John 12:28-43 (ESV)
28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” 35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
What keeps you from seeing Jesus for who He truly is in the world and your life? The obvious answer is that we are not able to see until God opens our eyes. But what about after our eyes are open? What keeps us from living and speaking in a way that proclaims that we understand (at the level we can) and follow Jesus. “They loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. “ It is one of those verses that we would prefer to gloss over. It confronts us with the truth about our fleshy-ness, our broken and fallen-ness.
Before you rush to judgement and think that you would not be like the people in the passage, hear me say that on some level each day we are these people. I am these people. It might not even be the glory from other men but the glory I gather for and from myself when I decide to climb up on the throne of God. I can do this better. I will take it from here. Foolishness but it is all to common.
What is it within our sinful hearts that drive us to ignore the King of Glory and Ruler of All and focus on what glory we may receive from others or ourselves? Is it that the assurance of our place in Christ and seat at the family table as children of God do not compare to the feeling of acceptance we get from someone we want acceptance from? Is it that the sorrow of this life needs more solid fleshy hands to holds us instead of the assurance of the Holy Spirit providing peace that passes understanding and is demonstrated from that broken group of people called the church?
It might not really matter. Because the Truth is that God’s glory should be our chief aim and not the glory of men. The great thing is that He promised to Glorify His Name. And He has decided to do that through our lives in Christ. The lives He has given us. The lives He formed before the foundation of the world. That although doubt and fear drive me to secure a temporary glory it is always overtaken by God’s glory. He will receive all glory. We have been created by Him to bring Him glory and enjoy Him forever.
Jesus, you are the name above all names. You are the Bright Morning Star. You are the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. You are the Lover of our souls. You are Messiah. You are Redeemer. You are our Prophet, Priest and King. We Praise You.
Find a place to write a new praise song to God. Find a place to sing an existing praise song to God. Look in the Psalms for a praise song to God and memorize it. Find a way to bring God glory. It doesn’t have to be a song. Think on His majesty, holiness, love, sacrifice, strength, etc.