Search

The Very Wide Now

Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 70; Hebrews 12:1-3; John 13:21-32

It is curious to me that Jesus says "Now the Son of Man has been glorified." I would have expected that moment of glorification to be the suffering or death on the cross. Or maybe better, the moment of Glorification would be the Easter resurrection. But this "now" is the moment of betrayal, just after Judas has left to "do quickly what [he is] going to do."

I suppose that this is the moment where irreversible actions have been set in motion. There's no way to un-ring a bell or or unscramble an egg. When your car breaks traction in the rain, all you can do is ride it out. Entropy has taken over the course of history. Jesus can't recall Judas; Judas will betray; Annas and Caiaphas and Pilate, and the crowds--we will all play our part. Perhaps the width of "now" includes this whole inevitable outcome, but we modern folks think of "now" as much narrower: a moment. It seems to me that if "now" is wider, then why stop there? Was is not God's plan from "before the foundations of the world," as it says in Ephesians? To my ears, this reads as though it is the moment of betrayal when the Son of Man is glorified.

The thing is, I suppose, that Jesus is always glorified. Just before Palm Sunday's events, Jesus prays "Father, glorify your name," and the voice from heaven says "I have glorified it and I will glorify it again." It's not either/or. At the moment of betrayal, at the moment of irreversible events being set in motion, at the moment of suffering and death on the cross, at the moment of Easter resurrection Jesus is glorified. Also, at the moment of creation when all things were made through the eternal Logos, at the moment he came to us in the form of the baby, Jesus, at the moment the Spirit descended on him like a dove after being baptized by John, at the moment of transfiguration, God has glorified the Son. Also, at the moment when the New Jerusalem comes down like a bride for the lamb. For all eternity God has glorified the Sona nd God will glorify him.