Sermons

Summary: Jesus had the ability to hide Himself so His identity was not known. Mary Magdalene had the same problem. She was at the tomb of Jesus, and He spoke to her, but she did not know Him, for she thought He was the gardener.

Paul Harvey in For What Its Worth tells of the young

lawyer who was sitting in his office waiting for his first client.

When he heard the outer door open he quickly tried to sound

very busy. As the man entered his office the young lawyer

was on the telephone saying this: "Bill, I'm flying to New

York on the Mitchell Brothers thing; it looks like its going to

be a biggie. Also we'll need to bring Carl in from Houston on

the Cimarron case. By the way, Al Cunningham and Pete

Finch want to come in with me as partners. Bill, you'll have

to excuse me, somebody just came in...."

He hung up and turned to the man who had just entered.

"Now how can I help you?" The man said, "I'm here to

hook up the phone." His disguise as a busy man was ripped

off, and he was exposed as a deceiver. We see the disguise

used in the Bible by the wicked trying to hide their identity.

King Saul disguised himself when he went to the Witch of

Endor, and King Jeroboam sent his wife to the prophet

disguised so as to hide her identity. Disguise is one of the

ways Satan practices his deceit. He comes as angel of light,

but is in fact the prince of darkness. Like Dr. Jekyll, he has

something to Hyde.

Hypocrisy is the hiding behind a mask of deception, and

pretending to be what you are not. Because the forces of evil

specialize in the mask and hiding behind disguises, we tend

to associate disguise with evil. There is a tendency to throw

any weapon the devil uses out of the arsenal of Christian

weapons. The folly of this is revealed by Jesus on the very

day He conquered death and rose from the dead. Jesus

became the master of the disguise, for He was the best known

person in the lives of His disciples, yet He walked 8 miles with

two of them and they never even recognized Him.

To add to the perfection of His disguises, D. L. Moody, the

great evangelist, says, these two disciples were His aunt and

uncle. The evidence does support his conviction, and many

of the great preachers of history agree. One of the women

standing at the cross according to John 19:25 was Mary's

sister the wife of Cleopas. Moody reasons that it is likely that

Cleopas in this passage who was heading home from

Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified was the same man, and

that his partner was his wife who stood at the cross. They

invite Jesus into their home, and it is not likely it is two men

living together. If it was today, it would be more likely, but

this seems obviously to be a couple, a man and his wife, and

they could very well have been the aunt and uncle of Jesus.

Yet, here they walked 8 miles to Emmaus with Jesus, and as

far as they know, they never saw him before in their lives.

Jesus had the ability to hide Himself so His identity was

not known. Mary Magdalene had the same problem. She

was at the tomb of Jesus, and He spoke to her, but she did

not know Him, for she thought He was the gardener. This

couple thought He was a stranger, and she thought Him to be

a gardener. The clothes Jesus wore were different from His

usual garb, for the soldiers took His clothes, and His burial

clothes were all left behind in the tomb. We do not know if

Jesus by a miracle created new garments, or if He had some

stashed away for this need. But they were clothes that were

not recognized as His. He looked different because He was in

a disguise that hid His identity.

This was not a new thing, however, for God loved to play

this game all through history. The game of hide and seek, or

guess who's coming to dinner were His favorites. When God

came to Abraham He came as a way fairing man, and ate

with him as a friendly stranger. He came to Jacob as a

wrestler, and to Joshua as a soldier. The Old Testament is

filled with Pre-Incarnate appearances of Jesus, and He

always comes in some disguise to hide His identity at first

before He reveals who He is. This is not a game Jesus gets

tired of playing with man, but is one that goes on all through

history, and that is why we read in Heb. 13:2, "Do not forget

to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have

entertained angels without knowing it."

The supernatural is often disguised as the natural, and it

can be right in front of your nose and you miss it because

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