Reading through John has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. There are stories that both amaze me and make me emotional at the same time.
Take for example the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Here we see the power of Jesus and the faith of Mary and Martha. But we also see Jesus weeping because of His loss. Having conducted many funerals, the hardest part for me is always when the family breaks down because of their loss. How can you read about Jesus weeping without being touched emotionally?
But there is another passage that has angered, saddened and even scared me a bit. Listen to these words from John 12:42-43: Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in 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.
They believed. They knew who Jesus really was, but because they were afraid of what others might think they never accepted Him as Lord.
Do you know how many people are like that today? I have seen so many times a person in the congregation who wants to respond but has the battle of “What will people think?” and never make their way forward. I have had so many conversations where the person says, “I know that is true, but…” I have heard, “What will my family think?,” or “My spouse won’t understand,” more than I care to admit.
And each time it brings me to tears. How sad. It makes me angry. Who cares what they think? This is Jesus we are talking about!
What about you? Have you made the confession? Have you publicly declared you believe? Have you followed Him into the waters of baptism? Have you made Him your Savior?
Or do you prefer the praise of men more?
Time is precious. It is fleeting. Make your decision. Don’t play a game.