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.
The synagogue before the early church days represented the central point for life in a Jewish community. It is where many rites of passage take place. It was where the children learned about life and where adults made decisions critical decisions, even more so than the politics of today. It was a place that every Jewish person wanted to be and, honestly, would do anything to remain in. So here in the text of John 12, we find a group of Jews who have been around Jesus, seen the miracles of Jesus, heard the teachings of Jesus, and most of all, felt the impact of Jesus’ presence. Vs. 42 tells us that they believed in Jesus (even among the rulers many believed in Him), but because of their connection to the Pharisees, they could not confess Him (but because of the Pharisees, they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue). They feared the ability of the Pharisees to impact their lives over the power of God in Jesus Christ. Even with what they witnessed, they feared being put out of their community found in the synagogue. What is your synagogue? What is that community you’re so conscious of being in that possibility of not being in it produces fear in your heart?
What could be a synagogue? Well, it could be friendships, family, maybe work colleagues, or the cool kids at school.
There are many communities we desire to be involved with. However, we just cannot be like the Jewish rulers. In vs. 43, John said, “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God,” they could see man’s praise up close but didn’t understand the generational impact of the praise of God. We must be able to hear God and obey as opposed to fearing what our synagogues might say. Two seemingly short verses, yet they pack such a significant punch. In a nutshell, Obey God and not man. I was reminded of this earlier today” Yahweh; there is no one greater!!”