Scripture: John 12:
42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human glory more than the glory of God.
Observation: Recognizing and proclaiming the truth of God is more important than being accepted by the masses.
Application: Just because a certain teaching or understanding or belief system is accepted and celebrated by the masses doesn’t mean it’s right. In the past I have had discussions with people about their beliefs and when I ask “Why do you feel that way?” one of the answers I’ve heard many times is, “That’s just the way I was raised.” or “It’s what I was taught all my life.”
Many times we cling to an understanding because it’s what our family believes, or it’s what others around us accept. We often have a difficult time going against the norms of our society and we don’t want to be excluded from the circles of friends and contacts that we’ve become a part of. We fear being cast aside as odd, or we fear being challenged by long standing traditions.
Jesus was such a radically different person than those around Him because He didn’t fear what others thought about Him. To Him the truth was the most important thing, and even though what He taught about relating to God went completely against the established norms He spoke and taught about what The Father spoke in His heart.
Many people felt the truth of it, and inside themselves believed what He said was true, but because of their fear of being cast out of the socially accepted system they held it inside and wouldn’t take action. Jesus’ main message was one of love and not judgment, one of compassion and God’s grace. He came and gave His life so that we might find a true relationship with God, but he told us that we must ask, we must seek, we must knock on the door. True understanding comes not from accepting the same thing as the masses, it comes from an inner search and the true voice of God which is spoken in our hearts.
The glory and acceptance that we may find in man by always agreeing with others is not lasting. Only the glory of God and the real truth that He speaks to our innermost being is eternal.
Prayer: Father God,
Help me to seek your truth from within. Set in my heart a priority of your acceptance that is far above the acceptance of others. Show me your truth, speak to my heart, and help me to recognize your voice. Remove my fears of sharing your truth and grant that those who you are calling to hear it may do so in a true spirit of understanding and love.