READING: Luke 23, John 18-19
TEXTS AND APPLICATION: Joseph of Arimathea was a rich and devout man (Matt. 27:57, Mark 15:43) who was a member of the Sanhedrin (Luke 23:51). In fact, he did not approve of the crucifixion of Jesus. At the same time, John gives us this additional information about him: “After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus—but secretly because of his fear of the Jews—asked Pilate that he might remove Jesus’ body” (John 19:38).
A “secret” disciple? Maybe he was afraid to lose a role, or perhaps he simply feared for his safety if found out. Whatever his reasoning was, though, he was a secret disciple — an oxymoron. Nothing about our calling to be a follower of Jesus grants us permission to hide our faith. Sure, potential persecution might warrant wisdom, but it cannot warrant fully hiding our faith. It’s tough to be light in a dark world when you’re a secret.
Lest we judge Joseph too strongly, however, consider this: those of us who are followers of Jesus, but who never tell anyone about our faith in Him, are in some ways also secret disciples. As long as we keep the gospel story to ourselves, how can anyone know we follow Him?
We’re no less guilty than Joseph when we live in hiddenness.
ACTION STEPS: Take the steps necessary (regardless of the potential cost) to tell somebody about Jesus today. Even if you don’t get to present the whole gospel story, go as far as you can with the Good News.
PRAYER: “Lord, I’m often a ’secret disciple.’ I allow busyness, life, fear, etc., to keep me from sharing Your story. Please help me today to tell somebody at least something about You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 28, Mark 16