Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43, NLT).
Jesus had performed many signs and miracles. He had gone throughout Judea teaching with great authority. Yet, many people did not believe in Him (John 12:37). They did not see Him to be who He truly was, the Messiah, the Son of God. There also were those who believed, even among the Jewish leaders, but were silent about their belief. They kept it hidden, kept it a secret. Why? Because they feared being ostracized, being put out of the synagogue by the Pharisees. These secret believers were more concerned with the praise of men than the approval of God.
As believers, we need to ask ourselves, “Whose approval am I more concerned with, the approval of the people around me, or the approval of God?” We have been given the good news of Jesus Christ, the news that He came to earth, died to pay the penalty of our sins, and rose from the grave, conquering sin and death so that we may have eternal life with God. Jesus made a way through which our relationship with God could be restored. This good news has been entrusted to us by God so that we may share it with those around us, not to please man, but to please God (1 Thessalonians 3:4).
As believers, we must be ready at all times to speak of our faith with others, to share the gospel. We need to seek the help and power of the Holy Spirit to give us a boldness to share our faith and the words with which to do so. We must never be worried about what people will think of us or what they will do to us. We may be ostracized by others and even pushed away by those we care about. But it is God’s approval we must seek and not human praise. We must never be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ because that good news has the power to save all who come to believe it (Romans 1:16).
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.