The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"The Hidden Wonder"
"In a world wherein those who deserve no attention or acclaim often seek it without reserve, the living God walked in the quiet splendor and humble anonymity of His humanity throughout most of His days."
The Lord Jesus Christ became somewhat obvious during the three year ministry that led to His death, burial, and resurrection. During most of His earthly life, however - more than 90% - He lived in nearly total obscurity.
"Neither did His brethren believe in Him" (John 7:5).
How is it possible that "God… manifest in the flesh" lived in such a manner for three decades that His family did not know who He was? (I Timothy 3:16). Mary seems to have been led by the Holy Spirit to not reveal to her other children Who it was that dwelt in their midst. "But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart" (Luke 2:19). Still, we might suppose the light of our Lord would have broken through His garb of obscurity at times, as it briefly did in the visit to the temple of Jerusalem when He was twelve (Luke 2:41-52). However, for the great majority of His life before ministry, the Lord Jesus clearly lived in a manner that did not reveal His deity and mission.
"And when He was come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?" (Matthew 13:54-56).
Sublime beauty of heart and character glimmers in the light of this truth. In a world wherein those who deserve no attention or acclaim often seek it without reserve, the living God walked in the quiet splendor and humble anonymity of His humanity throughout most of His days. When the time came to be known, He came forth in open display of His Person and work. Even then, however, one cannot read the Gospels and find even a trace of vulgar attention-seeking in the sensibilities of the Lord Jesus. "I honor My Father" He declared, and so He did (John 8:49). When the time came for Him to die, He did so like so many of the common criminals of His day, with few having the slightest notion that His cross bore "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). Even in resurrection, only a relative few encountered Him before He ascended to Heaven. On and on, the glories of a mostly obscure life whereby God made possible our eternal redemption sound and resound with the wonder that most often did not look like wonder. "When His brethren were gone up, then went He also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret" (John 7:10).
The obscurity of our Lord's life continues. Most of the work of the church - likely well more than 99% - occurs in the hearts and lives of people who names are known only to their small sphere of influence. Our Lord's earthly lifetime presaged this quiet splendor, now manifested along out of the way venues where He yet again walks in a hidden wonder all the more glorious because it replicates the most wondrous Life that ever graced this planet. The Life abides, now in us, and in all who find the Spirit of the Lord Jesus ever inspiring the request long ago voiced by the Psalmist…
"Not unto us, o Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy Name give glory, for Thy mercy and truth's sake."
Weekly Memory Verse
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
(I John 4:10)