Jesus, miracle worker: He freed the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter from a demon, and he drove out demons from many others as well. He healed the sick and raised the dead. He turned water to wine; he fed thousands with a few fish and loaves of bread. He knew the unspoken desires in the people around him–desires for healing as well as desires for vengeance. He resisted the temptations of the devil, and when he wished to, he evaded those who sought to harm him. Ultimately, he conquered sin and death, claiming his rightful and eternal throne.
Yet in this passage we read: “He could not keep his presence a secret.”
Puzzling, isn’t it? That the King of the Universe could not do this one small thing?
Perhaps you are wondering whether this “could not” is simply a matter of translation. Let’s look at a few versions, all similar to many other English translations:
- “…yet he could not keep his presence secret” (NIV).
- “….but he could not be hid” (KJV).
- “…yet he could not escape notice” (NASB).
Consistently, we have a picture of Jesus as someone who, inevitably, is noticed by others.
Is this surprising? It’s who Jesus has told us he is. He is the light of the world (John 8:12)–by definition, he is “seeable.” The presence of Jesus cannot be secret or hidden.
Remember, too, who Jesus has called us to be: a lamp on a stand, salt in the food, yeast in the loaf (Matthew 5:13-15; Matthew 13:33). There is no such thing as a light that does not penetrate darkness, salted food that is not flavored, a yeasty loaf that is not leavened. As Jesus’ disciples, are we living as light, salt, and yeast–so that his presence in us cannot be secret or unnoticed? May the words of the psalmist also be our song:
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly. ~ Psalm 40: 9-10