March 22nd – Salvation
Scripture Reading: John 12:37-50
“For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
In today’s reading we find two sets of people. The first were those whose hearts were like stone and simply could not see that Jesus was the Son of God. The second set of people did believe but chose not to confess it because they were afraid. It is important to understand the fear of this second group. They were not afraid because they thought the Pharisees could harm them, they were afraid because they thought the Pharisees would think less of them. They desired the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
We all want people to think well of us. The question is simply – who do we want to please? The “many,” when given the chance to cry out “Jesus is our King,” remained silent. Can you identify with them? Can you relate to the desire to be liked so much that you deny Jesus? Do you know what it feels like to have the opportunity to live out “Jesus is Lord,” and instead you remain silent, you don’t act, because you’re embarrassed – even ashamed – of your faith in Jesus? Whose opinion do you cherish more than our Lord’s? Who are you quicker to please, quicker to serve, quicker to worship than our King? Like the “many” in this text, we so often succumb to the desire to not be rejected, and not be considered crazy or foolish because we follow Jesus. We want to be liked by others. We fear being judged and thought of as stupid by the world around us, ultimately we desire the world’s favor more than God’s. Oh how foolish we can be! Who can save us from the sinful desires of our hearts?
Here is the good news, Jesus came to save us! This salvation is not simply a moment found in your past but is ongoing: Jesus saved you, is saving you, and will save you. So when you and I sin, when we crave the glory that comes from man more than from God, we have an advocate that is pleading for us before the throne. Jesus continues to save us and will do so until we are at home with our Lord. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from the love of King Jesus. Not even ourselves. So brothers and sisters, throw yourselves onto our King—for even when we are weak He is our strength and gives us the grace to live out our faith without fear. We are not slaves to fear anymore, we are children of the living God!
Prayer: Father, forgive us for the times we’ve desired the glory from others more than the glory we receive from You. Help us to live boldly. Help us to daily speak and live unashamed that Jesus is our King. But even when we fail, forgive us, and continue, by the blood of our Brother, to conform us to His image. So that as we approach death we will more and more, with each passing day, look just like our King. Father, every day remind us that we are no longer slaves to fear, but we are forever children that belong to You.