Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Leonard Lauriault
Religion columnist 

Now you see me, now you don't


In John 16:5-28, Jesus told his disciples, “Now you see me, but soon you won’t for a little while and then you’ll see me again.” When I read that recently, I recalled the familiar magicians’ statement, “Now you see it, now you don’t,” and connected it with, “Footprints in the Sand,” the poem about Jesus’ carrying someone through their hard times.

Jesus had to leave because his work on earth would soon be finished and he had work to do in heaven while the Holy Spirit had work to do on earth (John 17:1-5; John 14:1-6; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24-25). It’s good for us that Jesus left for that little while because he’s now more than a Savior to us (Wow! Can you believe I said that?!); we’re also his co-heirs (Matthew 21:27-28; Philemon 1:15-16; Romans 8:15-17).

Although Jesus said he’d be with us through the Holy Spirit, he also said we’d have troubles in this world (John 16:33; 14:15-21; Acts 2:38-39; Galatians 3:26-29; 4:6-7; Matthew 28:18-20). It doesn’t matter whether the troubles come from natural causes, religious persecution, or even sin (ours or others’), if we’re trying to live in the light to please God, Jesus is there to carry us through (1 John 1:5-9; Romans 8:28, 35-39; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7).

Sometimes it’s difficult to realize Jesus’ presence because the clutter of tribulations keeps us from seeing him, much like fog or dense clouds that block the sun. But if we just think about it, we’ll remember that although we don’t see it, we know the sun is still doing its work because, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation (https://www.skincancer.org), up to 80% of UV radiation penetrates through clouds. So, just because we can’t see Jesus, or sometimes even feel his presence, doesn’t mean he’s not nearby. That’s why Paul said we shouldn’t lose heart when troubles arise (Hebrews 13:5-8; 2 Corinthians 4:13-18).

The disciples experienced now you see him, now you don’t twice because Jesus died and arose (the first occasion – 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) and then he ascended back to heaven with a promise to return (Acts 1:1-11; Hebrews 9:27-28). They saw him and touched him after his resurrection (2 Peter 1:16-18; 1 John 1:1-4). I’m not fully sure what Jesus meant in John 20:24-29, but those of us who haven’t seen or touched him physically, but still believe, are more blessed than the Apostles, even though we all have the same hope of eternal life (Hebrews 11:39-40).

One hope all Christians have is that when Jesus returns, whether or not we live until his return, we’ll see him as he is for real and become perfectly like him (1 John 2:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58). In the meantime, we need to remain focused on Jesus and his promise that he’s with us through the thick and thin because he knows what we’re facing (Hebrews 12:1-3; 5:7-9; 2:14-15; 4:14-16).

Are you living by faith in expectation of seeing Jesus in the future (Revelation 1:7; John 5:28-29)?

Leonard Lauriault writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at lmlaur@plateautel.net


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