At first sight, one might think the contrast between the Jewish authorities and Jesus is simply this: the Jewish leaders seek honor from other people, Jesus seeks honor from God. But the difference is more profound. Whereas the Jewish leaders are concerned only with their own reputation, Jesus seeks to promote not himself but God. The Jewish leaders are self-centered; Jesus is God-centered. He lives for the honor and
praise of God–that is, Jesus’s own honor given by God. By seeking only the glory of God, he wins God’s approval. What goes largely unsaid in these particular passages (Jn. 8:48) but certainly is implied is that Jesus, by seeking God’s glory and not his own, actually incurs dishonor and disgrace in the eyes of humans but approval from God. Seeking God’s glory is the path of self-humiliation that Jesus follows to the cross.
Elsewhere in the Gospel Jesus says, “I seek not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn. 5:30), a statement reminiscent of Jesus’s prayer in Gethsemane in the Synoptic Gospels.
This aspect of the Gospel story is probably the most theologically important way in which the Gospel depicts Jesus as God incarnate in humanity.. It is strangely missed by those who find the Jesus of this Gospel more divine than human. It is in this thoroughly human love of Jesus for his friends that the divine love for the world takes human form. In this way “the Word became flesh…full of grace” (1:14).
title: Gospel of GLORY
by: Richard Bauckham