Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in Him (Jesus), but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (John 12:42-43)
Some years ago, I was talking to a lady about driving refugees to church. "I believe God is telling me to do it," she said. "It's like I can hear Him." And then what she said took my breath away. "But I'm not going to do it," she said with a smile. "I just decided I don't want to." And she walked away.
My jaw hit the floor. Fool that I am, it had never occurred to me that someone would hear God calling—a Christian, even!—and just blithely tell Him "No" and walk away. How does that even happen? I'm still flabbergasted, years later.
And yet, that's exactly what the priests and scribes and leaders in this Bible reading chose to do. They recognized Jesus. They saw and believed that He was the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. Surely, they would follow Him—right?
Wrong. There was something they cared about more. They didn't want to lose their power and honor in the eyes of the community. To put it plainly, "they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God." They heard Jesus calling—and they walked away.
This kind of thing scares me. It makes me search my own heart. Do I have any idols I love more than the truth, more than Jesus? Is there anything that would make me walk away from Him when He calls?
I don't want there to be anything like that. Choosing anything over Jesus is a kind of spiritual insanity. Jesus is my Savior and my Life and my Hope and my Redeemer. How terrible it would be to lose Him! He died on the cross to give me life. How could I leave Him? May God protect us all from having anything else that takes us away from Jesus.
THE PRAYER: Dear Father, keep us always close to Your Son Jesus in trust and love. Amen.
* What three or four things are most important to you in your life?
* Have you ever struggled with something that threatened to pull you away from Jesus?
* How do you stay close to Jesus in faith?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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