Men’s Praise

John 12:42-43 WEB

Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t confess it, so that they wouldn’t be put out of the synagogue, [43] for they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise.


Self-protection. We often care more about people’s opinions than we care for God’s opinion. It’s a matter of self-protection. It’s easy to tell if we care more about men’s opinions than God’s. We know it because we do not open our mouths when we should be telling others about Jesus. When people at church have a group opinion, we say nothing if we see a problem with the opinion. We are more concerned with being liked and included so we say nothing.

Those who do open their mouths are subject to derision and rejection. It is not easy to open our mouths for Jesus. But it is important. It is with our mouths that we confess Jesus (Rom 10:9), it is with our mouths that we rebuke sin in other believers, and it is with our mouths that we give God praise. We should also open our mouths to testify of God’s goodness to unbelievers. However, we often keep our mouths closed because we are protecting ourselves.

We can trust God to protect us. In Psalms, there are many verses that talk about the justice of God. The Lord justifies his children. When we trust the Lord fully, we can be assured that his justice for us will prevail. If we open our mouths in love to confront sin in the church, we must be bold. If we open our mouths to witness to the lost, we must be bold. We can’t be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time on earth. They quietly followed leaders full of sin and disbelief for the sake of inclusion and destroyed the faith of many.


Lord, please help me speak up when I have opportunities to share your love with the lost. Teach me to lovingly rebuke sin in other believers. I pray I will not be ashamed to open my mouth for you. I trust you to keep me safe and justify me when I speak for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Solidarity with Jesus

John 10:19-21 WEB

Therefore a division arose again among the Jews because of these words. [20] Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane! Why do you listen to him?” [21] Others said, “These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn’t possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?”


Jesus had trouble. In the verses above he is in a crowd and some of the people listening begin to accuse him of being demonized and insane. This is not so different from what believers experience today. In Christian circles, some would call Jesus demonized. At the same time, unbelievers today would likely call Jesus insane.

Jesus definitely had trouble at times when he was sharing the truth. Yet he spoke the truth anyways. Jesus did not get overwhelmed with a spirit of rejection or self-protection. Rather, he continued telling the truth which was a true act of love. Because Jesus loved others more than he loved himself he was able to stand for truth. Jesus also loved the Father more than he loved himself. That love helped him to defeat his flesh and stand for God.

Jesus experienced rejection and shame, yet, he did not turn against God. Instead, Jesus spent time in prayer, he knew the scriptures, and he testified to the truth. And many were saved. Today we are still mandated to witness to unbelievers with the hope that some will be saved (Mark 16:15-16). When we start sharing Christ, some will slander us and call us names. These are beautiful opportunities to lay our lives down, show the love of God, and stand in solidarity with Jesus.


Lord, please lead me into a love that is greater than my sense of self-protection. Teach me to love you and others more than I love myself. Help me to open my mouth and testify of your greatness and anoint me to lead others into a saving knowledge of You. In Jesus’ name, amen.