Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him. … Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so they would not be put out of the synagogue” John 12:37-42.
It’s towards the end of Jesus’ three-year ministry, and His hard teachings are separating those who want their heads and hearts full and not just their mouths and bellies. Even though He had proved to them in a variety of ways—even raising a dead man—they still did not believe in Him.
Here, ‘believe’ is used in its truest sense that requires action. If you believe that a truck is going to hit you, you get off the road! The actions because of true belief are outlined in scripture, publicly confessing Jesus as Lord being one of them.
There is no such thing as a secret Christian. A few verses later, after Isaiah shows that true belief requires the actions of an understanding of the heart and a turning from sin, certain authorities who loved the glory of men more are said to believe on a level in which they would not confess Jesus for fear of repercussions. More than just words, they wouldn’t let Jesus be their Lord.
Have you confessed Jesus?