The Praise of Men
“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
Why did the chief rulers who believed in Jesus Christ not talk about Him? Because they cared more about being liked by the Pharisees than they loved the Lord Jesus Christ. How many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, hold back from talking to people about Jesus because we are afraid of what people might think of us?
How many of us are more concerned about being liked, loved, accepted, and popular in this world than we are with professing the name of the Lord? How many of us talk about the Lord with others who believe in Him but refuse to talk about Him to those who do not for fear of how they will respond, what they will say, and what they may do? How many of us will say the word “God” to people, but refuse to say the word Jesus because we’re afraid we might offend someone? How many of us will talk about God to the general public or even unbelieving friends, family, and co-workers but hold back from saying the name Jesus Christ because we figure “god” is a generic enough word that people of any beliefs will be “okay” with it? How many of us fear the judgment of human beings instead of fearing the judgment of the Lord? How many of us when the Spirit of God is moving mightily on our hearts to share the Gospel of Christ with someone resist and rebel against the Lord because we are afraid of rejection and even persecution? How many of us disobey the Lord in this because we don’t want to be hated? How many of us no matter how much we claim we believe in the Lord and love Him when it comes right down to it love ourselves and love being loved and accepted by others more than we really love Him?
Convicting questions, aren’t they? Why do you suppose God included in the Bible the verses above about the chief rulers who believed in Jesus but loved the praise of men more than doing right in the eyes of the Lord by confessing Him as Lord in front of others no matter how they might respond? I believe it’s because too many of us are doing the very same thing for the very same reason. If the truth be told, many of us are more concerned with ourselves and being loved by humanity than we are with loving the Lord and doing right in His eyes.
Isn’t it time we get our priorities in order? It’s it time we love the Lord above all and everyone else as He commands us? It is, isn’t it?