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Daily Reading: 10th April 2015

John 12.42-43

42 Yet, nevertheless many of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they should not be expelled from the synagogue.

43 For they loved the glory of men more than the glory of God.

We all know that fear is a strong motivating factor, and it is in residence in all of us.

Perhaps it is true to say that the word ‘fearless’ is a word that only exists in the minds of those who use it to describe the actions of someone else. It is possible that we may be fearless in the face of some danger that we are unaware of, but we cannot be fearful of a danger that we do not perceive.

Facing a danger that is full of fear is to have a stronger motive than the fear we might see before us. Therefore, love will often override fear, just as was the case with Jesus when He went to the cross.

John tells us that there were many of the rulers who believed in Jesus, but they didn’t let this be known publicly because they were afraid.

They knew that the Pharisees had declared that anyone who believed in Jesus would be expelled from the synagogue. This could be for a few days, 30 days or for life.

This would have been a very strong inhibitor preventing many from declaring their belief in Jesus.

The word of God tells us that fear of man has its’ pitfalls.

Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety – Proverbs 29.25 (NLT).

[8] It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people;

[9] It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. – Psalm 118.8-9 (NLT).

Jesus said: 4 But I tell you My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but afterwards can do no more to you.

5 I will show you whom you must fear; Fear Him who having killed you has the authority to throw you into hell (Gehenna). Yes, I tell you, be afraid of Him.

Fear is an emotion that we should have towards God, along with love and thanksgiving. The fear of the judgement that God brings should be enough to motivate anyone to receive God’s plan of escape from judgement. His plan is that everyone should receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, and so pass from death to life; from fear to gratitude and love for all that He has done for us in Christ Jesus.

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