May we never follow or “do” for Christ to ride on the coattails of His glory into the limelight of human admiration.
This is important for all of us, but I think a special caution for those in ministry or seeking to pursue ministry. When left unchecked, it is easy to fall into this trap. The trap of thinking we’re something special because we lead people to worship God. Yikes! Sounds A LOT like Satan’s heart, pursuit, and ambition - the “original worship leader.”
In John Piper’s sermon on John 2:23-25, he outlines the glory of God’s omniscience and the kind of belief that is not acceptable to Jesus as saving belief. Check out his sermon here:
As he explained this un-saving belief, he highlighted a chapter when Jesus’ brothers urged Him to travel to Judea and perform signs and wonders so people could see and esteem Him (John 7:1-5). At the heart, their purposes in urging Him to “show off” were for their own personal glory as His entourage, but shockingly their belief in His signs and wonders wasn’t a saving belief! His own brothers. Piper said:
Verse 5 is given as the reason His bothers wanted Him to go do His miracles to get some attention in Judea! It was because they did not believe in Him. They knew He worked miracles. They believed that. They were excited about it, and they wanted Him to go public and get the attention He deserved. That, John says, is unbelief. Why? The explanation is found in John 5:44: ‘How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?’ Deep down inside — where Jesus could see and no one else could — His brothers loved the glory of man. And they saw Jesus, the miracle worker, as their chance for a day in the sun. They would ride on his coattails into the limelight of human admiration. In other words, real, saving faith in Jesus is a humble thing. It’s what broken people do. Not what power-lovers do, or popularity-lovers, or sign-and-wonder-lovers.
We must not get caught up in seeking signs and wonders and the next ‘spectacular’ thing that we miss the spectacular One - Jesus Christ. Piper warns that at the end times another will present signs and wonders so great (yet full of deceit), that many will turn from Christ and follow a sign-worker who SEEMS more impressive and perish. Don’t miss the Spectacular, while chasing the spectacular.
But to those who believe in Christ - whose great glory is on display every day and every moment - there is life eternal available. And Piper encourages us to realize that when we are received into the family of God, through true belief in His name, we are utterly and fully known by Jesus and He will love us completely and perfectly. “To all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).