Briefing: Are you a closet Christian? Are you ashamed or embarrassed about sharing your faith or letting anyone know you are a Christ follower?
Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 3:1-21.
On the Street: Some of my favorite sermons are the ones where I get my toes stepped on. I want to know where I fall short and what areas of my life I am not pleasing God. I like being challenged with becoming a better Christ follower. I hope you do too because this devotional is bound to step on a few toes.
Have you ever been asked about your faith and answered, “That’s personal” or “That’s between me and God”? This is what I call a closet Christian. I am not saying the person who answers this way is not a Christian, hopefully they are just a Christian in their infancy. Maybe they are just in the beginning stages of their relationship with Jesus. If you find yourself here, you are not alone but it is time to start growing and maturing in your faith.
In this passage, Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, under the cover of darkness. Nicodemus is a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish ruling council. He is a man of authority and status. Nicodemus believes that Jesus is from God but has not decided if he is ready to risk his position to follow Him. He seems to be struggling with being a Christ follower or staying in the closet.
This passage begins with Nicodemus coming to Jesus at night and ends with Jesus telling him, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:19-21 (NIV).
Later, we see that Nicodemus did decide to step out of the closet into the light and follow Jesus. As Christ followers, we are called to be salt and light. We are not the light but we reflect God’s light. It is impossible to reflect light if you are hiding in darkness.
Investigational Resources: For more on Nicodemus, read John 7:50-52 and John 19:38-42.
Officer Safety Principle: Don’t hide your light; live your life in such a way that everyone knows you are a Christ follower.
from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!