And yet [in spite of all this] many even of the leading men (the authorities and the nobles) believed and trusted in Him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that [if they should acknowledge Him] they would be expelled from the synagogue. — John 12:42 (AMPC)
Adapted from the resource My Time with God – by Joyce Meyer
The Bible teaches us in John 12:42-43 that many leading Jewish men believed in Jesus, but they wouldn’t admit it out of fear that they would be expelled from the synagogue.
…They loved the approval and the praise and the glory that come from men [instead of and] more than the glory that comes from God… (v. 43, AMPC).
In this example, we see that several people were kept from knowing Jesus because they were addicted to approval. Although they wanted a relationship with the Lord, they loved the approval of man more. This is a heartbreaking situation, and one that’s still happening today.
The people mentioned in John 12 knew that Jesus was real—they believed in Him—but the love of approval wouldn’t allow them to have a true relationship with Him. I wonder how their lives turned out. What did they miss because they said yes to people and no to God? I wonder how many of them were never mentioned in the Bible again. Did they fade into oblivion and never fulfill their destiny?
Thank God their story doesn’t have to be ours! When we follow God, not people, we’ll be able to live at peace and carry out the amazing purpose He has for each of our lives.
Prayer Starter: Father, please give me the wisdom to recognize where people’s approval is motivating my decisions, and the strength to start living to please You first. In Jesus’ Name, amen.