Home > Encouragement > His Glory – or the Glory of Men? November 6, 2013

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 (online), “glory” has many definitions, including:  “Great honor, praise, or distinction accorded by common consent; a highly praiseworthy asset; a height of achievement, enjoyment, or prosperity.”

 Jesus’ two statements are pretty clear:  “I do not receive glory from men” and “when you receive glory from one another.”   Are we perceiving ourselves as being “on the inside,” accepting and gaining our “honor, praise, distinction, achievement, enjoyment or prosperity” from Him….or establishing our identity “on the outside,” seeking verification of the truths God has spoken about us from other sources  – primarily our brothers and sisters in Him, who struggle equally as we do?  Jesus indicated there’s a two-sided trap in this.  Not only do we “settle for less” when we seek the approval of those around us, but if affects our ability to “believe.”
Jesus knew He was “on the inside,” and that “All things that the Father has, are mine.” (John 16:15)  He wanted us to know it, too, because He prayed, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity….”  Unity.   Seeing ourselves and each other as all together, all “on the inside.”  Joined through and by Him,  encouraged to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph.4:3, NAS)

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.”