how the Lord Jesus is multiplied in order to be expressed and glorified.
In 12:27 the Lord Jesus said, “Now my soul has been troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save Me out of this hour. But for this cause I came to this hour.” As a man the Lord was troubled in His soul by the suffering of His coming death. So He prayed, “Father, save Me out of this hour.” He knew that He had come to earth in order to be multiplied and that the hour for this had come. But He also realized that in order to be multiplied it was necessary for Him to pass through great suffering. Therefore, His soul was troubled. On the one hand, He prayed that the Father would save Him from the hour. On the other hand, He went on to say, “But for this cause I came to this hour.”
Then in verse 28 the Lord went on to say, “Father, glorify Your name. There came then a voice out of heaven, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The meaning of the Lord’s prayer to the Father for the Father to glorify His name is that when the Lord Jesus was glorified, the Father’s life within Him would also be glorified. To glorify the name of the Father is to cause the Father’s divine element, the eternal life, which was the incarnated Son, to be released and expressed through the Son’s death and resurrection.
The prayer in 12:28 is very similar to the prayer in chapter seventeen. John 17:1 says, “These things Jesus spoke, and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son that the Son may glorify You.” Now we can see that before the Lord gave the message recorded in chapters fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, He prayed concerning glorification. Then after giving this message, He again prayed concerning His glorification. This is another indication that these chapters are one section concerning the glorification of the Lord Jesus. As we have pointed out, for the Lord to be glorified is for Him to be multiplied, and this means that the divine life within Him, the Father’s life, would be multiplied and thereby be glorified.
In 12:32 the Lord said concerning His death, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” This is a matter of the Lord’s multiplication. Through His death the Lord attracted many to Himself, and all those who have been attracted to Him have become the many grains in His resurrection. These many grains are the Lord’s multiplication and glorification.
Let us go on to 13:31 and 32, where “Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately.” These verses concerning the glorification of the Son of Man are another indication that this section of the Gospel of John is concerned with the divine glorification. Once again, for the Son of Man to be glorified is for Him to have His divine element released, expressed, and multiplied through death and resurrection. In this way God the Father is glorified in the Son’s glorification.
Shortly after uttering these words in chapter thirteen, the Lord went on to give His disciples a message in which He spoke concerning the Father’s house, the true vine, and the new man. As we have seen, these matters all refer to one thing, and they are all related to the divine glorification. Following this message, the Lord prayed in chapter seventeen concerning His glorification. The divine glorification is the key that opens this portion of the Gospel of John. If we do not see the matter of glorification, we shall not be able to understand this section of John’s Gospel. We have seen clearly that the main subject of these five and a half chapters is the glorification of the Son for the glorification of God the Father.
(The Fulfillment of the Tabernacle and the Offerings in the Writings of John, Chapter 52, by Witness Lee)