Have you ever heard someone say how thrilling it would be to have lived during the time Jesus walked this earth? Imagine hearing Him preach and seeing Him perform miracles. Imagine feeling the energy and exhilaration of the crowd as they pushed to get as close as possible. I can close my eyes and picture myself there in the middle of it all—blind eyes seeing, the dead restored to life, the lame leaping!
As exciting as it all was, not everyone accepted Jesus as their promised Messiah. To them, He was just one more self-proclaimed teacher walking the dusty roads of Israel. It’s possible they didn’t even bother to go check it out. It couldn’t all be real.
Perhaps even worse than those who did not believe were those who believed but were afraid to acknowledge Jesus because of possible consequences. Some were people of influence who didn’t want to risk losing their positions of power.
“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” (John 12:42-43, NJKV).
It’s easy to point our finger and say, “Well, if I’d been there, I would never have done that.” Maybe . . . or maybe not. We may say we are a Christian, love Jesus, and want to serve Him, but do we want to go “all out” for God? Do we want to make Him the top priority in our lives? Oh, it’s okay to go to church on Sunday morning, but let’s don’t get fanatical about it. After all, what will my friends say? Or some of my family? Will my boss think I’m some kind of religious nut?
The choice is ours. Who would we rather please: God or others? The apostle Paul states it plainly in Galatians 1:10.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ” (English Standard Version).
Prayer: Lord, help me to not be hypocritical in serving You. It’s not about what others think of me. It’s about what You think of me. Help me to overcome any fears I may have of stepping out boldly in my service to You. I confess that You are my Lord, my Everything.
Devotion by Mary Loudermilk