It would be a matter of speculation to give a count of how many "secret" disciples there might have been in the days of Jesus. Several are mentioned in the divine record so I believe it would be safe to assume that there were numerous others.

Outstanding among these examples are the parents of the blind man whom Jesus made to see and certain of the Jewish rulers and priests. In each case they believed but were afraid to make it known publicly. One is called by name, Nicodemus. He came to Jesus "by night." Various reasons have been attributed for his coming by night but the terminology indicates it was a stealthy approach, a secret rendezvous. Later on it seems that Nicodemus no longer hid his discipleship when he cooperated with Joseph of Arimathea, another secret disciple, in openly asking for and receiving the body of Jesus for burial. (John 19:38-42)

Many of God's people, today, need to "come out of the closet" of secret discipleship. In the beginning of their gospel obedience they openly confessed their faith in Christ before baptism. But this was before friends. Now, as disciples who live in a world of spiritual darkness, we are admonished, as disciples, to "confess Christ before men." (Matthew 10:32-33) This is not the confession to be made before baptism; this is your daily walk with people of the world.

But often, when someone in our company, belittles the church or the doctrine or the Christ, we hide in our closet and, for some reason, whether for fear or shame, will not take a stand. We are supposed to be fearless soldiers, contenders for the faith! But, as one of His parabolic characters whined, "I was afraid," and we sometimes follow that example.

It's time we put into action the songs we so lustily sing, "I want to be a worker for the Lord," "I will work, I will pray," "Ring it out," and many other proclamations in song what we deny in practice. Let's all come out of our closet and publicly confess, He is my Master, my Lord, my King!

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