It Is No Secret
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24)
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The phrase grew out of the Arab world. We might counter by saying, “Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy is also my enemy.” But, we must agree that most often the words are true. Frequently, the one opposing my enemy is going to be of value to me—maybe even an ally.
The Season of Epiphany, which began a few days ago, highlights the glory of the Christ-child who came to rescue mankind. When we ask, “Rescue from what?” we are told: “From sin, death, and the devil.”
It is no secret who our enemies are. It is no secret who their Enemy is.
In the end, Jesus is going to be rejected by his people as a blasphemer. He claimed to come from heaven. He claimed to be able to forgive sins. He claimed to be the Son of God. He backed his claims with miracles. He made no secret of his divinity.
His arch enemies knew that. The thought terrified them. As Jesus was beginning his ministry he was announcing that he was the promised Deliverer. Most humans doubted. He seemed only human, like everyone else. He was not what they expected.
“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46) A Jesus from Jerusalem might have been received with respect. Not a Jesus of Nazareth! Who was he?
The demons knew. “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” Demons knew where he had been born. They knew about the escape to Egypt. They knew where he had grown up. Jesus of Nazareth was no secret to them.
It strikes us as strange that one of the first times the Bible tells us of Jesus being pointed out as the Son of God, and the conqueror of sin, death, and the devil, it is by a devil.
At times, we may fall into the wrong thinking that the Christian Church needs to sell salvation to the unbelieving world, and we are disappointed if they fail buy our “product.” We fail to remember that it takes a miracle to work saving faith.
There is a reason that the nations are not rushing to lay hands on the salvation offered full and free. They are blinded by unbelief. They are being held captive by a terrorist worse than any human can imagine. He does not allow them to see the Light. He does not permit them to ponder how they might escape. They are locked in the prison of spiritual darkness. They do not have the key to open the door. They do not even know where the door is. We might think of them as victims of the Stockholm syndrome: they identify with their Captor. They become his ally.
Our efforts to break them out are futile. Only the Holy One of God can free them from the pit of disaster. The Lord God, alone, can bring their souls to life, shine in the beams of Truth’s light, and rescue them from the death grip of sin, death, and the devil.
They need Jesus of Nazareth. We can bring him to them when we bring them his Word. We know he can bring them to life. The Sun of righteousness can rise over them with healing in his wings. We are proof of that. And the devils know that.
It is no secret what God can do.
Lord Jesus, during the last three years of your stay on earth you showed the world glimpses of your glory. Your miracles revealed your divine power. You showed that power in our lives when you created faith in our hearts that accepted you as Lord, Savior, and King. Keep us in that saving faith, and empower us to bring your wonderful Word to others. We do not want to keep the salvation you have won a secret.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military