This week I read these words by Marcel Rebiai
“For thirty years He partook in the absolutely unspectacular and ordinary daily lives of humans”
Many of us have been deeply comforted when betrayed, rejected, rubbished, shamed or accused falsely of things we never even did at all, by identifying in an intimate way with Jesus, that “man of suffering, and familiar with pain – like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” as Isaiah puts it. We just know Jesus understands how it feels when we experience those things!
And which of us isn’t incredibly grateful that, as we read in Hebrews 4, “we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation”. But I confess that I have at times been heard to mutter, in a most irreverent way, that Jesus never had to put up with the humdrum monotony of thinking up yet another meal to put on the table, or pick up smelly socks and pants, or fold and straighten bathroom towels year in and year out, or the sheer tedium of filling in yet another form, or checking another bank statement – and if you are 70 that is a lot of years!
But to realise that Jesus lived in obscurity and ordinariness, working, from the age of 12 I imagine, as a carpenter, living simply and basically, one day after another, without the comfort of a wife and a one-flesh relationship and children of His own, when He obviously had a real affinity and love for children – and he did that day in and day out for so many years. And there I am, complaining that He, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who exchanged the richness and variety and splendour of Heaven, for thirty years scratching a living in Nazareth, a small, relatively isolated agricultural village in Galilee, itself a somewhat disreputable region; that He doesn’t understand what Boring is…….or patience…….or waiting for God’s timing!
As Marcel Rebiai would say: “This is how close God comes to us – unbelievable!”