“How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” John 5:44
As Christ continued to defend his action of healing the paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda he presents four witnesses that testify of him, identifying who he is, that he’s come from God and that his words and actions are true.
The first was the witness of John the Baptist. The second was the testimony of his own actions. The third was the very words of the Father speaking from heaven which some of his critics had heard. And the fourth was the testimony of scripture.
As Jesus cited this fourth witness he formed the statement as a rebuke, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
The Jewish people had learned to place a high value upon the scriptures, so much so that they had developed an idolatrous relationship with the word of God.
King David, in Psalm 119:105, had said of God’s word, “Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” David recognized that the purpose of a lamp is to give light, and the purpose of the light was to serve as guide leading you to a goal, and in the case of scriptures the goal is for us to know God and his ways. But the Jewish people weren’t interested in knowing God or his way of living; they only wanted the life and glory he promised to give not realizing that He is the “way the truth and the life.”
Our focus text tells us why their priorities were so misdirected.
“How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?”
Everyone was so focus on gaining honor with each other that they had no interest in seeking honor from God.
In this Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube age it’s easy for us to follow the same path that the Jewish people did so long ago. Not that we need these mass media outlets to facilitate our dysfunction; we’re more than happy, most of the time, to satisfy ourselves with a much smaller fan base. But how do you pass up a global audience?
Friends, we have to break our obsession with seeking fulfillment by pursuing the attention and affirmation of others. We’re all equally messed up and self absorbed and completely unqualified to evaluate, or judged, each other’s value. A million distorted affirmations are still distorted.
Only Jesus loves us sacrificially enough to be trust worthy. Only our Heavenly Father has demonstrated that he’s not seeking his own good when he declares his love for us. God’s is the only witness worth listening to and the only glory worth seeking.