Beginning in John chapter 13 is the account of what is commonly referred to as the last supper. It includes the final discourse of teaching by Jesus to His disciples before He was crucified. After washing the disciples feet (displaying what it means to love another) and telling them (again) what was about to happen to Him on the cross, Jesus shared some final words. You might think of this a death bed conversation because it was Jesus' last opportunity to share anything with His disciples before He would be arrested, tried and crucified before them leaving the disciples to dive into a deep pool of fear and anxiety. And with all death bed conversations, the most important things in life are discussed.
Chapter 14 begins with Jesus comforting His worried disciples, letting them know that He will only be gone for a short time (three days as it turns out) and then He will be back. But what He was about to endure was necessary as it makes possible a path to the Father. A path that is only available through Jesus.
Then after explaining to Phillip that all this time it has been the Father in Jesus who has been doing all these incredible miracles and works, because the Father lives in Jesus, Jesus turns His attention to the disciples and explains how this all relates to them.. He tells them (and by extension us) how we can now glorify God the Father.
Based on the many messages and books out there on this topic you might have expected Jesus to give us some basic rules to follow. Maybe seven steps that all begin with the letter 'P' or points where the first letter of each point spells a word. Rules that might include such things as reading the Bible more, focusing on the various spiritual disciplines, to give, to cheer for the Toronto Maple Leafs since it causes your patience and faith to grow, to participate in some ministry, etc. Essentially, to follow in His steps and do our best to live like Him, for God so that I can bring glory to God.
Just so we are clear, these things are important and have their place, but that's not what He says. Look at what Jesus says in verses 12 and 13, according to my personal amplified version of the verses:
"Truly, truly (pay attention because I am going to say something important), I say to you, he who believes in (depends, trusts, relies upon) Me, the works that I do (presently, this very day and moment that you are reading this because Jesus is still up to doing things today), he will do also (you will be a part of what Jesus is doing because He will be living in you); and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name (for example, glorify God...), that will I do (not you, but JESUS IN YOU), so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (because only the Son can bring glory to God)"
This truth is remarkable. The only person who can bring glory to God is the Son, who is the exact representation of God (see Hebrews 1:3). So Jesus teaches us, that as He lives in us in each moment, this glorifies God. So whether you are reading a book, travelling to work, changing a diaper, buying groceries, taking out the garbage, washing dishes, etc. as we rely upon the strength and power of Jesus in us, God is glorified.
Clearly the disciples understood this concept eventually. Look what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:11, "Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
In Christ who is our Life,