Crowd Pleasers

They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. – John 12:43  

How many people do we know like this?

I once read a newspaper story about an old carnival headliner nicknamed “Cannonball.” In his younger days, he was blasted out of a cannon 1,200 times, pulled a 90-pound weight across a table with his eyelids, and performed many other bizarre stunts. When asked why he did such things, he replied, “Do you know what it’s like to feel the applause of 60,000 people? That’s why I did it over and over.”

In John 12 we learn about some leaders who were also motivated by a desire to please others. In their case, however, they refused to follow Jesus openly because they wanted to be accepted by the Pharisees. Although they had seen the Savior’s miracles and believed in Him, they wouldn’t acknowledge this publicly. “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (v.43). And I believe we are safe in assuming that many people failed to turn to Jesus because they were also crowd pleasers who feared the disapproval of these “chief” crowd pleasers.

We are all subject to social pressures. If we are true to ourselves and to God, we’ll be able to withstand the strong pull of the crowd. But if we become crowd pleasers, we’ll be in far worse shape than the man who kept climbing back into that cannon!

Mart De Haan 

If we, to gain the world’s applause,
Refuse to own the Savior’s cause,
What shame will fill us on that day
When Thou Thy glory shall display! 


Yielding to God’s Spirit within prevents conforming to the world without.

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