Fear and Boldness

Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

John 12:42-43

This is an interesting passage.  “Many” of the chief rulers believed on Jesus.  But, because of the Pharisees, they did not want anybody to know that they believed on Him.  They were afraid of the Pharisees.  They didn’t want to get kicked out of the synagogue.  They had powerful and prestigious positions and didn’t want to risk giving them up.  But they did believe on Jesus.  We don’t know how many believed, but it was “many.”

I can’t help but wonder if all of these “many” chief rulers had publicly confessed Him, what would have happened.  Maybe they would have outnumbered the Pharisees.  Maybe they would have encouraged and strengthened each other.  Maybe they would have encouraged others to believe on Him.  We’ll never know the answers to those questions, but we can imagine what they would be.

“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”  They loved being powerful and prestigious.  They loved the praise of man and they didn’t want anything coming in the way of that, not even their belief in Jesus.

We need to make sure that we are not letting our fear of what others might think get in the way of doing what we know is right.  We need to make sure that we are not “loving the praise of men more than the praise of God.”  We need to do our best to live an open Christian life.  We need to do our best to live boldly for Him.  It is too late for these chief rulers to influence others, but it is not to late for us!

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