42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
John now turned to those who were positive toward Christ in Jesus’ day (vv. 42, 43). They stand in contrast to those who were impervious to Christ the Messiah.
Nevertheless [strong contrast]
Regardless of Israel’s national unbelief, some believed on Jesus.
even among the rulers many believed in Him,
Some even among the rulers believed in Jesus. God always has a remnant who believe, even in higher circles.
but because of the Pharisees
“Pharisees” were legalistic rulers in Israel who sought to kill Jesus.
they did not confess Him,
These rulers did not proclaim Jesus as God because of fear of losing their public standing. Public confession of faith is a normal expression of belief in Jesus; however, confession is never presented as a condition for salvation in the New Testament. Confession is an outcome of salvation but not the means of becoming a believer.
lest they should be put out of the synagogue;
The “synagogue” was the meeting place for Jewish people and the center of their culture. Their fear was expulsion from the synagogue.
for they loved the praise of men
The idea of love for the “praise of men” is a verdict on distorted faith.
more than the praise of God.
This was a severe accusation against Israel. There was a need for bold faith during this time of crisis. Ambition always dominates religious thinking. This is servile value. Earthly pursuits bind us to things below.
Borderline believers are a menace to the church.
Religion has put more people in hell than any other system of thought. It is dangerous to allow others to govern our thinking about God.
Love of the world blinds us to love toward God. We cannot be completely faithful to God while compromising with the world.
The church has always been plagued with believers on the margin of Christianity. Bold belief in Christ can be costly financially, personally, and even with one’s life in some parts of the world.
Some mission organizations encourage new converts from Islam to continue attendance in the mosque. They do this because of pressure from the Islamic community.