Why did Nicodemus visit Jesus at night? Fear of what his peers would do if they found out. He wasn’t alone in this; John says that “many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue” (12:42). They chose job security over Jesus. This fear is a mighty powerful force.
The fear of man. Peer pressure. What will others think? This can get deadly.
This fear runs deep in the human race. It is ancient, Genesis 3:10 stuff—“I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” The fear of exposure. It is far more powerful than we like to admit—the origin of every fig leaf and fashion trend. It’s what gives power to culture. We long to be praised. We dread exposure.