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

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Many people did believe in [Jesus], however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn't admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.
— John 12:42-43 NLT

Key Thought

What would make you afraid to show your faith? To lose one's 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 these verses, we need to ask ourselves how often have we failed to stand up for Jesus when the stakes were even lower. 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 a 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 the 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
  • Romans 10:9-13
  • Luke 9:23-26


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Illustration of John 12:42-43 NLT —  For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

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.