John 21:19 How does death glorify God


The thread question came up in a Bible study discussion of verse 19 in the 4/22 Sunday reading (Jesus foretells Peter’s crucifixion). Decided to post the question here. Would appreciate hearing any insights you have to offer.

John 21:19 (This He said to show by what death he was to glorify God.) And after this He said to him, “Follow me.”

And also in connection with that, the following verses where Jesus indicates that in His crucifixion He is glorified and so is the Father:

John 13:30-31 So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night. When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and in him God is glorified;

17:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee,

Thanks in advance,



I think that the Father was glorified by Jesus obedience, which culminated in His death, rather than by the death itself. His obedience reversed the disobedience of Adam and restored man’s focus on the Father’s Will.


Peter’s martyrdom glorified God in that he died rather than recant his faith in Jesus Christ. People saw that he would literally rather die than deny Christ, and this inspired them to convert to Christianity even when it was completely illegal to do so.


Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his friends. (Paraphrase)

Peter dies for the Lord. That gives the Glory where it belongs in my book!


I think you would please agree with me that most of the things JesusYeshuaIssa said in John 21 were metaphoric; hence to me the death is also not real death, it is near-death from which he miraculously escaped.
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics


Sorry, Paar, I don’t think anyone here (or maybe just a couple) are going to agree with that statement. Denying Jesus’ divinity is not going to bridge many gaps here, my friend.

I’m almost afraid to ask, but how do you explain Jesus ascending into heaven in front of 11 witnesses?


The Latin word “gloria” has to do with “glory, fame, renown, praise, honor” among the root concepts are “reputation [and] fame.” This should be considered in connection with the Greek word “μαρτυρια" (marturia), which is the root of the English word “martyr,” but in Greek means “witness, testimony, evidence.”

These ideas suggest that it is the death itself that gives glory to God. This can be understood on a practical level: by dying rather than disavowing his teachings, Peter gave great credence to his testimony as an eyewitness to Christ’s miracles, death, Resurrection, teachings, and Ascension. Peter’s death in itself forms a piece of evidence corroborating the Gospel. Hence, the news of Peter’s death lends credence to the Gospel and increases God’s reputation as the true God and as the Savior of man.

This gives perspective on St. John’s understanding of this line from Revelations: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of the testimony (μαρτυρια), and they loved not their lives unto death.” Revelation 12:11 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition.)

Notice it was the “word” of their “marturias,” which had effect. I suggest that this indicates that the “testimony” should not be taken to be a speech or words. Rather, it was the “word” reporting the testimony – the “news” of their deaths that was effective in spreading the Gospel and saving those who benefit from the “glory” which the death gives to God.

So, the death of each martyred Apostle and of each eyewitness to Jesus’ miracles, death, teachings, Resurrection, and Ascension gives direct evidence of the truth of the Gospel. Further, the death of each Martyr who suffered death rather than disavow what they had heard from the eyewitnesses gives direct evidence of their judgment of the truthfulness and reliability of the eyewitnesses. These deaths therefore aid in the salvation of man, because they give glory – good reputation and fame – which endorse and spread the Gospel as the truth.

In this sense, God’s glory (fame) is a tool of salvation.

Gloria in altissimis Deo.

John Hiner


Thank you for all of your replies. The Bible Study moderator just referenced this website and the article there seems to encompass all the points you have made.

The article cites St. Thomas Aquinas’ who says the Passion and Death of Our Lord manifests more clearly the following attributes of God:

  1. His love for us
  2. His justice
  3. His mercy
  4. The humility and obedience of Jesus
  5. The love of Jesus for His Father (by obeying even unto death)

(I was going to just copy the section, but thought it might break the copying restrictions, since the article is quite short.)

The above is how Our Lord’s death glorified God. In regards to Peter, your responses of “obedience” seem to summarize it all. It seems to me that by continuing to be obedient to God’s commands, especially in a painful death imposed by enemies, Peter was able to give a powerful example of forgiveness, love and prayer for enemies, etc.



Our human will must die for our new heart to gain total control.

Our new heart filled with God’s love will then be completed or perfected.

We will grow in God’s love; it is an absolute promise.


Death is the result of sin. Because of this, death glorifies sin. Just the reality of it offers sin a witness.Even if we willingly die for the sake of good our death still offers sin a witness in that our earthly life has ended in submission to it’s law. By sin we enter into death and by grace we enter into life. The only death that can glorify God is one that is not held in it’s grip but destined for resurrection. Untill that happens the glory offered to God through death is unrevealed. Whether it be a martyr’s death that is a visible sign of that future glory or it be a an ordinary appearing death marked by a soul in a state of grace, it glorifies God because it is a death that will reveal a life that didn’t end in submission to the law of sin but ended in a state of grace. In effect not death, but a means by which we all can glorify God. I think this is why the passage say’s 'bywhat death Peter will glorify God.


Hello Benadam.

I had not thought before of death glorifying sin. Taking the definition from John Hiner’s post:

The Latin word “gloria” has to do with “glory, fame, renown, praise, honor” among the root concepts are “reputation [and] fame.”

I can definitely see how death testifies to the reputation of sin - the ugliness of it. And, if one considers it from the viewpoint of Satan, he would sure see it as something glorious.

The marvel is, Jesus used it to accomplish something even greater - resurrection from the dead. Without death there would be no resurrection. Resurrection witnesses to God’s power, love and mercy. These qualities of God would always have been there, to an infinite degree, even had man not sinned. But I think because of the role death played/plays in Jesus’ life and in ours, we understand better the degree of His power, love and mercy. It became a means for God to manifest Himself, His qualities, to us and for us.

I find it so interesting that God chose to use the very evils introduced *by sin *- pain, suffering, and death - as the instruments He would use to effect our salvation from sin. He invites us to do the same - “Follow Me”. It’s an invitation to accept our suffering and death, unite it to Our Lord’s, and offer it for the salvation of souls. As a means of meriting grace, bringing new life to souls, it can now serve as an instrument to glorify God.



I think by choosing to die for our Lord, rather than giving in to the worldy things that can prolong our life, is to trust that God has power over even death.


To me, JesusYeshuaIssa never died on the Cross, so there is no question of resurrection from the dead. He did gained consciousness from the near-dead in the Tomb where he was laid in for treatment of injuries inflicted on him on the Cross. JesusYeshuaIssa, in my opinion, did not and could not die on Cross, since he was to show Sign of Jonah who never died in the belly of fish, so those who base their faith on this notion are mistaken. They should rectify their misunderstanding of the events.Kindly view the following, if you like:
Did Jesus die on the Cross? A BBC documentary…378154953060&q
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics


If Jesus didn’t die he wasn’t in the belly of the fish because there was no tomb but a hospital room where Jesus was nursed. Also, if the sign unfolded in the way you say, show me where God’s hand is so that it can be called a sign. Frankly, no offense intended, if it were as you say there is no reason to connect the events that happenend to Jonah to them. More importantly I didn’t notice anything in your description that signifies divine intervention.


Hello paarsurrey,

I accept that the above may be your opinion, but what is it based on. Could you show me some verification from historical records of Our Lord’s time; records comparable to the eyewitness reports recorded in the gospels, and which have been continually handed on in various works throughout the centuries. (I won’t even go into the BBC documentary as that’s has already been debunked.)

I’m sure if I decided to put forth an opinion about some recorded event in Mohammed’s life that totally contradicted all your historical records, you’d expect some solid overiding evidence to corroborate such a statement.

Regarding the sign of Jonah, Jesus explains in what way it is a sign:
*Matthew 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. *

The similarity is in the three days, not in their physical state (alive or dead) and not, obviously, in place or cause. Jonah is a “sign” - not an identical situation.

God bless you,


Might have to do with the fact that Peter died for his faith. Anytime someone dies for their faith, they are dying for God and therefore glorifying Him.
I might be wrong on this but it’s what I understood it to be. :o


I don’t agree with you , please don’t mind. What I gather from the Bible is that JesusYeshuaIssa promised that no sign would be shown to the people other than the Sign of Jonah.
“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.’ He answered, ‘a wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here.’ (Matt 12:38–41)” Unquote
So before we determine what happened to Jesus, we must understand what happened to Jonah, because Jesus claimed that the same miracle would be repeated. What was the Sign of Jonah? Did he die in the belly of the fish and was he later on revived from death? There is agreement among all Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholars that Jonah did not die in the belly of the fish. He unsteadily hung between life and death and was miraculously saved from that situation; while any other person in his place would have died. Yet some delicate laws of nature, under the Divine command, must have combined together to save him from death. Please remember, we are not debating the issue of that being possible or not. We are only pointing out that Jesus, when he pointed out that the like of what happened to Jonah would also happen to him, he could only have meant that what everyone understood to have occurred in the case of Jonah would occur in his case. No one in the entire world of Judaism, whether in the land of Judea or anywhere else the Jews had spread out and settled, would have received a different message from this claim of Jesus. They all believed that Jonah, miraculously or otherwise, survived for three days and nights in the belly of the fish and did not die in that period for a single moment. Of course we have our own reservations regarding this view. The story of Jonah as told to us in the Quran does not mention anywhere that it was for three days and nights that Jonah suffered his trials in the belly of the fish. However here we try to bring to light the actual similarities which were predicted by Jesus Christ between Jonah and himself. Those similarities spoke clearly of spending three days and nights in extremely dangerous circumstances and a miraculous revival from near death, and not of coming back to life from the dead. The same, Jesus claimed, would happen in his case.
I am an Ahmadi – a peaceful faith in Islam bridging gaps between faiths/denominations/religions/agnostics


Paar, you forgot to read the Gospel of John. When the people asked for a sign, Jesus said, “Destroy this Temple, and I will raise it up in three days” (paraphrasing). Well, before you say, “Jesus was talking about the Temple”, John explains what Jesus means. But he was speaking about the temple of his body. Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the scripture and the word Jesus had spoken.

I promise you, my friend, our Lord and Saviour died and was raised from the dead. Jesus is True God and True Man.



Hi paarsurrey,

Examine Jesus’ words carefully. You’re reading more into them than He actually said. He does not say “For as Jonah was alive in the belly…,. so the Son of Man will be alive three…” You’re reading “alive” into it; but Jesus doesn’t say it or imply it - or any other additional parallels between Himself and Jonah. We don’t have to wonder what the “Just as” refers to since Jesus spells out that it is the “three days and three nights”.

If you read further in Matthew’s gospel, it becomes obvious that Jesus did not intend “alive” to be part of the parallel between Himself and Jonah:

*Mt. 16:21 From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Mt 17:22 As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him and he will be raised on the third day.”*

God bless you,


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