Social Standing

John 12 deals with several things, including the accounts of many people who believe in Jesus, some who have an intellectual belief in Jesus, and some who reject Jesus.

In spite of the many miracles He performed in their midst – many still chose not to believe in Him. Even today, some people will not believe in spite of the fact that they may even witness a miracle of God in their midst. The greatest miracle to me is that of a “truly” transformed life; transformed by the grace & power of Jesus Christ in the life of a person who is a true believer not a make-believer.

Some believed because of the testimony (life-story) of Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead. Others still chose not to believe in spite of this obvious miracle.

What’s really interesting is that some of the Jewish rulers (leaders) of the Synagogue also believed, but wouldn’t confess Christ publicly. Maybe their’s was only an intellectual faith that wasn’t complete because they didn’t have a heart change. I’m not sure where they stood in terms of their belief, but the reality is that they wouldn’t confess Christ publicly because they were afraid of losing their standing in the synagogue/community (John 12:42). Maybe they hadn’t really been set free by Christ because they were still enslaved to their social standing and what men thought of them.

Before we judge these “rulers” too harshly, maybe we should take a look at our own life. How often is John 12:43 which was written about them, also true of us? It says: “for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God”. Are you ever more concerned with your social standing in the community than with the approval of God? Do you ever fear what men will think instead of fearing what God will think? Maybe we need to do a daily heart check. Is our’s a faith that’s real? Are we willing to give up our life for His sake? Are we seeking the approval of men or of God? Just a few thoughts to consider.

PS – I’m talking about lifestyle here! Remember – we don’t live in perfection, we live in direction. I’m thankful for the grace of God through Jesus Christ which provides forgiveness for my sin when I blow it and mess up. However, I still need to take a close look at my lifestyle: Am I seeking the approval of men or of God? I know my answer, what’s yours?

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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