John 5 - Who’s glory do you seek?
In John chapter five we see Jesus again conversing with the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus had just healed a lame man at the pool of Bethesda. After asking him if he wanted to be healed, Jesus told him, "take up your bed and walk." The man would have been filled with unspeakable joy when he stood up and started walking after 38 years of being lame. The Jewish leaders who seen the man carrying his bed took offense to it because it was the Sabbath. When they heard the reasoning behind why he was carrying his bed; they should have praised God. Instead, they demanded to know who was healing on the Sabbath. When you take offense to the way or timing of God working in the life of someone else; you have a spiritual problem.
After talking with the man they learned that it was Jesus that had healed him. When they found Jesus the Jewish leaders confronted Him and the text says that they sought to kill Him. Jesus points out that God the Father has not stopped working and that Jesus will not stop working either. Many say that Jesus never claimed to be God but here in chapter five John tells us that Jesus was claiming to be equal with God. This brings us to the text that we are going to look at for today.
“The Father who sent Me has Himself testified about Me. You have not heard His voice at any time, and you haven’t seen His form. You don’t have His word living in you, because you don’t believe the One He sent. You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me. And you are not willing to come to Me so that you may have life. “I do not accept glory from men, but I know you — that you have no love for God within you. I have come in My Father’s name, yet you don’t accept Me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe? While accepting glory from one another, you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God. Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, because he wrote about Me. But if you don’t believe his writings, how will you believe My words? ”” John 5:37-47 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.5.37-47.hcsb )
One of the things that we see about Jesus is that He was gentle when He should be and stern when He needed to be. He didn’t beat around the bush but told them directly, “You have never heard His (the Father’s) voice at any time.” Even though they searched the scriptures they failed to understand that the scriptures testify to Jesus being the Son of God.
They also had the problem of seeking their glory. They loved the praise of other people. It could be that their real problem of the man being healed had nothing to do with the Sabbath and everything to do with not getting recognition from others. If they were the ones to heal that man or others, then their reputations as spiritual leaders would have increased. As a result of seeking their glory, they are going to fall into the trap of following the antichrist.
This is something that all ministers have to be watchful of. That they don’t start loving the attention of people and seek out their glory. It’s human nature to like the admiration of others. It doesn’t matter who you are everyone can fall into the trap of self-glorification. This is why we are warned in the Bible about pride.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
Matthew 23:12 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/mat.23.12.hcsb )
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.”
James 4:10 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jas.4.10.hcsb )
Many other verses in the Bible warn us of the dangers of pride and self-glorification that we should heed by responding with humbling ourselves. The Jewish religious leaders failed to believe in Jesus because of their glory-seeking pride. Avoid falling into the same trap by humbling yourself before God and give Him all the glory.
Questions for reflection:
How do you keep yourself from falling into the trap of seeking your glory?
Do you have any tips that help you defeat the sin of self-glorification that you would like to share in the comments?