So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid and went out of the temple. (John 8:59)
Jesus has just been going through another wrangle with the religious authorities. They get so angry at Jesus that they pick up stones to kill Him. Jesus’ response was to hide.
We hide when we are ashamed or afraid. In today’s scripture, was Jesus either ashamed or afraid? Neither.
So, why did Jesus hide? He hid because “[his] hour [had] not yet come” (John 2:4). When Jesus hid, He wasn’t protecting Himself. Instead, He was protecting the timetable of His mission. Jesus knew He was called to die, but His death was going to be on God’s timing, not anyone else’s.
Does Jesus sometimes hide himself today? If so, where might that be?
Jesus tells us that whenever we minister to “one of the least of these,” that is, whenever we give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothes to the naked, we would be taking care of Him. In these words, Jesus is telling us that He “hides” in those in need, want, pain, or duress.
Where else might Jesus hide? Jesus not only hides in the least of “them,” for He also hides in the “least of us,” which means that He’s with us when we’re lost, broken, overwhelmed, sick, needy, struggling, doubting, grieving, or ashamed.
Why does Jesus hide in our “least” places and times? He doesn’t hide in order not to be found. He hides so that we will seek him, and we will seek him because we know that we need Him. Do you want to find Jesus? Then go to the depths of your own needs.
I invite us to remember all the times when the “hidden” Jesus has come to us. Like me, many of you know that without His sometimes “hidden” love and support, we wouldn’t be alive. Even though it may seem like Jesus is sometimes hidden from our eyes, I encourage us to trust that we’re never hidden from His.
- How has Jesus come to you when you have been in a “least” and needy place?
- Have you ever found, seen, or felt Jesus when you have reached out to and served someone in need? If so, how and when?
- Have you ever wanted to hide from Jesus? If so, how come? What would it take for you to accept that Jesus sees all, knows all, and can forgive all?