I. "THESE THINGS ISAIAH SAID WHEN HE SAW HIS GLORY AND SPOKE OF HIM."
A. Jesus had referred many times to the hour in which He was to be glorified.
1. In the earlier part of His ministry, He kept declaring that the hour had not yet come for Him to be glorified.
2. Now He has declared that the hour has come to be glorified. Vs. 23, and there he refers to the corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying that it might bring forth much fruit. So we know that He was referring to His being glorified through His death.
3. It is because of the cross of Jesus Christ that we glorify God. "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ."
4. Isaiah said these things when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.
B. It is in chapter 53 of Isaiah where Isaiah said, "Who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
1. It is in the 53rd chapter where Isaiah prophesies His death, whereby He glorified the Father.
2. John tells us that Isaiah was speaking of Jesus in chapter 53, of course, we had already figured that out.
II. NEVERTHELESS, AMONG THE CHIEF RULERS ALSO MANY BELIEVED ON HIM; BUT BECAUSE OF THE PHARISEES, THEY DID NOT CONFESS HIM LEST THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN PUT OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUE.
A. In chapter 18 John indicates that he knew the high priest, and was known by his household servants, so he had contacts among the Jewish leaders, and would thus know of those who believed on Jesus.
1. John gives us some information as to what went on in some of the private meetings of the Jewish leaders. This information evidently came from inside sources.
2. We know that Nicodemus was one of the secret believers. In one of the private sessions he spoke up challenging one of the judgments that they had made without having all of the evidence.
3. Joseph of Arimathaea was one of the secret disciples of Jesus who came out in the open after the crucifixion.
B. One has to wonder about the secret believers who would not openly confess Jesus as Messiah.
1. Paul declared that salvation came by confessing with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and by believing in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead. For with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
2. Jesus said that if you would confess Him before men, then He would confess you before His Father who was in heaven, but if you denied Him before men, then He would deny you before the Father.
3. The question is, were they really saved if they did not openly confess with their mouths that Jesus was the Lord and Messiah?
4. There are those today who are secret believers in Jesus. Are they truly saved?
5. These are questions that can be argued, but cannot be answered. We do not know, it is a matter of question and argument. I do not like to live under a question, I want to know for sure.
6. We do know that in an hour of weakness, Peter denied his Lord three times.
C. In Proverbs we read that the fear of man bringeth a snare, but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.
1. We seem to be so cowed by the fear of the reproach of man.
2. Many have been trapped by the fear of man.
III. "FOR THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MAN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD."
A. There are far too many people who fit in this category today.
1. There are those who spend their whole lives in fear of what others might be thinking or saying about them.
2. All of their activities are designed for the praise of man.
a. I went to pastor a church in Los Serranos, and the first Sunday there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers on the altar. That afternoon a board member of the church called to tell me that I had not acknowledged the flowers, and that if I did not acknowledge them, they wouldn't be there any more.
b. Sure enough they gave me one more week of grace the flowers were there the second week also, but ceased to appear after that.
3. Jesus warns us to beware that we do not do our righteous deeds so as to be recognized by man. If we are doing things for God then we should be satisfied that God sees, and acknowledges.
B. Paul tells us that whatever we do in word or deed that we should do it all for the glory of God, knowing that from the Lord, we shall be receiving our reward.
1. Paul speaks of the vain glory of man.
2. How fickle is the world who glories and exhalts their idols.
a. They cheer their lungs out when their heroes are having a good week.
b. Let the hero go into a slump for a few weeks and boos will greet them as they enter the field of play.
c. You can go from hero to chump so fast.
3. The praise of God is everlasting.
C. Are you looking for the praise of God or the praise of man?
1. How much of what you do is designed subtlely to draw attention to yourself?
2. What is better, temporary rewards or eternal rewards?
a. Paul speaks of the great body discipline the athletes underwent as they trained for the olympics. He noted that they did it for a corruptible crown, but that we were seeking an incorruptible crown.
b. The thought being that we should be willing for even greater sacrifices of time and energies.
D. It is interesting how many people's lives are dictated by what people might say.
1. This is the first thing that crosses their mind. a. What will people say, or think?
2. What we really should be thinking is what will God think of my actions?
a. Many of the actions that might stand you in favor with the world may bring you disfavor with God.
b. That can certainly be reversed also.