John 7:1 After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”
The voices in these verses are different but they are reminiscent of that “snake” in the garden assuring Adam and Eve to take that first step that would change the created mindset of man from contentment with, and dependence on, the glory of God to the tempting awareness of self. “No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” Thank God that Jesus the man had heard it all before.
John 6:28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
Every person of faith is told we should read the Bible, pray, love, serve and meet together. We’ve prioritized those more tangible expressions of our faith as requirements God has given that will lead us to Jesus. Many of us could truthfully confess at times we’ve experienced those foundations of faith as the burden of works, the “shoulds.” Even the faith that is a gift of God does not make us immune to the flaws of a human nature that wants an answer to the wrong question; “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
It’s entirely possible the purpose of the struggle we have with those foundational parts of our faith is to help us recognize we are unable to do the work God requires. The right question for us to ask is: WHO must do “the works God requires?” And the answer is right there for us…”The work of God is this: to believe in [Jesus] the one he has sent.”
John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
Glory: high renown or honor won by notable achievements.
This one verse is part of Jesus’s fairly long indictment of the brokenness of human nature. As hard as it is to read, it’s also encouragement to respond. From the moment of our birth we begin to understand “notable achievements” can make people respond positively to us. Even a toddler can enchant us with their response to the right encouragement. We clearly have a built-in nature that still recognizes “notable achievements” can result in glory for this life.
Jesus is determined to remind us it’s our remembrance of what glory is meant to be that is broken. Our glory will not be complete until we “seek the glory that comes from the only God” who’s most “notable achievements” were to create mankind and this world so His glory might become part of our shared glory that would honor Him.
How can you believe, when you receive “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” from one another and do not seek the “high renown or honor won by notable achievements” that comes from the only God?