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Hiding Your Faith

Briefing: Are you ashamed of being a law enforcement officer? Do you hide your profession from your friends and family? How about your faith? Do you hide your faith in Jesus from anyone?

Dispatch (Assignment): Read John 20:19-23.

On the Street: Jesus’ disciples have barricaded themselves in a room. They are hiding, afraid of the Jewish officials who had pushed for the crucifixion of Jesus. On face value we can sympathize with their actions.

I believe this passage has a deeper message for us. If we work through what the disciples are doing it becomes a clear issue of hiding their faith. It reminds me of the parable of the talents. In this parable the master left three servants in charge of different amounts of currency called talents. The master expected the servants to invest and put the money to use. As the story unfolds we see the last of the servants has taken the talent and hidden it away. When the master returns he says to him, “You wicked, lazy servant!”

Jesus had given these disciples one of the greatest gifts a person could ever receive. He gave them three years of His life, mentoring and teaching them the gospel. Jesus left (crucified) and returned, just as the master of the parable. The difference is Jesus has compassion on the disciples. He does not call them wicked, lazy servants. He reminds them of the peace He has already given them. Earlier He had told them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

“Do not be afraid”, DO NOT BE AFRAID. If you are a Christian you have been given a great gift, salvation in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we are called to go and share the gospel of Christ with the world. After Jesus tells the disciples peace He tells them, “I am sending you”. This is the second reminder, Go! It is as much a reminder for us today as it was for the disciples back then.

Stop being afraid of sharing your faith and go. Jesus is sending us out into the world to share the gospel. Have peace and go.

Investigational Resources: See Luke 24:36-39 for a parallel account. Read Matthew 25:14-30 for the parable of the talents. Is your fear based in shame? Look at Mark 8:38.

Officer Safety Principle: Do not hide your faith. Like the uniform a police officer wear identifies him/her as a law enforcement officer, we are also called to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14).

from The Gospel of John Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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