41 I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not accept Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
These are of course the words of Jesus. But who is He speaking to? He is speaking to the Pharisees and the Sadducees who had begun to persecute Him (v16). Why had they begun to persecute Him? He healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years and told him to pick up his mat and walk. On the Sabbath. He healed on the Sabbath and carried his mat on the Sabbath, both against rabbinical teachings. Not against the laws of Moses, laws given by God.
Then things got worse when Jesus stated God was His Father which in their eyes He was calling Himself equal to God. They did not know what to do with that other than to call it blasphemy. Then just before our verses for the day, Jesus said
39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about Me, 40 yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.
This is why immediately following our verses for today, He says they are condemned by Moses’ words
45 But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?
Now though let us look at the first two verses for today I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. Most versions of this verse do not say in your hearts, but in yourselves. However, I consider the NIV to be correct here as where else is love going to reside, but in the heart. I believe we have all met people like this. People who can quote scripture all the time, they even claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior, but one thing you do not see in them putting this foundational truth into action: The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love (Galatians 5:6b). Those who put this verse into action have the love of God in their hearts. Thus they are always seeking to serve the body of Christ in whatever way the Holy Spirit has given them to serve. And they do it gladly!
Jesus went on to show how since they did not seek the glory of God, they look for glory from each other, from men, not from God. I think we all enjoy praise, but if we are serving God for the purpose of seeking praise from men and not seeking His glory then Jesus makes it clear we are then in trouble: I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not accept Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
When we serve God we have to be careful about the condition of our hearts. One thing that helps is to remember to Go to Church this weekend and seek Him. Then take what you learn and put it into effect in your life in the days and weeks ahead.