"Nevertheless, many did believe in him even among the rulers, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, so that they would not be banned from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than praise from God." (John 12:42-43 CSB)
I came across this verse this week and I began to really meditate on what was going on in this scenario. Because of the Pharisees, people began to believe in Jesus, yet they simply wouldn’t confess the Son of God because of earthly consequences. People, even rulers, would rather have praise from mere mortals rather than seek to please God. Why do we turn this way? Why is it that we have such a need to please the masses rather than please God?
There is nothing unique about this situation. Peter himself, one of Jesus’ most passionate disciples denied Him three times shortly after he had just cut off the high priest servant’s ear in the name of protecting Jesus. (John 18:10)
I find that I am convicted recently because I am not necessarily one to deny God in the sense that most would think, but God has really showed me that one way that I do deny Him, is that I that I keep quiet. Sometimes, I’m more afraid of rocking the boat than I am speaking out in the name of justice. I tend to sit back and let others speak out about despicable acts such as abortion and racism, all the while being more than happy to get the glory for praying for these things in public at the altar.
It is up to us as Christians, not to throw out soapboxes on each corner and condemn people, in the name of hate, but we are all called to speak out for those who can’t speak for themselves. We are called to fight for the unborn, and to fight for racial unity not division. We are all God’s children, and our world is spinning out of control. It’s time to speak out, it’s time to love others, we can no longer be silent sisters. The time is now.
God I know your heart is breaking over the actions of your children, myself included. Forgive me when I deny you and forgive me for when I don’t fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. Forgive me when I’m so self-absorbed that I can’t see the heartache around me. Give me a holy awareness and a tender heart, for you and for your people. Help me to seek your praise and not the praise of mere men. I love you Father. Amen.
Do you tend to seek the praise of men, or of God?
Do you keep quiet when you should be speaking up about things?
Ask God for conviction, strength and boldness.