He winced as his footsteps echoed through the dark stillness of Jerusalem. It was late, very late. Pausing a moment to calm his racing heart, he wiped sweat from his brow.
“Am I crazy?” He thought to himself, “If someone sees me…”
He shook his head, knowing that what he was doing was potentially putting him, and his high position on the Sanhedrin court, in a dangerous place. Just that thought alone put a knot in his stomach.
He longed to turn around, to go home, and forget about this man named Jesus, and the miracles that he performed, but it was impossible. This was the only way…
He glanced nervously around, before venturing out again on his midnight journey. The moon lit the small town, illuminating the path ahead. He stayed in the shadows, hoping that he would not come across anyone who might recognize him.
He didn’t know how much time had passed before his eyes finally caught site of his destination. He breathed a sigh of relief as he was safe… For now.
Have you guessed the man’s identity yet? Nicodemus is his name, and he is a secret follower of Jesus. He agreed with Jesus’s teachings, but he did not openly make his views known with his fellow Sanhedrin’s. Instead, he hid his beliefs, and watched Jesus from afar. No one could have been the wiser. By day he was a Pharisee, and by night he was a Christ follower.
Is this you? Do you love Jesus with all your heart, but live in such a way that doesn’t clearly communicate that love? In a world that taunts and mocks Christians, it is easier to choose the wide road, and become a secret follower of Christ. Jesus calls us not to walk the wide road, but the narrow road, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” Matthew 7:13 (NIV)
I know as teens, we tend to be very self-conscious about standing out, and standing up for the things that are important to us, and the things that we believe in. We worry about how our peers will view us, that people will make fun of us for being Christians, and that we are not qualified to “effectively” share Jesus with others.
We are scared, scared of standing alone in the crowd. Instead, we practice our beliefs when no one is watching, in the safety of our rooms were no one can see. We hide, because it’s easier, and more comfortable for us.
As Christians, it is crucial that we stop hiding our faith in plain sight. We need to stop being afraid to be a testimony for Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control.” It is tough, I know, but if we won’t take a stand for Christ, who will?
No one said being a Christian is easy. In fact, it is anything but. Being a Christian in today’s world is hard, but you know what? You are a child of God, you are His beloved, His treasured one. If you are these things to Him, then what things in this life should scare us? Stepping out in faith is scary, but I encourage you to pray, and ask Jesus to give you a spirit of courage, strength, and power.
We are no longer slaves to this world, so it’s time we start living like it…
Food for Thought:
In what areas of your life, do you think you are a secret follower of Christ, and why?
In the freedom, then, with which Christ did make you free—stand ye, and be not held fast again by a yoke of servitude.”