“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[d]? 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?” John 5.41-47
Jesus wasn’t afraid to hit below the belt. He didn’t hold back punches when it came to defending himself and giving glory to God.
The Jews, for the most part, rejected Jesus (See Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22). These verses depict a suffering Messiah. They wanted a ruling king to defeat the occupying Romans but Jesus came as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.
Jesus’ rebuke of the Jews in this passage seems harsh but he speaks the truth when he says, “I do not accept glory from human beings….” He calls them out by saying “you do not have the love of God in your hearts.” Ouch. That stung! I’m sure some of them prided themselves for loving God like Deuteronomy 6 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your mind, soul and strength.” These were the same Jews who claimed to follow the Law of Moses as well.
Yet Jesus rebukes their loyalty to Moses which must have been highly insulting for a “faithful” Jews. He said that Moses will be their accuser for even Moses “wrote about me.” But since they did not even believe what Moses wrote (v.47), they won’t believe what Jesus said.
It is the love of God which compels us. It’s the love of God which fills believers hearts and radiates the truth of God’s law within us. Without his love, we can not know him. The Jews, thought they loved God, but rather they loved the idea of him. They worshipped him but missed the significance of his Son and of a suffering Servant to take away the sins of the world.
How then should we who follow Jesus allow the love of God to flow in our hearts?! On this Valentines Day, let us practice loving one another. Let us do all things with in our power to demonstrate the love of God to everyone we meet.
For Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
“O Lord God, if only our world loved one another! We fight, we hate, we kill and we ignore our Lord. We killed Jesus by crucifying him upon the cross. The devil loves nothing more than for us to hate one another. Yet let’s not let him win! Let us cling to the love of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. Let’s allow his Holy Spirit to fill us with power and might so they world might know he is God and that God is love. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen