One of the saddest comments you’ll ever read in the Bible comes from these two verses.
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.
Basically you see in this passage a bunch of undercover believers. They had seen all that Jesus had done and had heard all his teaching, and they believed. But they did not tell anyone because they feared being put out of the synagogue. And to be put out of the synagogue was essentially to be cut off from society. But what that showed was that they were more interested in what people thought of them rather than what God thought of them.
If Satan cannot prevent you from becoming a believer, the thing he wants to do most is to prevent you from sharing your faith. And his best weapon in doing so is asking the question, “What will happen if others find out if you believe?”
For some, the answer is clear cut. It means rejection by their family, their friends, and those around them. That’s what these leaders faced. A certain excommunication from the synagogue and society.
For others, the answer is not so clear. But they are ruled by the fear of what others might think of them. I know I was that way all the way through my sophomore year in high school. I didn’t tell anyone I was a Christian, not because I knew I would be rejected, but I because I feared I might be rejected.
But God does not want us to live that way. He wants us to make a difference in this world for him, but we cannot as long as we are afraid of what others think.
Some people will reject us for our faith. As one preacher put it, that is an occupational hazard of being a Christian. Not everyone will like us. As I’ve said before, Jesus was perfect, and people still hated him. How can we expect to be any different from our master?
But what we’ll find is that if we share our faith, some will receive it and be saved.
So let’s not worry about being rejected because of our faith in Christ. Let us proclaim it boldly and let the chips fall where they may. For as Jesus said,
Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)