Vol. 8-30 – 07-23-2023 – Hidden? Grand Departure!
And from there He arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet He could not be hidden. –Mark 7:24
I had a dear friend (he is at home with Jesus now) who had a small dog, a black poodle. Sneaky little poodle. My friend bought some bags of snack-sized candy—Snickers, Milky-Way, etc. He intended to give them away for Halloween kidlets.
Then he could not find them. Three bags! After Halloween, he was still looking for them. But then he would come home from work and find one or two empty wrappers. Sometimes on the floor; other times on the couch. But look as he might, he still could not find where they were hidden.
One day, about a month later, he found them in a corner under the bed in the guest room. That little poodle had grabbed them and then rationed the bars so he could enjoy them for a time. It is not exactly a picture of our introductory verse, but it reminds us that things get hidden on purpose.
Sometimes children hide themselves. You find them when they giggle.
The fame of Jesus was spreading. He healed. Cast out demons, and more. When He would enter a city/town, people would hurry to catch a glimpse of Him. Maybe hoping to touch Him. Some quickly brought their sick. Used stretchers to cart them to a spot along the road. Thinking if even His shadow crossed their ill loved one, that things would be alright.
The crowds were unrelenting. The disciples were exhausted. Jesus sent them away to a desert place. They needed rest.
Yet people found them. Surrounded them. Jesus stayed ministering to their needs late at night. Not only did He heal; He taught. Comforted. He moved on toward Tyre and Sidon. Tired. He entered a house, not wanting anyone to know He was there. He did not want to be discovered, but He was.
He was more important than chocolate. He was captivating. Life-changing. Transformational.
Have you ever tried to hide Jesus away? In order to not be put on the spot should anyone discover your hidden secret? Have you ever been guilty of compartmentalizing Jesus? Only talk about Him in church. Among family? With certain co-workers? But not in the neighborhood. Or in the coffee shop. Or restaurant.
Those are conversations you should only have with your Christian friends. Right? At other times you hide Him. You keep the One who loves you most tucked away in the little closet of your life. Share about Him? That is not easy. Tell another the reason for your faith? But what if you have someone cross your path who needs Jesus most of all, in their life?
Now about eight days after these sayings He took with Him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. And as He was praying, the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were talking with Him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of His departure, which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. –Luke 9:28-31
The nearness of death in a family can be an emotional roller-coaster. Families gather. Occupy the waiting rooms. Wait. There are lots of conversations in those waiting rooms. It was that way when my dad was dying. It was that way when my mom was dying. I preached both of their funerals.
There were some gifts from the times of waiting. Some things dad was able to say stunned me as he succumbed to Alzheimer’s Disease. He had not been able to communicate well. But he did just before he died. It was repeated with my mom. Almost like she rallied. She spoke of things I needed to give attention to for her. And she reminded me of my promise to preach her funeral.
I knew where my parents’ eternity would be spent. There was no doubt in my heart that I would see them both again. In the now, I still miss them. I am surprised by how intentional both of them were in preparing for life’s end this side of heaven. Yet, both immediately were present with the Lord upon their death. Absence from the body is present with the Lord. –2 Corinthians 5:8
It is not unusual to come across people in the Scriptures speaking about their soon-coming grand departure. We find it in the OT and the NT. Here we find Jesus speaking regarding His soon-coming grand departure.
Can you imagine the conversation with Peter, John, and James that is not printed in our Bibles? There had to be such. These disciples were changed. They heard of His coming crucifixion. The words were profound.
Later we hear Peter’s own departure message (2 Peter 1:13-18).
These messages are important. We need to hear them spoken. That is what we get from the Scriptures. God’s speaking. It is worth hearing. It is preparatory. It is what needs to be remembered. It is hard to discover any indication of those who loved the Lord having difficulty with the end of life on this side of heaven. On the other hand, those facing death without a personal relationship with Christ have severe difficulty with the thought of their departure.
With Jesus real in our lives, it behooves us to be clear to others the love we have for Him. We should not attempt to hide Him. If we only enjoy a relationship with Him in secret, it is time to unwrap Him so everyone around us can experience Him. He is a great gift. There are so many in your life who desperately need His presence. Jesus’ transforming power makes an eternal difference for those struggling.
We never know when our own lives will end on this side of heaven. Whether we die today, or many years in the future, living each day knowing there will be a time of our departure aids us in finishing well. To spread the fame of Jesus.
If you knew you were going to depart soon, who is it that you would need to speak with concerning their salvation, their hope?
Ask God for an opportunity to speak with the one you are concerned over.