In the last portion of John 12 (vs. 36b-50), Jesus cries out and gives his last public speech. He urges us to decide whether we believe in him and if so, to choose to openly follow him.
Jesus is at the end of his earthly ministry. He has worked many miracles and still, many of the Jews who have witnessed his greatness and power first hand, do not believe in him. John reminds us that this sad reality is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies by the prophet Isaiah.
Believing in Secret
On the other hand, there were many Jewish leaders who believed Jesus was the Messiah, but they kept their faith secret because they did not want to be excommunicated from the synagogue. They cared more about their reputation and status than they cared about their Messiah.
Even today there are people who struggle with being open with their faith. In our culture, it is often because Christians have a bad reputation or because having faith is seen as something for the less educated or unintelligent. In other cultures, there is the risk of being excommunicated or even murdered for having faith in Christ. Yet, in order to have true faith, we must not hide it or it will eventually be snuffed out. Theologian William Barclay explains: “Secret discipleship is a contradiction in terms for, ‘either the secrecy kills the discipleship, or the discipleship kills the secrecy.’”
If you have come to know Christ and believe in him, do not hide it. Be bold.
Jesus said, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (vs. 46). We live in a world of darkness, but Jesus will be your light. Do not be afraid because He will keep you safe and guide your way.