“Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” John 12:42-43 ESV
The Pharisees had it out for Jesus. He was a threat to their power and their long list of rules they enforced. They looked continually for a way to arrest Him so they could put Him to death.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the Pharisees wanted to kill him too. The crowds were increasingly turning to Jesus, worshipping Him and believing in Him. This increased the resolve of the Pharisees that Jesus must die.
Not only the crowds believed, the authorities began to believe as well. However, these authorities that believed did not openly confess that they believed. They were afraid of the Pharisees and they “loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” Simply put, they loved their ways above God’s.
I have lived my life at times as the authorities of Jesus time did. I have seen Him do miraculous things in the lives of those around me and could not help but believe that Jesus did them. Yet, I wanted my way above His. So I held back on confessing what I knew to be true. As I’ve often said, “I like to be liked.” Sometimes openly confessing the truth of Jesus and obeying Him fully makes those around us uncomfortable, even angry. So the easier path is to love our own ways above the ways of Jesus and not say the truth. Jesus tells us in verses 25-26:
“Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.”
May we love Jesus wholeheartedly and serve Him first not cower in fear as the authorities did! Jesus’ way above our own! That is the only way to live life to the fullest!