I am the Lord! That is My name! I will not share My glory with anyone else,or the praise due Me with idols. (Isaiah 42:8)
In English Language classes, we all learned about comparatives and superlatives. The word “better” is, of course, a comparative. Many things can be “better” than something else to which they are compared. The word “best,” it naturally follows then, is a superlative. It exceeds the comparatives. There is nothing “better” than that which is the “best.”
We bestow many honors on best actors, best of show dogs, best performing cars, etc. because they exceed all others in abilities or in appearances or in achievements. Occasionally, people or animals or inventions share the honors of best in their field or class or category. And that’s okay sometimes because two movies, for example, may be so close in quality, acting, filming, production, audience response, and any number of others means of measurement that it is almost impossible to say which exceeded the other.
Why It Is Inappropriate for God to Share His Glory
When it comes to God, there is no one else in His class. There is no one worthy of sharing in the honor accorded to Him for His attributes, His perfections, His nature, and His power. So He is often described by the superlative “Supreme” Being.
Humankind is glorious in many respects–in physical beauty, in intelligence, in strength, in imagination, in adaptability, in acts of kindness, and in the works of his hands. Who can look into the clear eyes of a baby, or of a giggling child, or of a young bride on her wedding day and not see beauty? But who designed those eyes and gave them all the variegated colors that never cease to captivate us with their beauty? Who made those eyes to be able to discern such a wide spectrum of hues and shapes? Who made the mind of humankind to be able to interpret what the eyes and fingertips and taste buds take in?
The glory of the Creator of humankind far exceeds the glory of the created person, even when consider only that which is best about humanity. And I haven’t even mentioned the propensity of humankind to twist beauty to make it something ugly–racism, for example. The Creator’s glory is consistent and unchanging in its perfection, while man’s glory is all too often corrupted.
So it is indeed right for God to say, “I will not share my glory with anyone else.” (Isaiah 42:8) There is nothing in creation that comes even close to being His equal.
Jesus Christ Asked God to Share Glory with Him
Yet Jesus Christ, on the night before He was crucified, prayed this prayer in the presence of His disciples,
And now, Father, glorify me at your side with the glory I had with you before the world was created. (John 17:5)
God said He would not share His glory with any other. Jesus knew the Scriptures well, including Isaiah 42:8, and yet Jesus still said that he had shared the very glory of the Heavenly Father before creation had ever occurred. He claimed to have been worthy of the same glory as the Creator, and He claimed to have existed before anything that is created ever came into existence. Jesus prayed, not that He be restored to His place at the Father’s feet or on a lesser throne. He prayed instead that He be glorified by the One God with the place He shared in eternity past at the Father’s side. What can this mean, except that Jesus claimed to be God, and that He claimed to be the Father’s equal?
Should God Share His Own Glory with Jesus Christ?
Why do I believe that Jesus Christ is indeed God as He prayed on the night before His crucifixion? Why do I believe He is worthy of equal glory with the Father?
- Because of the many ancient prophecies fulfilled in His life on earth. (Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 52:13-53:12)
- Because of the consistency of His teaching with that which had already been revealed in the Scriptures. (Matthew 5:17)
- Because of the signs and miracles that He worked to authenticate Himself. (John 20:30-31)
- Because God declared Jesus to be His Son. (Matthew 17:5)
- Because of His resurrection form the dead. (John 20:24-29)
- Because of the empty tomb in the very presence of those who had executed Him. (John 20:4-9)
- Because of His appearance to many people in the days immediately following His resurrection. (Luke 24:13-53; John 20:10-18; 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8)
- Because of the transformation of frightened fishermen into bold witnesses and martyrs. (John 20:19; Acts 2:14-41; Acts 5:40; Acts 12:2)
- Because of the transformation of his enemies into followers who were later executed for their belief. (Acts 9:1-31)
- Because everyone in Heaven will give God the Father and Jesus the Son equal glory in the same phrase. (Revelation 5:13)
Jesus Christ more than adequately proved that which He claimed about Himself when He said, “I and the Father are One.” (John 10:30)
Investigate the truth about Jesus Christ. Trust in Him. Then in the culmination of all things, we will sing together of the glorious Lord Jesus Christ,
You are worthy because You were killed, and at the cost of Your own blood you have purchased for God persons from every tribe, language, people, and nation. (Revelation 5:9)