Does Jesus hide Himself from us today? (I disguised myself to show that Jesus did that when He hid Himself)
Jesus promised I will never leave you nor forsake you.
So does Jesus hide Himself in our lives today? John 12:36 'After Jesus had finished speaking, He left and hid Himself from them.'
OT When did God hide Himself?
Abraham was promised his descendants would be like the stars in the sky. He believed God. God waited until it was impossible naturally. Sarai and Abe helped God out! Went own way. Ishmael! God hid Himself for 13 years.
Deuteronomy 31:17-18 'I will become angry with them and forsake them I will hide My face from them.'
God hides His face as result of sin. Man acting without God.
Achan sinned by taking what belonged to God and brought the nation under the anger of God. Many were defeated by few. God against them.
Psalm 27:9 'Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger. You are my helper.'
Not to look with favour is to hide and not respond.
Psalm 30:7 'When I felt secure, I said I will never be shaken...but when You hid your face from me I was dismayed.'
Self-sufficiency results in pride. Owes all to God. God hiding His face. Man feels alone. If God be for us... If God be against us....
Isaiah 8:17 'I will wait for the Lord who is hiding His face from the house of Jacob, I will put my trust in Him.'
Only God can restore. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt you in due time. Exalt draw you closer to Him.
Isaiah 59:2 'Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.'
God hiding His face is due to sin (which is going their own way or living life on their terms). Leaving God out of life. Reason? Find out why.
Jonah called by God fled from God and went in the opposite direction. Lost the personal touch until brought back on course and given a second chance.
NT John 7:6,8 'My time is not yet here. For you any time will do... I am not going up to this festival, because My time has not yet fully come.' Hid Himself. Waited. His time.
John 9 Jesus told the blind man to wash off the mud in the pool of Siloam. Then Jesus hid Himself. He waited for that man to speak and defend His Name before He revealed Himself as the Messiah.
John 11 Jesus heard that Lazarus was ill. Because He loved him and his sisters Martha and Mary, He waited two more days. (He hid Himself from the scene of sorrow). He turned up when it seemed too late. Mission impossible. It was a master stroke.
Jesus hides Himself. He has His own reasons. Different for each person.
John 12:36 'After Jesus had finished speaking, He left and hid Himself from them.'
Luke 24 After the resurrection, Jesus joined two people on the road to Emmaus. He kept them from recognising Him.
Why did He do that? To gain their attention and be willing to hear what He had to say. Jesus wanted them to trust the Scriptures. He would withdraw His visible presence, but the Scriptures would remain. They had to be taught to believe the Scriptures and obey them. If they did not do that, He would hide Himself, but the moment they were willing to believe and obey, He would no longer be hidden.
He asked them what they were discussing. They stood still their faces downcast. "Jesus of Nazareth, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priest and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him and we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. It is the third day and some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning, but did not find His body. He said to them,” How foolish you are and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter His glory. And beginning with Moses and all the prophets He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself." While hiding His identity.
Why did their hearts burn? The Scriptures were true. What happened was true. Jesus made as if He was walking on. Why? This is Middle East culture. One never intrudes but waits for an invitation. He waited for them to really want His company. They urged Him to stay, they liked this stranger. They wanted to hear more. More of the Scriptures. Jesus hides Himself until invited. Jesus remained hidden while they prepared the meal. He blessed the meal and broke the bread and they realised it is the risen Jesus.
Praise the Lord. No longer visible but no longer hidden! Their hearts were on fire as Jesus talked and opened the Scriptures. They could not keep it to themselves, but went all the way back to tell the other disciples.
John 21 Jesus hid Himself from all except His disciples after His resurrection. Jesus hid Himself at the sea of Galilee. Peter decided to go fishing. Jesus left out. Caught nothing A stranger asked them “Have you any fish?” Nothing. Cast your net on the right side. 153 fish. Why count them?
To show the difference. On your own or listening to Him. It is the Lord. His presence transformed a night of futility. None dared ask Him, “Who are You?” They knew it was the Lord. Not appearance but activity. Jesus seemed different??
Acts 1:15 He Hid Himself when Peter left Jesus out. Why? Ascended. Acted on his own to choose a witness of the resurrection to take the place of Judas Iscariot. Jesus ascended. Not involved! Jesus had chosen Peter and the others. "I chose you." Later Jesus chose Saul of Tarsus. Jesus hid Himself when Stephen was on his own yet revealed Himself only to Stephen.
Jesus hid Himself from Saul of Tarsus and allowed him to try to destroy the church. Why? He tried to prod him through Stephen and changed lives and an inner turmoil.
Two passages. Saul’s own words. Galatians 1:13-17 "You know of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers, but when God who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being, but I went into Arabia." Alone with Jesus 3 years.
1 Timothy 1:12-13,16 "I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength that He considered me trustworthy, appointing me to His service even though I was once a blasphemer, and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief... I was shown mercy so that in me the worst of sinners Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe."
Jesus revealed Himself as the resurrected Jesus of Nazareth to Saul of Tarsus and called him to be His apostle to make Him known. Jesus hid Himself from Saul prior to that. Why? He had His own reasons. If He could save the worst of sinners, He can save anyone. He had to get Saul alone to teach Him what He taught the twelve. "What I received, by revelation." "Taught by Jesus Himself."
Revelation 3 A church was prosperous. They felt they lacked nothing. They were not aware that they had left Him out of their calculations. They were miserable, poor, blind and naked. A destitute bunch of people who thought they should be envied.
Jesus stayed hidden, but because He loved them, He had to confront them and tell them that they had left Him out of their lives. Jesus told them, You left Me out of your lives. I am on the outside. I am waiting for your invitation. I want to share life with you.
Every day. In all your decisions. In every aspect of your life. You need Me.
Of course if you do not invite Me in I will stay hidden.
Does Jesus Hide Himself from His children today? Jesus loves them but does not love what they are doing. What is the evidence thereof?
1. They insist on going their own way. Initially they submitted themselves to the only Saviour. Their simple child like faith was replaced by a complicated system of rules. They lost their freedom and the joy of the Lord. They returned to a life where they were in control. Jesus only consulted in times of need.
They had to be taught that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you (sing) free from the law of sin and death. God begins a work in us, He continues to work until it is completed. When we take over and enslave ourselves by our own ideas and rules of what a Christian should do, Jesus hides Himself until we realise He is no longer the focus of our lives. We have lost “for me to live is Christ” Look unto Jesus the author and perfecter of your faith. Do not lose sight of Him or He will hide Himself.
Paul had to write to the Galatians because they had followed false teaching. They had run well but others had insisted on OT rules rather than Jesus Christ alone. They had lost the freedom that faith in Jesus brings. They lost sight of Jesus only.
Note what is also hidden: Matthew 11:25 "Jesus said: 'I praise You Father that You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.'" Only if we remain child like in our willingness to learn and listen will we be taught and understand the Scriptures. Otherwise God will hide the truth and insights into it.
How did Jesus hide Himself? He hid Himself in death that He might destroy the power of the law of sin and death.
The visible Jesus has hidden Himself. We have the Scriptures. Believe them and obey the the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and you will be set free from the law of sin and death. Though Jesus is hidden, you will be given spiritual insight.
John 12:35-36 'You are going to have the light a little while longer. Walk while you have the light before darkness overtakes you. Those who walk in the dark do not know where they are going. Put your trust in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.'
What is Jesus saying? Leave Him the Light out of your life and you live in darkness. (Jesus hides Himself from you) You do not know what He wants you to do. You do not understand His Word, His will. While you are alive put your trust in Jesus.
Act now to become His children of light. Children need light to understand what is required of them. Do not lose sight of Jesus. Never leave Him out of your daily life like the Laodicaean church who became miserable poor blind and naked. Beggars instead of princes. Poor instead of rich, blind instead of seeing the kingdom of God. Naked instead of clothed with righteousness.
2. Jesus hides Himself until we do what He wants us to do. He stayed out of the lives of those believers until they realised their need of submitting to Him afresh. If He has shown you what He wants you to do and you do not carry it out, He hides Himself. 1980 He Hid Himself until I submitted myself to Him. Told to trust Him only. Recently In my case He told me to do something and I refused. Jesus hid Himself - A bad day. Agreed next day to obey and was blessed.
3. Jesus hides Himself to reveal Himself. Mark 6:45-46 'Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida. He dismissed the crowd and went to a mountain side to pray.' Jesus hid Himself from them.
Jesus came walking on the water. Why? To reveal His divinity. Not just a prophet. Shortly before dawn, because the wind was against the disciples, He went out to them and He was about to pass by them. (Why? ME culture. Wait for invitation) They thought He was a ghost and were terrified and cried out. 'Take courage, it is I ,do not be afraid.'
So Jesus hid Himself from people yet knew all about them and their circumstances. When they realised who He was and was able to do, it strengthened their faith in Him.
4. When Jesus hides Himself, involve Him by invitation. Keep on trusting Him. Continue to worship Him. Keep on doing what He has already told you to do. Keep on sharing your faith in Jesus with others. It is Jesus who draws people to Himself not you. Trust Him to give the right words to say, to meet the right people.
Psalm 50: 23 'He that offers thank offerings to Me honours Me, and prepares the way for Me to show Him the salvation of God.'
5. Does Jesus hide Himself until we praise Him in advance that He is in control and has the power to do what man cannot do? In the OT Jeremiah 17 it teaches that the man that puts his trust in man is cursed, but the man who trusts only in God is blessed and is like a tree that sends out its roots in a time of drought.
It is not easy to praise God in advance. Like the men in Daniel who stood firm in their faith. Like the people who praised God before He won a great victory.
6. Does Jesus hide Himself until we trust only in Him. So easy to rely on man. We make promises in life to God and then fail to carry them out. Does Jesus hide Himself until we carry out what we promise?
Jesus hides Himself today in our lives. Times of silence. Times of testing.
Jesus has His own reasons. Lessons to be taught. Reminder of how much we need Him.
Find out why He is hiding Himself. Ask Him every day to make His presence felt.