I was thinking about the concept of “on-the-outside-thinking” versus “on-the-inside thinking” taught last Sunday, and the content of John 5:44 jumped out at me.
First, the Scriptural context: for 20 or 30 previous verses, Jesus has been defending and explaining His identity as God’s Son to the Jews. In John 5:39-40 He has told them that they are searching for “eternal life” in the Scriptures, which point to Him, but they are then unwilling to come to Him. In John 5:41 He states, “I do not receive glory from men.” (NAS)
In John 5:44, then, Jesus asks this penetrating question: “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?” (NAS)
According to thefreedictionary.com (
The good news – really, at the very core of the “Good News” – is that God has put His seal of approval on us and given us intrinsic “honor, praise, distinction, achievement, enjoyment, or prosperity.” He has not loved us any less, and He could not love us any more! He has provided the blessing and the resource to conquer that sometimes ceaseless, restless striving to “prove ourselves” one to the other, to form social caste systems of inclusion and exclusion. He has enabled us to love. To be His Love. And to stand with Him, and in Him, proclaiming “I do not receive glory from men.”