In John 5 Jesus had healed a man on the sabbath:

Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked. Now that day was the Sabbath. John 5:8-9 ESV

Afterwards the Jews started persecuting Jesus for this:

And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. - John 5:16-18

Then Jesus starts a long discourse to the Jews, beginning:

So Jesus said to them, (...) - John 5:19 - first 5 words - ESV

Later on Jesus proceeds to ask them how could they believe (in Him v.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. John 5:43 - ESV

Because they were receiving glory from one another and not seeking the glory the comes from God:

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

What is the glory that comes from God?

2 Answers 2


The Greek δόξα has the idea brilliance or brightness (of light). Hebrew כָּבֵד has the idea heavy or weighty. The overlap with the meaning of honor; honor related to visibility and honor related to value and seriousness.

John's uses of glory often relates to the Old Testament.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.  (...)  For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:14–17, ESV)

See What is the significance of the Word tabernacle among us?

The Old Testament used כָּבוֹד in relation to the visible representation of God's presence. God Showing his presence, usually in Jesus, is one use of δόξα in John (1:14; 2:11; 11:4,40; 5:44; 12:41; 17:5,22,24). Another usage of δόξα in John is people giving honor and praise to each other (5:41,44; 7:18; 8:50,54; 12:43).

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

Of course the glory from people is praise from people. Glory from God is God showing his presence in a person; a changed life, the fruit of the Spirit, loving as Christ loved us etc..

Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor. 4:6, ESV)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matt. 5:16, ESV)

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26, ESV)


What is the 'glory that comes from God' in John 5:44?

Answer: We may look to 1 Peter 2:9-10 for the answer.

1 Peter 2:9-10, NASB: "But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY."

God has just told us that through faithful obedience to His Word:

1. We are a "chosen race" of people;
2. We are a "royal priesthood" — priests of God;
3. Those in Christ are a "holy [Christian] nation" — the Church;
4. We have become God's Own possession: His holy ones;
5. We may proclaim Scripture, the "excellencies", to the world;
6. We have been called out of the darkness of the world into God's Light: Glory.

As long as we "walk in the Light," we walk in the glory of the Father through Christ.

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