“Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
Isaiah, the Old Testament prophet wrote many times about Jesus, the coming Messiah. He wrote about Who He would be, what He would be and how He would, or better yet would not be recieved. Refering to the verse before this, it that states that peoples hearts, minds and ears would be closed to the Gospel Messiah brought, John, in this passage goes on to explain, (vs 41) that though many common people REALLY DID start to believe that Jesus was Messiah, based on the God-like things that He did, like healing the sick and commanding demons to leave and raising the dead. , They, however, publically failed to align thereselves with Jesus because they feared being expelled from the relegious system by their religious leaders! Even some of the religious leaders themselves believed!
But vs 43 is clear here, that though they believed secretly, “they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
Now these were national-born, dye-hard Hebrews. Hundreds of years of Judeism was all they knew. Judiaism was traditional (remember the musical, “Fiddler On the Roof”? What was the 1st songs name? TRADITION!) predicable and to them, NORMAL. Along comes Jesus, WHO’S ANYTHING BUT NORMAL! He doesn’t mind breaking the traditions to heal the sick! He challenges the religious leaders, even publicly criticizing them for following the “letter of the law” without knowing its AUTHOR! Jesus preaches God’s desire to reconcile people to Himself, while the religious leaders purposely excluded them for fear they would lose their own power!
Verse 43 is very clear– most people feared these religious leaders and losing their favor more than they feared God and losing His. “For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
What a stat sad state of affairs, but how much different is it, really than most of our attitudes? Most of us fear of people’s opinions, comments or criticism of us more than we fear sinning against God. Many times, our love for approval and our love of the world outweighs, and frankly, outshines our love for God!
The Bible calls us to be brave, to be strong and take a stand. (Joshua 1:6-7, Eph 6:10) God gives us all the tools we need to do this (Eph. 6:13-18) Holy Spirit empowers us for this!
Who are you? A God lover or a world love?
Think about it!