Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word.’ John 8:54-55 (NIV)
There is a great difference. There is a giant gap that separates. There are people who claim to know God, and there is One Who truly does know Him. Jesus Christ the Son of God did not come seeking His own glorification. He came to sacrifice Himself. He came to teach. He came to show us the love of His Father for His children everywhere. He came to testify to the world what He knows of the Limitless Wonder which Is our God. The words of Jesus are kind, caring and loving. They are directed to build us up by bringing us closer to God. They may sting, but only to the person who would step out of the will of God. The words of Jesus may offend, but only to people who choose to put themselves before seeking God. To those who would lift themselves up before considering the Lord, the message of Jesus comes across as strange. It sparks a negative reaction. To those who would put themselves first, the testimony of Jesus is something they must resist, reduce or ridicule. They will do anything just to try not to let the testimony of Jesus expose their self-serving hearts.
This conflict should not need to cause such a great scene. The problem is that it affects people who like to look Godly. When evil creeps into the soul of a believer, they may not even be aware of it. They act out upon their firm convictions. We defend ourselves because we think we have chosen to serve the Lord. But do we really serve? Do we really know what God wants of us? We choose Christianity because something within us wants to be near the Lord. But do we buy into Christianity for a healthier lifestyle? Do we come to Christ to look holier than the next guy? Do we come because the Word of God offers us a future? Or do we come to Christianity because that is where we find God? Do we come to listen to Jesus because He testifies of the Father He knows and loves? Do we come to Him because He can bring us to God?
Today we may not stand directly in the Presence of Jesus. Others before us did. Some succeeded in persecuting Him and nailing Him to the cross. What choices are we making now? How are we receiving the testimony of Christ? Do His words humble us? Do they expose the distance which has grown in between us and the great heart of the Father? Can we say that we know God in living personal experience? Do we consciously find ourselves in the Presence of the Almighty? Do we realize that Jesus is the One Who brings us here? Or do we find ourselves choosing to make small of Him or His words? Do we brush quickly by His teachings? Does every word of Jesus thrill our hearts and lift us into mystic heavenly realms? Or do we find our hearts puffed up and proud. Who is it that can truly say we know God? Is it still Jesus? Do we find ourselves still desperately needing to get close to Him?
Dear Jesus, we come to You. We would lay down our pride and our own assurance and seek Yours. You do truly know God the Father. Only You can say that. So let us resist our confidence and come humbly before You. We come to You so that You can bring us into an awareness of God. You can write Your words upon our hearts. Those words will lift us up to where our Father Is. Teach us daily! Guide us now! Lift us from where we are to where we should be we pray!