The glory of God is a huge concept. It encompasses a broad range, and every aspect is worth investigating. But when it comes to the glory of God the Son, I am convinced it is encapsulated in one thing: his place in the Father’s heart as the beloved Son.

Jesus is the one through whom nothing was made that has been made (JN 1). He is the lamb that was slain that will one day be acknowledged by every tongue as Lord (PH 2:11). He is the way, the truth, the life (JN 14), the Alpha and Omega (RE 1:8), the one and only savior (AC 4:12). And so much more.

But the most glorious thing about God the Son is his relationship with God the Father. And it is that relationship into which we have been invited. The Bible calls it eternal life.

The Father does not love the Son because the Son can get things done for the Father. Jesus heard his Father’s affirmation (Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased) before he ever engaged in ministry. The Son does not abide securely in the Father’s love because he is productive. As our Shepherd, Jesus does not extend to us something other than eternal life, something utilitarian that is based on productivity. He has made it possible for us to enjoy a place in the Father’s heart akin to his own – as beloved daughters and sons.

Everything the Shepherd does in his shepherding of us is geared toward facilitating that relationship. When he issues commands. When he rebukes. When he corrects our erroneous thinking or expands our understanding. In a sense, you might say it is out of the abundance of his heart that his mouth speaks.

The metric by which all that is done in his name should be judged is this: Does it further the heart purposes of the Father? Does it nurture the conviction of beloved-ness? Does it enhance the relationship between the Father and his children?