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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder


John 5:41-47 I receive not honor from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honor one of another, and seek not the honor that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?

Although the prophets of old identified Jesus as the Savior, God spoke from the clouds at the baptism of Jesus calling Him His Son. And although Jesus performed miracles that could only be performed by one sent from God, the Jews continued to refuse accepting Him as the promised Messiah. Instead, they accused Jesus of blasphemy for referring to Himself as the Son of God. With all this evidence pointing to Jesus as the Savior of the world, the Jews, especially their spiritual leaders, would not accept Him, come to Him, and see in Him as the promised Messiah, who offered the hope of eternal life to the world (See Vs. 40).

When Jesus said, in the opening verse of the lesson text, I receive not honor from men, He is not seeking the applause from mankind for the preaching of God's gospel message of repentance and salvation, nor for the compassionate miracles, which He performed to prove His divinity. Instead He is telling them that He will not accept any such glory, even if men and women of the world try to bestow on Him. The Jews had been taught to expect much pomp and regal splendor with the promised Messiah. Because of this they refused to accept one that came from such a poor, humble family that resided in Nazareth, a town having a less than acceptable reputation. Looking back at His life on earth we understand that no human being could bestow any more praise and glory on Christ Jesus than His Heavenly Father, the Creator of all things.

With an omniscient mind, Jesus was able to look into the hearts of the Jewish leaders that were accusing Him of blasphemy, and was able to make this accusation against them: I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. Although these religious leaders diligently read God's Holy Word, they did not understand its meaning because of false preconceptions about the coming of the promised Messiah. In just a few verses penned by God's prophetic messengers, it is evident that from the root of Jesse would come the Savior; He would ascend everlastingly to the throne of David (See Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-5; 11:10), and He could easily be identified as one having the power to save by opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, heal the lame that they may be able to leap for joy, and loose the tongues of those that could not speak (See Isa. 35:4-6). Their love for God was lost because, even with scriptures that accurately and specifically identified Him, they refused to accept Jesus as the Son of God.

Coming in the name of His Heavenly Father, the promised Messiah, Christ Jesus was not received by the Jewish religious leaders even though they continuously read the scriptures and should have been able to recognize and accept Jesus as the Savior of the world. Realizing the false expectations of the Jewish leaders, there were many that came claiming to fulfill their inaccurate interpretation of the scriptures, and all claiming to be the Messiah - with open arms, him ye will receive, follow, and obey as a teacher. This is exactly what our Savior predicted before His crucifixion. He assured the world that many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matt. 24:5).

Those that seek the honor one of another, will be blinded by their selfish ambition and lose sight of God's truths that will lead them to eternal salvation. Jesus told these Jewish leaders that there was no reason for Him to condemn them before God. They had already condemned themselves by rejecting the teaching of Moses, the one in whom they placed their trust. He had plainly told them about the coming of the Savior and commanded that they hear and obey His will. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words? They professed to follow the teachings of Moses with great reverence, yet they refused to accept the Savior of whom, by inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, he prophesied to come - the seed of David - the promised Messiah!