I know that you do not have the love of God in you.

I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” -John 5:41-47 NRSV

There is a verse in Deuteronomy (15:4) that speaks to Israel and says that there should be no poor among them. This verse and many others in the Jewish scriptures were pretty much ignored by the first century Jewish teachers. Of these Jesus indicted with words like hypocrite. And in this passage he tells them that they do not have the love of God in them.

In truth, our twenty-first century Christianity sometimes looks a bit like the faith espoused by the Jewish leaders that Christ confronted. Many times our faith is focused on personal piety and our giving is directed at church buildings, salaries and programs. And in all this one has to wonder where the love of God for the poor is. How can we say that we love God and not care for the least among us? Have we just become a people who rationalize away our bad behavior?

We open our hearts today Lord. Fill us with your Spirit. Fill us with your love. Break our hearts for the least among us.

... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

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