Which Glory?

Today is Maundy or “mandate” Thursday. It was this day Jesus gave the new command.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another”  John 13:34

A lot happened between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Sunday and him washing the feet of his disciples on Thursday. Jesus cleared the temple on Monday, confronted the Jewish authorities and taught in the temple on Tuesday, and was betrayed by Judas to the chief priests on Wednesday.

One sentence from Tuesday’s reading in John 12:37-50 hit me especially hard. Jesus finished teaching and departed. John wrote these words:

“…….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; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. John 12:42-43

They didn’t want Jesus. They wanted the praise of men. They wanted power and control. They wanted glory.

They wanted a different kind of Messiah. They wanted one who made them feel comfortable in their man-made religion and self-righteous living. Not a lowly suffering servant. They knew if they followed him, they’d be asked to do the same. They’d need to put away their selfish desires and self-exalting practices.

I’ve done this. I do this.

Apart from God’s grace I’m like those John wrote about in verse 37: .…”they still did not believe him.”

What we want effects what we believe, so I ask God to change what I want. I pray for Him to cause me to see His glory and want Him more than I want anything else.

One thing have I asked of the Lord,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
   and to inquire in his temple.

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:4, 13-14 ESV

Photo by Thanti Nguyen on Unsplash

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