Painting by Ivan Filichev titled "Ascension"

The Radical Rabbi Who Was Always Disappearing

Scripture: Acts 1: 6-11 (NRSV)

When you carefully study Jesus’ life, yet another bad habit crops up: he disappeared and re-appeared…a lot. When Jesus was twelve, he was separated from his parents for three days because he decided to stay at the temple. Jesus continued his disappearing act into adulthood—he escaped in boats, up mountains, or into the wilderness—going on getaways to refuel and spend time with his Father. After John the Baptist’s death, Jesus disappeared to mourn. Before the cross, Jesus mysteriously escaped from stonings and being pushed off a cliff by hostile crowds. After Jesus’s death—he disappeared, but on the third day he reappeared when he saw Mary in the garden of the tomb. And here we are at Jesus’ ascension—disappearing up into the clouds, returning to his Father in heaven, and leaving us all alone. But even that’s not for good—Jesus will come again for us in the future, just as he left us. And he gives us the Spirit of Christ. Why all this appearing and disappearing? The absence of Jesus helps grow us up. We have to trust and step out in faith on our own. But he also never really leaves us, “Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age.” We see and sense the invisible Christ, with the eyes of faith.


August 30, 2020 Service Bulletin and Bible Study

All Sermons by Dr. John C. Tittle are available in our Library of Sermons.

Sermon Art: “Ascension” by Ivan Filichev




Other Sermons In This Series

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