Gardendale Nazarene

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Doxa | Pastor's Blog | Gardendale Nazarene


When I took my first New Testament Greek class, one of our first assignments was a word study. The class was told to choose a Greek word and write a paper on one word. I chose the word, doxa. In the pages that followed, doxa was forever planted in my heart.

This word, doxa, is translated 'glory'. As we have been working our way through Romans, we keep coming back to 'glory'. Today, I would like to look at a passage that enlightens us to some of the beauty of this word.

Let's begin by reading Jesus' words in John 5: 39-44

"You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory (doxa) from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 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. How can you believe, when you receive glory (doxa) from one another and do not seek the glory (doxa) that comes from the only God?"

Before we talk about this passage, let's dig a little deeper into doxa. One of the best places to broaden our understanding of doxa is in the story of Moses on Mount Sinai. In Exodus 34, we read that after Moses returned from receiving the tablets on Sinai, his face shone. The Hebrew word here is kabod or in Greek doxa.

Moses spends time in the presence of God and what did the people see? Did they see Moses' glory? No, they saw God's glory.

Look at Jesus' statement in John 5, "I do not receive glory from people...How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?"

The challenge I see in this passage is the fact that Jesus has the religious leaders pegged- and us too! How often do I seek glory from other people and not God? Moses' face radiated because of the time he spent in the presence of the living God. Do I shine? How can I expect to radiate God's glory, if I haven't been in His presence?

Look once more at the John 5 passage. Jesus tells them, " refuse to come to me that you may have life..." Many of us read this statement as pertaining to salvation. I think this is true, but I don't think the meaning stops there.

In spending time with Christ, we have life. If you read the next chapter in John, you will see Jesus talking to the people about the manna their ancestors received in the wilderness. The collection of manna was a daily practice. The 'bread' we are fed by is a daily practice.

How do we radiate God's glory? We come to Christ. We spend time in His presence. We pray. We spend time with the Scriptures. We look for the presence of God in our daily lives. We radiate his love!

May "we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, [be] transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18).