vv 42-43. 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.
Jesus’ words and teaching created a crisis in the lives of a number of people. They were faced with a stark choice; take sides with Jesus and ignore the consequences of that (even if that means losing friends and being thrown out of the synagogue) or stick with your friendly Pharisees. Human friendship and acceptance seemed more appealing than siding with a travelling preacher from Galilee. I guess the general principle of sticking with what you know rather than risking the unknown came into play.
This a common crisis when people first hear or understand the Gospel of Jesus. However we understand it, ‘Christian Conversion’ is a crisis that results in a change of direction. Some of us will remember quite clearly making a decision to follow Jesus – perhaps at a special service or Evangelistic Mission. Others will have experienced ‘Something happening’ over a period of time, leading us to realise that we had changed and were now following Jesus instead of our own wilful desires.
One common feature however is the willingness to speak up and acknowledge that we are on a new pathway. We lost the fear of being thought odd or different. We valued friendship with God as more desirable than staying ‘in’ with old friends. John puts it this way ‘they loved human praise more than the praise of God.‘
The Good News of Jesus always confronts people with a choice.
Do you remember how that was true in your own life?