Text: John 5:39-44
Summary: Seek the glory that comes from the only God in this life and He will give you glory and honor and praise in eternal life.
Good morning, everybody. Please turn with me to John 5. I’ll read from v37.
37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 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. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?
Okay, let’s pray.
Father, we come as children of God. And today we’re not gathered to study Scripture. We’re coming to meet a Person, Jesus Christ. So, Jesus, we pray that you would meet us. You are the life. We pray that you would revive us. Jesus, you are the Word. We pray that you would teach us. We want to leave this place fully devoted to Jesus. That is our hope. Every time we gather on Sundays and every time we open up the Word, we want to meet you. Lord Jesus, you are the head of the church. We pray that you would assume your rightful place on the throne of every one of our hearts. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen
It says in v44. How can you believe when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Did you know that God wants to give you glory? We think of glory as something that we give to God. We glorify God. We praise God. We honor God.
Did you know that the Heavenly Father wants to give you glory? It’s a glory that comes from Him. And this glory in the original Greek is the word ‘doxa’. It is where we get the word doxology. It is praise. It is honor. God the Father wants to give you glory, honor and praise. And Jesus says, why aren’t we seeking His glory?
And the one point for today is, seek the glory that comes from the Only God in this life and He will give you glory and honor and praise in eternal life. In this short life, seek the glory that comes from the Only God. It comes from God. He will give it to you in this life. Seek the glory that comes from the Only God and He will give you glory, honor and praise in eternal life, in the next life, in the afterlife.
I never understood that the Father wants to give me glory. The Father wants to give me praise. And the Father wants to put His seal of approval because I lived before Him. The big problem that we have is that we do not live before this Heavenly Father. How are we living? We are living before one another. We are living for our own glory. We are living for other people to glorify us.
If I were to boil down the main problem outside the church, it’s the same problem within the church. We are seeking glory and praise and honor from one another. And this glory means somebody’s opinion of you matters so much. Because God’s opinion of you can be one of giving you glory and honoring you and praising you. His opinion of you can be so high. Or you could live in a completely different way where everybody’s opinion of you matters so much. You’re so conscious of everybody in your life that you’re living before people.
And Jesus says, no wonder you cannot believe because you’re so busy seeking glory from one another. If I were to simplify the different stages of my life, the first stage of my life was seeking glory from dad and mom as a little kid. What kid doesn’t want glory from their from their father and mother? Their opinion of you matters so much. What they say of you matters so much.
And that’s why so many people are damaged because their parents said things or or raised them in a certain way that caused damage upon these little ones. The first stage of my life was seeking glory and praise and honor from my parents. And it’s interesting. I just visited with my parents and we had a great visit. There’s just one funny statement that my mom made. She was talking about friend’s daughter’s son.
I grew up with this daughter’s family. We stayed at their house for a few months when we first moved from New York to Philadelphia, and so she’s about my age and she has a child. I think it’s a son, and this son got into Harvard. My mom told me this more than one time because for a Korean parent to be connected to Harvard in some way, even some distant way, not even in her own family, it’s her friend’s daughter’s child. But this is a cause for so much glorying and glorifying in the name of Harvard. Just to be connected in some small way to Harvard. It’s something that my mom had to tell me 3-4 times because she forgot she told me. She’s so excited to tell me about this glorious news of someone getting into Harvard and now I’m connected to Harvard indirectly.
We live for the glory of Harvard, for your title, for your standing in society, for your business, for the title on your business card. We live for the glory of people. And God says, no wonder you never seek my glory, the only glory that matters, because is the provost of Harvard going to stand next to you on Judgment Day and glorify you and say, no, he’s a great person? Are your mom and dad, are they going to stand next to you on Judgment Day and say, no, this is a good child and you should accept them into heaven? You’ve been seeking approval from your boss because you want the next promotion. Is your boss going to be standing next to you when you’re before the Heavenly Father? And is their opinion going to matter at all?
Growing up, my parents’ opinion was so important that one comment from them could boost me up so much. And one comment from them could destroy me and make me so resentful. God wants to set us free from living before parents and living before the praise of men. He wants to set us free from that. That means you have to live before the One who wants to give you praise. The Only One whose praise matters in the end. The Heavenly Father.
After living for the glory and the praise and honor from parents, I went to college, I got saved, but I was part of a church and and I lived for the praise of these spiritual leaders in the church. And for a while I was doing well and so their praise and they’re lifting me up caused me to feel so proud. It felt so great. Like one comment from this pastor or some leader in that church could put me in the penthouse. Also one comment from these same people could put me in the doghouse.
And they had that kind of control. The same way that the words of my parents had such an impact on me as a little one, it was the same way with these leaders. And for those 20 some years, I allowed myself to live before these people and their words, which either lifted me up or destroyed me.
Our Heavenly Father is not like that. He is not so fickle. He is not so moody. He is steady. He is loving. He is steadfast in his love towards you. And we have to live before the One who wants to give you glory.
And how do we receive this glory from the Heavenly Father? You live for His glory in this life so that He will glorify you in eternal life. How do we live in this life before the Heavenly Father? How do we? How can we be sure that later on when we see Him, He will glorify us and He will honor us and He will praise us.
22 For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
So how can we receive this glory from the Only God? By honoring His Son. By believing in His Son. By receiving His Son. By being fully devoted to His Son. When the Father sees us interacting with Jesus in this way out of all people, He pays attention. Oh, this person really is devoted to Jesus. He really honors Jesus. And that is the guarantee that one day when you see the Heavenly Father, He will honor you because you’ve been honoring His Son in this life.
The Scripture here makes it so clear that every time we gather on a Sunday, we honor Jesus Christ. He’s the head of the church.
39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
Every time we gather on a Sunday, who are we honoring? Who are we talking about? Who are we preaching about? All of Scripture, it says, is about me. Many people started the new year with a Bible reading plan. I wonder if they’re being taught that every time they open up Scripture, who are they meeting? Who are they learning from? Who is the head of their life? Who is the head of the church? Who is supreme in this universe? I would just hope that people would read John 5 before rushing through a year of Bible reading, because it makes it so clear it’s about Jesus.
And even when you talk about the Old Testament, Jesus says, Moses and his writings, the first five books of the Old Testament. Have you ever heard someone preach through the first five books or any of the books of the Bible and the conclusion always is Jesus? Jesus says, they are about me like the bread that came from heaven. They were so impressed with Moses. They were glorying in Moses that to them he was such a glorious leader. They were glorying in him. And they thought Moses was the reason this bread was falling from heaven.
Jesus says, no, the true bread is me. Even when we study the Exodus, we should make the conclusion, it is about Jesus. And everything in the Bible, all 66 books, I could argue every page of Scripture is about Jesus. Why is it that we don’t hear this message and I fall into this trap myself that I wanted to preach the whole counsel of God. And I thought that this meant going through every verse and parsing every verse. And I thought it meant studying Scripture diligently and showing off how much I know.
And you have many pastors with PhDs and they’re so much smarter than I am. They’re scholarly, and they come on Sunday and they’re showing off how much they know, how clever they are in their communication, and Jesus says, if they don’t talk about me, then it’s nothing. Then they’ve wasted your time. Jesus says every time you open up Scripture, did you know that it’s talking about me?
I pray that this year we can learn not to live before one another. My opinion of you does not matter. Your parents opinion of you doesn’t matter. Your boss’s opinion of you doesn’t matter. You’re not living before people. You’re living before God and He wants to give you glory. This glory comes directly from the Heavenly Father.
And how can you be sure that on Judgment Day or whenever you see Him, that the Father himself will give you glory? He will ask, in your lifetime did you glorify my Son while you were here? Did you honor theSson? Were you fully devoted to the Son? Did you believe in the Son? Did you trust in the Son? Did you put your faith in the Son? Did you love the Son? Did you abide in the Son?
Everything is about Jesus. And if you spoke about Him and you testified about Him and you lived in this way, guaranteed, the Father will glorify you when you see Him. It all depends on how you interacted with the Son. If the Heavenly father’s opinion matters to you, then you have to be fully devoted to his Son, the one whom He sent. Because if you honor the Son, you will be honored by the Father.
The Scripture is so clear and so the first stage of my life, I lived for the glory of dad and mom. For the second stage of my life, I lived before church leaders. In this last stage of my life, and I pray that it never changes, I want to live before the praise of the only God. His opinion matters to me only and I want to commit that I will live before Him because nobody else’s opinion matters. I actually want to throw away this desire to seek the praise of others.
You actually have to throw away everyone else’s opinion of you because it says Jesus did that first.
41 I do not receive glory from people.
Why does Jesus say that? Because Jesus is seeking only the glory from His Heavenly Father. He wants to please Him. He wants to live well before Him. He wants to hear, well done, mission accomplished. He wants to hear that from his Heavenly Father.
And Jesus knew that if He started receiving glory from men, that this is going to distort His ability to live His life before God. And so for us, if you really want to live this way, as I’ve committed in my own heart, that I want to live before God, the only God whose praise is all that counts in the end, you have to deliberately say, I count all other people’s opinions as rubbish.
It does not matter to me at all because I will stand before one Judge in the end. And if you want to live this way, then let us repent. Let us repent for living before men and living for the glory of men, the praise of men.
Living for the praise of men doesn’t simply mean wanting to be respected and praised and lifted up. It also means being so conscious of men, being so easily derailed by the comments from other people. How easily does that affect you? Can one comment lift you up? And does their opinion of you tear you down so quickly, these comments from people whose opinion does not matter in the end?
Let us repent for seeking the glory from one another. We are so busy seeking glory from man that no wonder our Heavenly Father says, you don’t seek glory from me because if you sought it from me, you would know that all that I care about is do you honor my Son?
Father, we repent for seeking our own glory, for seeking the praise of man, for being so man-conscious, for being so easily derailed by one comment from people who are not even close to us. There’s only One Person whose opinion matters in the end. It is you, Father. You are the Judge. And when we see Him, He is going to ask us one question — did you honor my Son?
Did you believe in my Son? Did you live for my Son? Did you abide in my Son? Did you follow my Son? Were you all about my Son? How did you treat my Son? How did you revere my Son? How did you elevate and increase the Name of my Son? How did you preach and testify about my Son? That is all that the Heavenly Father will ask us.
I pray that we would seek the glory that comes from the only God in this life, in this short life so that you, Heavenly Father, will glorify us and honor us and praise us for all eternity because we were so devoted to your Son. We repent, Lord, again for seeking glory from one another, for being so man-conscious, being so man-centered.
So many churches are man-centered. Forgive the churches across the world that are so man-centered. How many churches preach Jesus? How many Christians know that all Scripture is about Jesus? It’s so clear in your Word. How come we haven’t heard this until now?
Father, we repent. It’s so clear now, Lord, what you want from us in this life. As we partake in your Lord’s Supper, this is not just a ritual or an act. You are the Bread of Life And so you came down from heaven. And now you’re feeding us. And this bread is your Body. This cup is your blood. You say this so clearly clearly in John 6.
We want to get all of our theology out of the way. This is Bread literally from heaven and it feeds us and it nourishes us. And if we eat of it, we will never hunger. If we drink of it, we will never thirst. Lord, we ask you to meet us in the partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
We pray that you cleanse us specifically of this sin of seeking glory from one another. It doesn’t matter in the end. No one will stand beside us or before us in the end except the Heavenly Father and our Advocate, Jesus Christ. He will vouch for us. He will say, yes, this person followed me. He’s my friend. He’s my disciple. He’s a believer. He followed me. He lived for me. We need the Advocate to vouch for us. We pray that you cleanse us specifically of this sin of seeking glory from one another. It doesn’t matter in the end. No one will stand beside us or before us in the end except the Heavenly Father and our Advocate, Jesus Christ. He will vouch for us. He will say, yes, this person followed me. He’s my friend. He’s my disciple. He’s a believer. He followed me. He lived for me. We need the Advocate to vouch for us.
Father, we honor your Son in this life and we know that this means we will be honored by you in heaven for all eternity. Thank you, Lord Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen