Most of our Lord’s earthly life was unseen, unheard, and unknown. It’s the way it is for most of God’s beloved.
God reserves most people just for Himself. A few, very few, are lifted up in the minds and memories of His Church, but even that is meant only to adorn and better fit the unknown believer to be more pleasing to Him. Who were the seven thousand contemporaries of Elijah that had not bowed the knee to Baal? Only God knows. Who were the disciples that held the ropes that lowered the basket containing the never-to-be-forgotten Paul outside the Damascus wall? God knows. Who were the godly women whose holy conversation alerted the conscience of John Bunyan who would later become one of the most recognized names in Church literature? God smiles, and keeps His secret from history. Only He knows. Man is, after all, created to enjoy God and glorify Him forever. And that is usually best accomplished in a quiet, unknown, and peaceable life. But, equally important, man is created to be enjoyed by God. To enjoy God and be enjoyed by God is the ultimate success. How many people have achieved true success who lie in unmarked, unremembered graves? God is delighted to be the only one who knows. They are His private pleasure.
Most of the earthly life of the Son of God was obscured by anonymity. That did not diminish His deity. It did not weaken His unbroken fellowship with the Father. Rather it modeled the glory of humanity, proving that the children of God can be poor and unknown while attaining the highest of all ends, the glory of God. F.W. Farrar states it well:
“Once more, from this long silence, from this deep obscurity, from this monotonous routine of an unrecorded and uneventful life, we were meant to learn that our real existence in the sight of God consists in the inner and not the outer life…. A relative insignificance, then, is, of necessity, the destined lot of the immense majority, and many a man might hence be led to think, that since he fills so small a space – since, for the vast masses of mankind, he is of as little importance as the ephemerid which buzzes out its little hour in the summer noon – there is nothing better than to eat, and drink, and die. But Christ came to convince us that a relative insignificance may be an absolute importance. He came to teach that continual excitement, prominent action, distinguished services, brilliant success, are no essential elements of true and noble life, and that myriads of the beloved of God are to be found among the insignificant and the obscure. ‘Si vis divinus esse, late ut Deus,’ is the encouraging, consoling, ennobling lesson of the voiceless years.”
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