“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honour for himself, but he who works for the honour of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.” (verse 18)
In the context, Jesus is confronting the confused amazement of the Jewish religious leaders at his teaching: “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (verse 15). He answers by telling them his teaching is not his own, but comes rather from the one who sent him – a clear reference to the Father and an indication of Jesus’ own status as “sent one”.
And then he speaks the verse I’ve highlighted above. He doesn’t seek his own honour; instead, he seeks the honour of the Father. Therefore, he is grounded in truth, without any falsehood.
Lord Jesus, you carry this out perfectly, selflessly committing yourself to the honour of the Father. What a powerful example. I am “in Christ” – you call me to the same selfless commitment.
Here I am writing this devotional, seeking to keep my eyes on you. Yet it is so easy to have one eye on people’s response, wondering if I’m connecting, hoping to make an impact, hoping for affirmation. How much of my writing is motivated by a desire to gain honour for myself? Lord, to what degree am I self-focused?
O Lord, I learned long ago that human motives will rarely be anything but mixed. It is so difficult for us to keep eyes fully focused on you. It is so difficult for me.
But Lord, I am struck again by the humility of your life, laying it all down to honour the Father. May I, too, in you, sharpen my focus more and more, leaving aside the sideways glances at position and honour, looking always to you as source, speaking and acting for your glory, not mine.
O Lord Jesus, I submit to your submission.
Focus me this day.
Reflect: What aspect of this day will most easily slip into self-focus rather than submissive Christ-focus? Talk to the Lord about it now, giving it into his hands.