Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.John 12:42-43 NIV
Most people care what others think of them. We are social creatures and it is only natural that we want to be accepted by the rest of the herd. But Jesus calls us to come out of the herd and to walk with him. For many of us it is a difficult thing to stand out from the crowd; to face ridicule and derision is hard on my self esteem.
Jesus was only days away from the cross when we find that many among the Jewish leadership had believed in him. But they would not publicly acknowledge their belief because their social standing was more important to them than their relationship with God. And that is such a tragedy. In Matthew 10:32-33 Jesus tells us that if we will acknowledge him before others, he will acknowledge us before the Father. But whoever disowns him before men will be disowned by Jesus.
The tragedy is that if we fail to publicly acknowledge him as Lord, even if we believe in him, he will also not acknowledge us as belonging to him. What a shame to be a secret believer; to know the truth and yet have Jesus deny that he knows you. Caring more about what people think than what God thinks of you will end in disaster. Love God rather than human praise. Be a real disciple, not just a fan.