George Whitefield, for all his faults and sins, was a man who understood the necessity of a glorified Jesus for humanity. He once proclaimed:
“Let my name be forgotten, let me be trodden under the feet of all men, if Jesus may thereby be glorified.”
Whitefield himself could have claimed glory of his own. He was a dynamic speaker who attracted thousands of people, even those who disagreed with his preaching, to come and listen. He had a voice that was capable of carrying over a mile in an age where amplification did not exist.
He should have, by all logic, been able to boast in his speaking abilities. Yet, he recognized that another dynamic speaker was not what the world needed. They needed to see Jesus in all his glory.
Can I be honest (even though I never ask permission and am anyway)? The wrestle against pursuing and expanding my own glory and name is a daily one.
It’s HARD. I am the most prideful person I know. I want to see my reputation established and my name become a common and household one.
But following Jesus, for me, means that I am daily learning to set that burning desire aside. Why? Because that’s not what this planet needs. They don’t need the glory of Kelvey Vander Hart – they need to see the glory of God.
Why is it important that they see Jesus glorified? Because Jesus is the only one of whom this can be said:
“[T]hough he was in the form of God, [he] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8)”
Jesus must be glorified because he is the only one who humbled himself to the point of a perfect sacrifice. And, it gets better:
“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)”
Every tongue can confess that he is Lord and be saved. I can’t do that. The risen Jesus is worthy of being glorified because he is the only source of salvation.
Humanity doesn’t need another household name; they need an everlasting hope.