He Could Not Be Hid
Mr. Ormer G. C. Sprunt is the original sponsor and a co-founder of Food for the Flock, Inc. We sincerely appreciate this Christ-exalting study by our beloved brother who, by the way, is an octogenarian. May its message, among other things, challenge our hearts in these last days to manifest our Lord more fully in and through our lives.
“He (the Lord Jesus) could not be ‘hid” (Mark 7:24). How these words gripped my attention! How they stimulated my thoughts and activated my imagination! I thought of the Lord Jesus and the frequency with which He was manifested during His life here. Sometimes He was manifested publicly, at other times more selectively. There is one thing sure, He could not be hid from those who needed pardon, from those who needed assurance, from those who needed rest, and from those who loved Him.
He could not be hid because of various reasons; one of course being He is Emmanuel, “God with Us.” When He came into the world to manifest Himself no human plan, no earthly obstacle, no evil circumstance could hide Him.
In prophecy we read, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). We also read in the same prophecy, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The Prince of Peace He certainly is, for “He made peace by the blood of His cross” (Colossians 1:20). In the future He will be manifested in all His glory (Colossians 3:4).
In His Incarnation
Although we may not understand the mystery of the personality of the Lord Jesus, we thank God that His eternal, divine nature was not hid in His incarnation: “Without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
The Apostle John records his own experience in this very regard: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon (careful contemplation) and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life” (1 John 1:1).
In His Life
The same Apostle John asserts “Ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him was no sin” (1 John 3:5). Well might Pilate’s wife call the Lord Jesus, “That just Man (Matthew 27:19); and the centurion call Him “the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). The penitent thief also devoutly asserted, “This Man hath done nothing amiss” (Luke 23:41).
The Lord Jesus on entering into humanity did not inherit the sinful tendencies of our nature; He ever was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners (Hebrews 7:26). The infinite holiness, absolute righteousness, and the perfect purity of the Lord Jesus were never hid during His life among men.
The Infinite, the Unseen, became visible in flesh. He became the visible image of the invisible God. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, but knew no sin and did no sin. Furthermore, “the Son of God was manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). Such was the grace of God that our Lord Jesus Christ, though He was rich, for our sakes became poor that we through His poverty might be made rich (11 Corinthians 8:9). None was so poor but that a cradle or a crib was provided for him at his birth; when our Lord Jesus was born no bed awaited Him but a manger in a stable. When eventually He died, He had no bed. If the Lord does not return for a while, and we are called home by death, we hope that it will happen in our own bed. It was not so with our Lord Jesus; His bed was a Roman gibbet. We need to remind our hearts that His death was as miraculous as His birth. In the one He was born of a virgin; in the other, He died for sin, yet He was absolutely sinless.
The shepherds responded to the announcement of His birth, saying, “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us” (Luke 2:15). Similarly, when the wise men from the East came into the house at Bethlehem, “they saw the young child with Mary His mother, and fell down, and worshipped Him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11). From them He was not hid.
In His Childhood
When He was twelve years of age, He and His parents went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the Jewish feasts. Mary and Joseph on completing their duties were returning home, but Jesus tarried behind. His loved ones supposed that He was in the company of other friends who were also returning home in the same direction. After three days His absence became evident, so they sought Him among their kinsfold and acquaintances. Ultimately they found Him in the temple sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. Even in His boyhood He could not be hid. What implications there are in His words to them: “Wist ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” Joseph was not His father!
In His Ministry
“Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him; and, lo, a voice from Heaven said, This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:16). God, on that occasion publicly acknowledged Him. He looked upon His only Son with delight and complacency.
If He could not be hid in His birth, nor in His life, nor at His baptism, He certainly was not hid from His intimate disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration: “After six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them, … And behold, there appeared unto them, Moses and Elias talking with Him.” In the presence of such the disciples fell on their faces, and were sore afraid, but when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man save Jesus only. To their hearts this was a never-to-be-forgotten experience. Years later, Peter wrote, “There came such a voice from the excellent glory, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with Him in the Holy Mount” (11 Peter 1:26-17).
In His Betrayal
Satan entered into Judas Iscariot and he went his way and communed with the chief priests and captains to betray Christ to them. They promised him money, so he indicated the Master and sold Him for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave in the market. When Judas gave the pre-arranged sign, the Lord Jesus asked, “Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48).
The Apostle John adds some graphic touches to this scene: “Jesus… went forth with His disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden into which He entered, and His disciples. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them (the chief priest and Pharisees), Whom seek ye? They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am He (The Great I Am). As soon as He had said this, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” He then added, “If, therefore ye seek me, let these go their way (John 18:1-8).
In His Death and Resurrection
In one respect the Lord Jesus was not hid in His death, but in another He was veiled from the malignant gaze of the rabble crowd. No one saw those deep internal, spiritual sufferings for from the sixth to the ninth hour “there was darkness over all the earth.” Pilate wrote a superscription and hung it over the cross. Everyone then understood who was there: “Jesus the King of the Jews.” The Lord had said concerning Himself, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32).
While the disciples hid themselves for fear of the Jews, Jesus appeared in their midst: “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20). In view of His death and resurrection, the Lord said to His disciples, “A little while and ye shall not see me:… Ye shall weep and lament.’: And again He said, “A little while, and ye shall see… Your sorrow shall be turned into joy” (John 16:17-20).
Dr. H.A. Ironside said, “Christianity rests on three great pillars: the incarnation, the crucifixion and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus”.
In His Second Advent
“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1: 7). Such shall be the second stage of our Lord’s return; of the first we read, “When He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). Consequently, “When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
May the Lord never, through any fault of ours, be hid from the eye of faith. May we ever see Jesus crowned with glory and honor. Our experience may be similar to that of John who records, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not, I am the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:17).