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Jesus said to the religious leaders:

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? –John 5: 44

It seems that there is a causal relationship between men pleasing and unbelief relative to believing in Jesus. In other words, if I am seeking to please men, seeking to win their adulation; then I leave no room for the glory of God. And if Jesus is the actualized personification of the glory of God, then I am destined and doomed to a life of unbelief relative to belief in the life of God.

Seeking the glory of God, as we see later in the Gospel of John, is death to self. Jesus, ironically, is put to death by the glory of men–the same glory that contributes to unbelief. So in the most profound of ways Jesus uses the unbelief of man, the glory that put him to death, as the occasion to magnify the glory of God–the life of God–as he reverses death and unbelief to life and belief (for all those who will by the Spirit).

In principle, Christians can function, via the old nature, like these religious leaders; we can seek the glory of man, thereby contributing to unbelief and “worldly” death in our own lives. The hope, is that we will recognize this predisposition in ourselves, and instead recognize that this unbelief–seeking the glory of man–is in fact what put Jesus to death; ironically unbeknownst to simple man, their/our unbelief has become the occasion for belief as Jesus reversed this trend in his life.

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