“The Son of Man will... [come] in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” - Luke 9:26
Throughout his teaching ministry, Jesus continued to have a heavenward focus. Even as he looked ahead to his suffering and death, he told his followers of his future glory.
But Jesus’ treatment at the hands of sinful people has implications for his followers too. As God’s people, we can expect the powers of evil to attack and try to destroy us. Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of others’ sinful behavior: abuse, neglect, harassment, persecution. Jesus assures us that he knows what it is to experience hurt, and he points our attention heavenward to the glory that God reveals in his children (see Romans 8:18).
Sometimes, though, the temptation to deny Jesus comes not from hardship but from prosperity. Perhaps you have tried to live a life of self-fulfillment. Maybe you have been chasing pleasure or trying to soothe your loneliness in sinful ways. Perhaps having a relationship with Jesus embarrasses you or doesn’t seem important enough in your social circles. Jesus’ words remind us that true glory comes only from him.
The ascension reminds us of the glory that Jesus has with the Father right now. May we remember the glory of the crucified and ascended Lord—and know that even when difficulty or the draw of prosperity seems to fill our experience, we can catch glimpses of God’s coming kingdom.
Lord Jesus, you know our weakness and misery. Help us to glimpse your kingdom and the glory that you call us to share, and direct our vision toward you. In your name, Amen.