The Unlikely Disciple

Preached by

For most of us, there are times we want to follow Jesus but fear holds us back. We desire to share our faith openly but worry about rejection, judgement or embarrassment. We stay silent, keeping our faith secret. Yet the smallest acts of courage, born from great faith, can change everything.

The tomb provided by Joseph of Arimathea made the resurrection possible. His story reminds us that hearing God’s voice can transform our fear into the faith to make a difference.

  1. Many people, like Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, experience fear that prevents them from publicly following Jesus. They struggle with balancing secrecy and openness.
  2. Joseph and Nicodemus were wealthy and powerful men who were secret disciples of Jesus out of fear. But seeing Jesus crucified and his resolve gave them the courage to publicly follow him.
  3. Small acts of courage that take great faith can make a big difference. Joseph providing his tomb made the resurrection possible.
  4. Different things capture people’s hearts – some are moved by the resurrection, others by Jesus’ weakness on the cross. Jesus crucified grabs and captivates us.
  5. When we sense the Father’s voice calling us, it calms us and gives us the extra courage to do the hard things and make a difference. We must hear his voice over all the other clamoring.
  6. The speaker prays that the congregation would experience the courage and faith of Joseph and Nicodemus, hearing God’s voice and being captivated by Jesus to make a difference.

The extent of our influence depends most on whether we step into the opportunities right in front of us. When God calls, will we choose courage over comfort? Will we risk shame for the sake of sharing his love? Joseph and Nicodemus show us that seeing Jesus – his resolve, his weakness – can capture our hearts in a way that liberates us from fear.

May we hear God’s voice calling us to the humble acts of courage and faith that will make an eternal difference in the lives around us. It starts with a small step forward, away from secrecy and into the light. Will you take that step today, trusting that God who calls you will sustain you?


John 19:38-42

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