“Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” John 13:31
Surrendering your life to serving Christ in full-time service is one of the greatest things a Christian can do with her life. The joy in knowing that you have answered God’s call to abandon the career pursuits available to you and depend upon Him completely is often met with the temptation to look around – to become dissatisfied, to become unsettled, to become afraid.
In John 13, Jesus is seated with his disciples in one of the most intimate settings he has ever been with them, the last supper. This very night, he will be led away to be tried and crucified.
Jesus has washed the disciples’ dusty feet from their travels in an act of love and servitude. He says to them in verses 12, 13 and 16, “Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well, for so I am. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”
Jesus Christ himself served others as he also served God. He was in submission to the Will of God the Father. As Jesus Christ, our one true example, our service to others must be sourced from our submission to God.
Finding the joy of serving in the people you are serving will only leave you empty and discouraged. Look to Christ!
There is another character present in this chapter as the story takes a dark turn.
Jesus is troubled in his spirit. His enemy since the beginning has entered the room. “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:21-27)
Satan entered into Judas Iscariot to lead him to betray the One who had cared so much for Judas. He would sell his own Saviour. But notice the phrase where Jesus “was troubled in Spirit.” Anyone serving the Lord with their life has felt this. Troubled in Spirit. From decisions, or discouragement, or even demonic oppression.
The Bible warns us to be aware of the type of battle that we are engaged in. Our weapons are not carnal (something we can see), but they are spiritual (unseen). “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) We strive against the very powers of Satan when we engage in the full-time battle of the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ.
Now that Judas has gone to perform the devil’s plan, the remaining disciples are still completely confused with what Jesus has just revealed to them (verse 28). They just didn’t get it!
I am amazed at Jesus’ declaration in the midst of their confusion. “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.” (John 13:31) How is God glorified? Satan had just begun the timeline of what he would claim as his greatest victory. Killing the Son of God – killing God Himself. The one he rose up against and declare he would be like, the Most High. How can God be glorified through Satan’s work against the life of Jesus Christ?
Because, my friend, even Satan, the ruler of the darkest of this world, is subject to the almighty, sovereign will of God the Father. God was glorified through Satan’s work because it fulfilled His plan – His Son would be slain for the sins of the world, and would rise again and ultimately defeat all the works of the devil! Herein is God glorified!
God is glorified in my life when Satan’s forces feel to be working against me, but push me to my source of strength and security!
God is glorified when I don’t let the voices of fear and doubt discourage me from witnessing to that soul in front of my eyes!
God is glorified when I yield my thoughts to Him and choose to continue in His way!
Oh, how easy it feels to yield to the discouragement of the flesh in the service of this war. But you must not let the enemy gain ground in your mind. A very wise preacher once said, “the devil is after your mind, because the battle is for your mind.”
Don’t give in! Don’t give up!
Recognize the attack, and may God be glorified in your life and mine.