Perception of Power

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?

Chapter 5 of the Gospel of John begins with Jesus visiting the Pool of Bethesda.

Bethesda has two meanings.  “Beth” in Hebrew and Aramaic means “house of mercy” or “house of grace”.  “Hesda” means “shame, disgrace”.    “Shame, disgrace” came from all the invalids at the pool and “grace, mercy” came from the perceived healing powers of the waters in the pool.

Jesus came to this pool and healed a man on the Sabbath.  This upset the Pharisees.  As did Jesus’s words in John 5:17:

But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

So between those words and the actions at the pool, the leaders were a might bit peeved with Jesus.  In their eyes he was breaking the Sabbath and making himself equal with God by calling God his Father.  They perceived Jesus to be arrogant and blasphemous.

Jesus tells them all that he does, and really all that we do is granted to us by God.

In verse 44, Jesus speaks of the narcissism and arrogance of man that does not allow man to realize that God is within them and all of us.  They cannot see God right before their very eyes.  They are so enamored with themselves and their positions of power, that they are blind to the glory of God.

Christ informs them that they are more concerned with the accolades they receive from other men.  They are more concerned with the power and wealth they acquire from their worldly roles.  They do not see God and they no longer seek God.  They have put themselves in God’s place.

They live in the written words of man and do not hear or want to hear the living words of Christ.

John 5:39

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,

Christ speaks of the arrogance again verse 43:

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

They will receive anyone who says, I know what is right.  Yet when Christ comes to them in the name of God and shows them the power of God, they seek to kill him.

They seek to have him destroyed because the truth threatens their power and wealth. It threatens their worldly perspective of life.

This is why people, organizations, and governments reject God.  God threatens their worldly power.  They really don’t possess any power but through arrogance and narcissism they have convinced themselves that they are in charge.

We stroke each other for worldly pleasure, and strive for worldly desires.  Our arrogance fills our hearts, and like the Pharisees, with God right in front of them, we fail to open our hearts and seek the Kingdom of Heaven.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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