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
When we consider the makeup of Jesus’ disciples, we rarely think there were Jewish leaders other than Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea among them. Here, though, we see that some of the leaders believed but didn’t acknowledge their faith publicly.
What’s interesting to note is that John doesn’t say that they were not Believers but that “they loved human praise more than praise from God.” John seems to highlight the importance of public profession in this instance. Or perhaps a better assessment is the fear of being rejected by their peers.
In many cases, we’re no different than the leaders because if we’re honest we’re fearful of speaking out when we need to or acknowledging Christ when called upon. I’m very thankful the Bible was written with characters that you and I can really relate to.