“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. And base things of the world, and things which are despised, has God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nothing things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1 Cor. 1:27-29
Religious scholars say that Jesus began His public ministry at the age of 33. The Bible reveals that at age 12 Jesus’ parents found Him in the temple “astonishing” the religious leaders with His understanding of the scriptures. Luke 2:47. It is, therefore, safe to assume that at least by the age of 12 Jesus knew He was God’s son. His response to His parents confirms this: “Why were you searching for me?” He asked, “Didn’t you know I must be about my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49. In Luke 2:51, the Bible states that Jesus submitted Himself to His parents and returned home with them. From that point, He remained in obscurity for 21 years.
Obscurity is defined as an unimportant standing; not well known; insignificant. Imagine Jesus knowing that He is the Son of God, and that He had come to do the greatest work in the earth ever to be done, but He had to remain unimportant and insignificant for 21 years. He was with parents who did not understand the greatness that was in Him. “But they (Jesus’ parents) did not understand what He was saying to them.” Luke 2:50. Nevertheless, Jesus remained in that place of obscurity and used it as an opportunity to grow. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52.
God has many sons and daughters in obscurity. At times, we feel unimportant, insignificant, and our names are not known; but we know there is something greater within us. However, just as Jesus did, we need to take this time in obscurity to grow in wisdom and in grace with God, and God in turn will give us favor with man. We cannot allow ourselves to become anxious and weary because we feel we are not where we should be. (“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal. 6:9). We must continue to allow the Lord to lead us and not try to make something happen for ourselves (self-effort). Most importantly, we must remember that it is Jesus’ name that should be made great in the earth, not ours.
While in obscurity, Jesus also did not compare himself to others. He did not say, John the Baptist’s ministry has already began and he is baptizing people and people are being saved. Why hasn’t my ministry started yet? Later in scripture we see where Jesus complimented John’s ministry. Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…” (Matt. 11:1). Jesus could compliment instead of compare because He knew His Father had a purpose and plan for John and for Him. We, likewise, must trust our Father’s purpose and plan for our lives and stay our course. (“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Prov. 19:22). Compliment others work, but do not compare. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” While in obscurity, do not compare yourself to others; it will steal your joy and your confidence.
Please know that everything we do in the Kingdom is important. If it is a kind word given, a smile to brighten someone’s day, a hug to comfort, or a dollar given, it is important. We should not minimize anything we do and we should not minimize what others do! We are all God’s children and He has a purpose and plan for us all.
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