Thursday, March 14, 2024

Orange Moon Thursday, March 14, 2024 "Season In the Shadows"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Season In the Shadows"


    The Lord Jesus Christ did not perform miracles during the first 30 years of His earthly lifetime.  Moreover, only one account exists in Scripture of His teaching others before His ministry began, an endeavor He suspended for eighteen years in order to respect and obey His Heavenly Father by submitting to His earthly parents.

    "Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him" (John 2:10-11).

    "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:51-52).

    What did the Lord Jesus do in the years of obscurity before no man ever spake as He spoke, and and no man ever ministered to others in such grace, power, and self-sacrifice?  We do not know.  The Bible does not tell us.  The Apostle John, however, may provide a clue as to a life largely lived behind the scenes and with no pomp or circumstance (Job 9:10).

   "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen" (John 21:25).

    The Savior lived more than 90% of His lifetime with merely a few knowing who He was.  He did not announce His identity.  He did not live in a manner that would have overtly declared "Emmanuel… God with us" (Matthew 1:23).  He seems to have done nothing during this season in the shadows to have made it clear that He was who He was.  "Is not this the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55).   Indeed, the Lord Jesus lived during three decades of quiet splendor in such a manner that the world does not have enough ink or paper to adequately chronicle the glory of a life all the more sublime because of its simplicity.

   "He is altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:16).

   I have long pondered the moment I would most like to visit of our Lord's earthly journey if that were possible.  I have often focused on occasions and occurrences of the three years of ministry leading to the cross and the resurrection.  Recently, however, I have had a change of heart and mind about this.  Rather than profound sermons, miraculous healings, prayers in mountains, and numerous other episodes of a most glorious time of obvious ministry, I have determined that I would rather visit some ordinary, everyday moment of our Lord's prior life.  Therein, the living God "manifest in the flesh" walked in a manner of glory all the more beautiful because it was veiled and mundanely ordinary (I Timothy 3:16).  As John told us, the library has not been built that could contain the chronicle of such a time, or of the ministry that followed.  If one page could be viewed and read, however, it would be for me some moment of the "altogether lovely" revealed in a time of self sacrificial obscurity that portended of a greater offering of Himself to come.  

   The Spirit of the same Lord Jesus dwells and walks in believers (II Corinthians 6:16).  Most of His doings in our lives will follow the pattern established by the doings of His earthly lifetime.  We will not know all He accomplishes within us and through us for the glory of God as the left hand cannot see the actions of the right.  It is best this way, and in fact, it must be this way.  Too many overt displays of His presence and working in our lives would become a temptation to pride in our present existence.  Thus, He works through our countenance, demeanor, attitudes, words, and deeds in ways mostly unbeknownst to us, but seen by God and experienced by those in our sphere of influence.  Altogether lovely, but often altogether unrecognized - our Lord lived such a lifetime long ago, sublime not only in what we know, but in what we do not know.  He follows the pattern in our hearts and lives, and it will one day be known that yet again, "even the world itself cannot contain the books that should be written."

"He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him."

(Isaiah 53:2)

Weekly Memory Verse

   Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy."

(Psalm 107:2)


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