What Jesus Did! 'The Idol of Popularity' — John 12:42-43

Saturday, September 1, 2018

But many people believed in Jesus. Even many of the Jewish leaders believed in Jesus. But they were afraid of the Pharisees. So they did not say openly that they believed. They were afraid that they would be put out of the synagogue. These men loved praise from people more than praise from God.
— John 12:42-43 NLT
Illustration of John 12:42-43 NLT —  These men loved praise from people more than praise from God.

Key Thought

What would make you afraid to show your faith? To lose ones place in the synagogue was a huge loss for someone in Jesus' day. While we rightfully are disgusted with the lack of courage and integrity by those mentioned in this verse, we need to ask ourselves how often have we failed to stand up for Jesus when the stakes were much less high. The real issue with fear and faith is our confidence in what we believe. If we truly believe in Jesus, how could we give him up? If we truly want to honor God, then how could the approval of mere mortal people become more important? God calls us to love him without rival. Anything that would interfere with our honoring God becomes our idol, even if it is the fear of rejection or the desire for popularity.

Today's Prayer

Father, give me courage to stand up and confess my faith in Jesus with graciousness. I truly believe that you sent Jesus to die for my sins and give me power over sin and death. Please help me live that faith before the people with whom I interact regardless of their acceptance or rejection of me because of that faith. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 12:8-9
  • John 9:41-44
  • Luke 9:23-26


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.