Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [him], lest they should be put out of the synagogue:
Note 13 at Joh 12:42: The Apostle Peter at one point failed to confess Jesus before people (Joh 18:17 and 25-27), but after the Holy Spirit was given, he was a different man who boldly confessed Him (Ac 4:8-13).
We do not know the real condition of these believing rulers' hearts, but we do know that they loved people's praises (Joh 12:43) more than God's (Joh 5:44). Their unwillingness to confess Christ throws serious doubt on the complete genuineness of these men's faith and the willingness of Christ to commit Himself to them (compare with Joh 2:23-25). Jesus said, "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Mt 10:32-33).