November 28, 2012

Secret faith

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:18 pm

John 19:21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, Do not write, “The King of the Jews,” but rather, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

John 19:38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.

There are three examples in this chapter of people who had some sort of belief in Jesus but kept it under wraps.

Pilate was a reluctant executioner.  The sign he placed on Jesus’ cross hinted that he maybe believed Jesus’ claims.  Whatever his thoughts, he kept them secret.  His ‘faith’, such as it was, only made it as far as a note pinned above the man he was crucifying.  It remained largely contained within his thoughts.

Joseph was called a disciple of Jesus but kept quiet because of fear.  Nicodemus had listened to Jesus to learn from him and, from the tribute he brought after his death, I’d guess that he believed in what he’d heard.  But neither of them were open about their faith because of what it might mean for their positions in society or maybe for their very lives.

Interestingly, while this was happening, the disciples were in hiding.  But it was the disciples who were the foundation of the church, not Pilate, Joseph or Nicodemus.  It was the men who were open with their belief, who gave You everything, who fell but got back on their feet and carried on.

Lord I want to be remembered for the right things.  I want to be known as someone who puts You first, whatever the cost.  I don’t want to be a secret follower.


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