"'We are afraid of the crowd'...they feared the crowds." Matthew 21:26, 46
We grow by the exposure of our weakness. Physical trainers help people strengthen neglected muscles for a complete physique. We tend to lean on our strengths to the detriment of our underdeveloped, already-weak-enough areas.
Jesus exposed the chief priests and Pharisees through a series of questions and parables. Their true concern wasn't for truth, but for themselves. They were unwilling to give an open statement of their beliefs for fear of what the crowds might do to them. Their god was their bellies; their statement of faith was their present comfort. All was sacrificed to this, even their manly integrity.
"All Scripture is...profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16). It discerns our every hidden thought, searches out our secrets, and exposes our blind spots. We need its light. We must spend time under God's word that we might grow in our weaknesses. He knows how to strengthen us in grace.
We are whole persons, and weak areas of our character inevitably affect other areas of our selves. We need the good exposure of God's word, and of local church community, that we may be "complete" (2 Timothy 3:17).
Those who trust Christ are already accepted by God, justified and embraced as sons and daughters. You were an open book when he clothed you in his righteousness, nothing will now separate you from his love. We have nothing to fear of rejection, so let us embrace this gracious searching of our souls by the Master Craftsman.