John 19:19,21-22 “And Pilate posted a sign on the cross that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” …Then the leading priests objected and said to Pilate, “Change it from ‘The King of the Jews’ to ‘He said, I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “No, what I have written, I have written.”
John 19:38-39 “Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes.” Of all the bad press the Pharisees had in the New Testament, the only two people that had the courage to go and claim Jesus’ body were Pharisees, Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus. These men were not part of the twelve disciples. What can we learn from this? Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were both secret disciples of Jesus. The Pharisees were directly in conflict with Jesus, but Jesus was still large-hearted enough to relate with them individually, one on one on a personal basis.
Many people would detest that name, that title, Pharisee. Many people will respond by speaking rudely or walking Pharisees out of their house but not Jesus. Jesus accepted the Pharisees that came to Him. He took them, spoke to them, helped them, and taught them. We cannot judge people because you do not even know where your help will come from. This is also a huge leadership lesson for all of us; whether you are a business owner or a Pastor, but for Pastor’s in particular. You should have the three, you should have the twelve, you should have the seventy, and you should have the five hundred. But also, be open to disciple secret disciples because sometimes when the rubber meets the road, the people that will stand up will not be the twelve. The people that will stand up will be from outside, the people that you have impacted. I can tell you stories upon stories on that. You must have a large heart to be able to accommodate this.
John had connections and he made sure he told us about how he used it to get Peter into places he otherwise did not have access to. But John had no connection to Pilate. Do you understand? But Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus could walk up to Pilate confidently and demand for the body of Jesus. This is another huge lesson; it is good to know people everywhere; it is good to have relationships and keep them. You cannot only have relationships with people that are like you are in your circle. Like we said, you never can tell where your help will come from. Now I want you to spend some time thanking God for specific things that we have deliberated on over the past few days. Thank God for the fact that Jesus’ body was shredded for our sak
e. Seeing what Jesus had to go through brings new insight and gratitude in our hearts. Thank God because Jesus was an embodiment of prophecy.
Your homework today is to read John 19:28-37 and list seven things that stand out for you.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for sending Jesus. Lord as I take in Your Word, let it bear fruit in my life and let Your Name be glorified, in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen!