How many people live their lives in fear of others more than in the fear of the Lord? Or live in the shadow of another and miss out on the things the Lord had just for them? To fear people brings a snare (Proverbs 29:25) The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
We find that in Jesus day people were just as apprehensive as they are today about showing others they believe in Jesus as in the story of Nicodemus who was a ruler of the Jews, but he did not want to be put out of the sect of the Pharisees in which he belonged. To not be seen of the others he visited Jesus at night to question Him how can one be born again? (John 3:1-8) 1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Even today people will have one who crosses their path with the truth they have not learned in their church, but for fear what will others think keeps them at a place where Christ is only named,but not taught completely. Paul spoke of how he wanted to preach the truth where he was sent,but would not go to places where Christ was named (Romans 15:19-23). To look at the world we would think the only place we can learn of Jesus is in a church building, yet Jesus taught many times outside to the multitudes and as He still does today how He said “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them”! (Hebrews 13:12-16).
Another example how people fear others more than the Lord was Peter who actually walked with Jesus, yet when Jesus was at His most vulnerable time in His life at His trial we see Peter denying Him three times. When we know the truth that sets us free from mans religion and false teachings do we shrink when people ask us why do we believe the way we do? Or do we tell them the truth of Gods saving grace!(Matthew 26:69-75).
Gods people stand out amongst the crowds even today for as Jesus said “I am not of the world” and we find His people doing what they were called to do, being about their Fathers business and not fearing what others think of them.