"I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's Name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?” (John 5:41-44)

Jesus continues to redress the Jewish high priests who are accusing Jesus of not obeying the rule of the Sabbath. Jesus is clarifying that that while they might sit in positions that supposedly represent God, they have no loving relationship with the Supreme Being, and thus have no real authority.

The English translation of this verse misses an important point being made here by Jesus. The Greek word δόξα (doxa) means "opinion, judgment, view" and "opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone" according to the Greek lexicon. And παρά (para) means "from" and ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) means "men," "mankind" or "humanity." Thus, using the word "praise" here is not appropriate.

The appropriate translation would be something more like:
"I do not accept the judgments (or opinions) of men." 
And then:
"How can you believe if you accept judgment (or opinion) from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the judgment (or opinion) that comes from the only God?"
What does Jesus mean by this?

These Jewish high priests have gained their positions of authority because they have been approved by councils of their peers - men, in other words. Jesus is indicating this has nothing to do with having a relationship with or authority from  the Supreme Being. It is God who empowers a person to be His representative or teacher. These Jewish High Priests were pretending to represent  the Supreme Being, but in reality, they were relying upon the approval of councils of their peers.

To gain authority by pleasing councils of peers is simply politics. It is the process of doing what others are pleased with. For example, a person who wishes to gain a position of authority within the ecclesiastical organized sectarian institutions of today must play the game of pleasing councils of bishops, cardinals, deacons or other groups who elect and approve the officials of their particular church: Peers, in other words, not  the Supreme Being.

This political process works through the judgements of men. A person must seek the judgment and good opinion of these men by pleasing them in order to be elected or appointed to their position of authority. And once that authority is granted, they must continue to please these councils or be faced with being unseated from their position.

Jesus rejects this process outright. He is clearly indicating that real authority to represent the Supreme Being comes from God. This authority comes through a relationship of loving service to God - as clarified by Jesus here:
"I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts."
This authority comes from pleasing the Supreme Being. Making an "effort to obtain the judgement (or opinion) that comes from the only God" means to please God. Jesus illustrated that God was the source of his own authority, and pleasing God was his central objective:
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)
Jesus indicates that he can see these temple officials are not thus empowered, and are not seeking to please God. They obtained their authority by pleasing others within the temple hierarchy.

How ironic it is that the very people who say they represent Jesus today have assumed the same process that Jesus condemned here in this statement. Those popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, ministers and reverends who have been politically appointed to their positions in a particular church or sect have gained their positions by pleasing those in the church hierarchy (each other, in other words). Then they collect salaries from tithings, turning what is supposed to be service to God into a business arrangement.

This has nothing to do with loving God and teaching love for God on behalf of the Supreme Being and in the Name of the Supreme Being, as Jesus did, and all the prophets did.

Furthermore, the word "believe" here is not an appropriate translation. The word πιστεύω (pisteuō) means to "have confidence in" or be "entrusted." It means to trust. Jesus is speaking of trusting in the Supreme Being: Giving ones life to the Supreme Being and taking shelter in Him. This is what Jesus had done - and the reason Jesus could represent the Supreme Being.

This also ties in with, "I have come in my Father's Name." To come in someone's name means to represent that person: But it also highlights the potency or power of that person's name.

Let's use an example. Let's say the campaign manager of a politician ("John Doe") approaches the press and makes an announcement. Before the announcement he says, "I have come in the name of John Doe." What would the press understand from this statement? They would understand that the campaign manager is representing John Doe - and what they say next will be what John Doe wanted them to say.

Thus we can come away from Jesus' statement with clarity that Jesus is representing the Supreme Being, and God’s Holy Name has great power and potency. He is God's messenger, and thus is delivering what the Supreme Being wanted Him to teach. This is why Jesus also stated:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
So what did the Supreme Being want to tell us through Jesus? He wants us to renew our relationship with Him. He wants us to come home to Him and reclaim our eternal relationship with Him. This is why Jesus stated:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38)


(See also the Gospels of Jesus for the Book of John - translated from the original Greek texts without sectarian influence.)