John 12:42-43 tells of a tragic story in the life of the Pharisees in relation to Jesus. This story takes place at about the 2/3 point in Jesus’ ministry. He had done a lot of work in front of the people and had performed many miracles. The passage says in 12:36 that the people just wouldn’t believe. In essence, it would not matter what Jesus did in front of the people, they would not believe. They had seen him feed the thousands, raise people from the dead, and turn water into wine, but they still did not believe.
We have many people in our world just like this today. It doesn’t matter what proofs you have or how you present the gospel they will not believe. This is an unfortunate situation. What this passage says is that Jesus could come down in front of people now, feed 5,000 people and there still would be those that would not believe. Someone could be given all of the facts about who Christ is and walk away from salvation.
In verse 42-43, the subject turns to some of the authorities in the region. These authorities apparently believed that Jesus is who he said he was, but were fearful of the Pharisees. The situation they were in made it difficult to profess Christ. Just when you begin to feel sorry for the trap these individual are in you find out that they really just wanted to be lauded by man. They wanted to have glory. They wanted to fit in and be popular. They wanted to have everyone like them. They wanted to have a chance to advance in this world and to be considered for even higher offices. They didn’t want to make waves. They treasured the ideas of man and what man thought more than the thoughts of God.
They were chasing after the glory that God deserves. Ultimately, they treasured man’s opinion more than God’s opinion.
We still have these people today. In America we have made the matter of coming to Christ easier in a lot of ways then the days that are spoken of here in scripture. People are able to choose Christ with little persecution, but once you start talking about being public with your faith, even Christians balk sometimes. Our desire should be to have God be please with us much more than man. I know we say that is the way we want it to be when we are in church, but what do we do outside of the walls. Peter told Jesus that he would die with him, but he denied him three times. We must boldly live out our faith and see how God uses us. We must be prepared to stand up for our belief when we are given the chance.
Let us not chase the glory of man more than the glory of God!