Day 44: Popular with One

John 5:41-44 : “I don’t receive glory from men. But I know you, that you don’t have God’s love in yourselves. I have come in my Father’s name, and you don’t receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another, and you don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God?”

Jesus said that He came with the fame of His Father. He was famous because God said this is “The Guy.” Jesus didn’t need the fame of men. These Jewish religious leaders, however, thrived on the fame of men as do many politicians today. A common theme in Christianity is the promotion of the fame of God and the removal of the fame of men. All of the “great” men of the Bible were clearly fallible except for Jesus. Most of the time when you read about the disciples in John, they are in the process of doing something foolish or unfaithful. Men don’t have anything to offer. We need help. This is a major theme in “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien. Men, when faced with enough temptation, always give in. Jesus said that He is the only way. He was the only one who did not give in.

Pope John Paul II once said: “The truth is not always the same as the majority decision.” I think Jesus would have agreed with the John Paul II on this one. Taking a vote is not a good way to find the truth because it depends on a popularity contest. If there happens to be more sinners in the crowd than righteous, then you get something other than justice.

The quality of the vote counts for something in the world of justice. Truth in small numbers is better than mass of liars. There was no lack of voters at the Tower of Babel. Even Hitler was popular.

Here, Jesus also speaks of a man who will come in his own name. He’s going to be very popular. This appears to be a reference to “The Anti-Christ” of the future. This is a prophesy in Revelation:

Revelation 13:4-6 : They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven.

Here, John, who also wrote Revelation, mentions a man coming who will openly defame God and the people will follow him.

Jesus tells us that the only fame worth having is the fame that comes from God. That’s what we should desire. That’s what Jesus made possible!