Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the Jews. John 7:12-13
Imagine for a moment you were a follower of Jesus. You watched Him teach and heal and pray and claim to be the Son of God. As you followed him with the crowds, some folks waited for Him to fail. To lie. To show himself to be a fraud. Whispered he was a charlatan. Others claimed He was the Son of God.
Nicodemus had doubts. He was an Jewish official. But what about the common folks, like you and me. What unspeakable conflicts they must have endured. Can you imagine them gabbing with each other in the driveway? “Is He who He says He is? Or is He a liar. Or is He just crazy? We’ve seen enough of those walking around claiming all sorts of nonsense.” Can you imagine the gossip the ladies must have carried on at the water well? He must have been the trending topic of conversation at the water cooler.
They didn’t have the benefit of the Old and New Testaments. They didn’t have Strong’s Concordance. Or the benefit of Paul yet, or a Charles Spurgeon or Billy Sunday or D.L.Moody, or a plethora of Bible study materials in both printed and electronic form.
All they had to base their decisions on were the things they saw and the things others told them. Put yourself in their shoes. If you had never heard of Jesus, but you heard Him teach, seen His miracles and witnessed His healing power, would you believe Him when He told you He was the Son of God? That He would save you from your sins?
They could have been killed for confessing to believing Him. The choice to believe Him or not was a matter of life and death for them. Literally.
But then . . .so is ours.