Today’s reading: John 12:27-50
There is an interesting passage in today’s reading. Jesus is preaching to the crowds who even hear the voice of the Father. Despite this, they do not come to believe in Jesus. Then we learn:
Nevertheless many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, less they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. Jon 12:42-43
Generally speaking, most people have the impression that Nicodemus was the only person in authority who came to believe in the Lord. Here we see that the belief was more widespread. However, the difference seems to be that Nicodemus stood up for the Lord and the rule of law in the proceedings of the Sanhedrin. These other men hold their tongues now and later and allow the injustice to occur.
Further, as mentioned above, despite hearing the voice of the Father none of the people in the crowd came to believe in Jesus. Then we learn many of the authorities did believe but kept silent. This implies two things. First, by the effect of their office, they were given some additional grace by God. However, that grace did not overwhelm their free will and in rejecting that grace, they not only injured their own spiritual life but seem to have also prevented their congregation from coming to the truth. We can see here that the burden of responsibility on a religious leader is great and that as a leader to deny your conscience, even when the result might be difficult (they would have been put out of the synagogue) can bring disaster for you and your people.
Tomorrow: John 13