- Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews (John 19:38).
By the time John writes his Gospel, a half century has passed since the events he describes. So are John’s words a surprising revelation to his first readers? Is this man’s faith still a secret or has his secret always been a part of the story’s telling? Why risk identification with Jesus now–when He’s dead? Perhaps the crucifixion scene has nurtured such deep remorse in this man for his silence that he’s now willing to be accused of believing in Jesus. It seems there may be a sense of “too late” for this man’s loyalty to Christ. Of course, we know there’s more story to come, but this man doesn’t. He’s too late to take his stand, to be seen among Jesus’ adoring crowd. It’s been his secret, one he kept until his chance to stand for Jesus has passed. That’s the nature of secret faith–it always leaves us wishing we’d done differently.