I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive Me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? John 5:43-44
Read John 5
Jesus makes a hopelessly sick man stand up and walk simply by speaking to him, and He does this on the Sabbath. Which thing seems like the bigger deal—healing the man or doing it on the Sabbath?
To witness this previously sick man on his own two feet has to be amazing, yet all that the Jews in this scene care about is the scrupulous adherence to the law.
They totally miss the glory of God right in front of them.
As Jesus always does, He gets to the heart of the matter when He says something like this to them: You don’t accept Me because I come in my Father’s name, but if someone else came in his own name, you would accept him. Your need for praise from each other is keeping you from believing in Me.
Jesus’ humility offends them. Their prideful hearts send up warning flares. They want Him to be the king that they expect Him to be, and they reject Him when He won’t play by their rules–or praise them for their self-righteousness.
Jesus is often not the king we expect, either.
In our pride, we ignore Jesus’ complete opposition to sin because we don’t want to be convicted about our cherished private sins. Or maybe we downplay His sacrifice because it makes us feel small and unimportant in the work of our own salvation. We want a king who will put us on a pedestal and make others recognize our goodness; we crave our peer’s praise more than we seek glory for God. Our pride keeps us from right relationships with God or others.
If pride is the disease that makes us lose our way, then humility is certainly the antidote.
In John 5, Jesus has the opportunity and authority to proclaim His own glory to these interrogating Jews. He could even have called down worshiping angels to praise Him publicly. Yet He doesn’t do either.
If Jesus humbled Himself like this, how much more should we humble ourselves before the Father? Philippians 2:5-8 calls us to have this same mindset as Jesus:
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, 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.”
Are there any of God’s truths that you willfully ignore because you would prefer a god made in your own image? In what ways do you seek acceptance and praise from others instead of from God? If pride weren’t a barrier for you, where would you find the glory of God in your life?
Looking to God instead of others for His glory changes our priorities, impacts our thought lives, and invites us to see Jesus for who He is.
Consider your response: Confess to Jesus when you find yourself rejecting Him and instead, try to emulate Him. Ask the Holy Spirit to make Jesus’ attitude toward the Father, yours also.
-Written by Emily Davis