The Praise of Men versus the Praise of God
You could title this message several ways:
- When Your Fears Overcomes Your Faith
- Believing but Lacking Boldness
- When Your Comfort Zone Drowns Out Your Common Sense
- Faith Without Confession
- When the Pressure Overcomes the Principle
- Believers Badgered and Bullied by the Brethren
- Seeing the Light but Full of Fright
- I’m going to just go with the title in verse 43: The Praise of Men versus the Praise of God
Tonight I want to back up and examine this passage and glean some help from God’s Word.
Intro: Three points by way of introduction:
A. The Evidence was Overwhelming – vs. 42 …many believed on him…
Visible proof – Lazarus was alive again.
Audible proof – 12:28-30
B. The Environment was Overbearing – lest they should be put out…
The Pharisees were impossible to please.
They were hypocritical and hypercritical.
They bullied and intimidated and pressured and threatened.
Jesus rebuked them in Matthew 23 for 36 straight verses.
C. The Endorsement was Overrated – vs. 43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
- Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
I. The Discrepancy of Values
It goes without saying, but man and God have an opposing value system
- 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.
- Psalms 147:10, 11 He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
- Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
- Luke 18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
- Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
II. The Definition of Victorious
- 1 Corinthians 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
- READ Hebrews 11:36-39
- READ Romans 8:31-39
III. The Dividends of Vulnerability
The world HATES and DESPISES people that appear weak and vulnerable.
God, on the other hand, LOVES and BLESSES us when we lean upon Him.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
- READ I Corinthians 1:18; 23-31
- READ I Corinthians 2:1-5