Jesus never became chummy with the opinion shapers of his society. Without the Jesus factor their approval, however valued by people, was worthless.
And the Father who sent me has testified about me himself. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you. (John 5:37-38NIV)
Jesus contrasts the Father’s approval with the approval of those who have not spent time with God. The only way that encounter with God can occur is through Christ. How much of our thinking is our own? How much come from spending time with Jesus?
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. (John 5:39-40NIV)
Even those who can appear spiritual, quoting Scripture, can be so focused on discovering the answer they neglect asking Jesus for the answers. Do our words, though orthodox, lack Jesus?
“Your approval means nothing to me, because I know you don’t have God’s love within you. For I have come to you in my Father’s name, and you have rejected me. (John 5:41-43NIV)
Jesus had no interest in the approval of those whose certainties had driven out the love of God. They were unable to receive people God sent them. Do we value the certainties of our group over the promptings of the Spirit of God to love?