John 5:41 “I do not accept human praise. [1]

While Jesus may receive human praise, He does not accept it.  Little wonder, the word for “praise” here is the same as the word translated as glory in we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. [Jn 1:14]  It is the same word that is used in the Septuagint to describe the Glory of the Lord in the Hebrew Scriptures [e.g. Ex 40:34]  Human praise or glory pales in comparison with these.

But this is not the reason that Jesus does not accept human praise. Human praise is very, very, very fickle. Today’s viral celeb, tomorrow’s unknown:  He will give them bread and fish to eat in the next chapter and what do we human’s do:  Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone. [Jn 6:15] Amen, amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. [Jn 6:26].

On Sunday, when the great crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him, and cried out: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, [even] the king of Israel.” [Jn 12:12-13]

On Friday, they cried out, “Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your king?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” [Jn 19:15].

The evidence is clear….human praise is not worth hearing….

And yet I wallow in it, relish it, crave it, am addicted to it.  What’s wrong with this picture… does this show a follower of Jesus, one whose life is suppose to give witness to the existence of God, to trust in the Father, to the love of the Son, to the power of the Holy Spirit?  Do I really, really depend such a worn, frayed, gossamer life-line to bolster my sagging, emaciated ego?  Is this the sand upon which I build my house?  Well, then, I deserve to have depression, devastation, darkness when the tide turns and the praise becomes jeers; I am indeed the fool who built his house on sand. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. And it collapsed and was completely ruined.” [Mt 7:26-27]

Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? [ἐκ τοῦ σώματος τοῦ θανάτου τούτου]. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. [Rom 7:24-25] Amen. Alleluia!!!

[1] Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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