032 | Seemingly Unremarkable Kingdom

Awesome The full glory of God would completely blow us over! God is simply awesome, but God's interaction with us humans in this world, is not primarily remarkable or outwardly overwhelming. Maybe to put it another way: God does not work in an awesome, immediate, universal, visual sort of way, but in a faithful, long term, inward, growing sort of way. Perhaps so as not to overwhelm us. I hope I am making some sense here.

To me this becomes apparent when I read certain accounts in Scripture. Just consider the account and circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18)
Matthew is so "matter of a fact" in his account about the circumstances surrounding the birth of the Messiah. When you think of all the ways God could have come to this earth I would not naturally zero in on how he actually did. I would have never been able to predict that he would have come as a defenseless baby born to a seemingly unimportant poor Jewish father and mother living in a small town of little apparent importance. Yes the birth of Jesus was truly a remarkable miracle, but for the vast majority of people to ever live only in hindsight and with the help of the Holy Spirit through the written words in the Bible. Seems to me that even the virgin birth was not obvious to very many people. Really, at the time the only two to actually truly believe that Mary became pregnant while remaining a virgin were Mary and Joseph. If it wasn't for a message from God through an angel during a dream I think Joseph probably would not have believed it. I am sure most everyone else thought they were lying and there was really no miracle.

Now you do have a star appearing in the sky at the time of Jesus' birth. A star that is recognized by the Magi as the star of the King of the Jews. A star that brought these gentile Magi to Jerusalem to find this new King and worship him. Something about this star must have been remarkable enough to attract these gentile foreigners to Jerusalem. But we don't get a sense from any of the accounts that the star was universally seen by all as a sign from God of a miraculous and historic event.

Angles appeared to some shepherds in a nearby field and told them what had just happened. I am sure a very incredible and remarkable experience for these shepherds, but still not a universal demonstration by God. Aside from Mary, Joseph, the Magi, and some shepherds very few people that were living at the time knew that the Savior of the world had just been born. Very few knew that the Son of God had just entered the world. God was living and breathing here on earth as a human, as a baby boy and hardly any one noticed.

God taking on the form of a man and coming to earth, the most incredible event of all history, and it happens in a way that very few really even noticed at the time. This most awesome event was outwardly unremarkable to most people living at the time. One would have expected a massive earth shattering event. A spectacularly powerful scene. Something that would overwhelm all of our senses. An awesome visual event that would have been seen by most people, perhaps all. But it wasn't. It was very real, none the less, just not outwardly, visibly, remarkable. Really at the time, to most of the people around, it appeared as just a normal slice of human life. Just another couple having a baby.

Actually this is a pattern throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. A pattern where God works in ways that appear to us as unremarkable, but in reality are totally awesome.
  • The way God chose to speak to Elijah - a low whisper or a sound of a soft breath. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
  • David when selected by God through Samuel to be king was not outwardly remarkable to those around him. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)
  • The Kingdom of God Jesus spoke of in the parables started very small and unremarkable. (Matthew 13:31-32)
  • The 12 disciples Jesus selected were unremarkable by the standards of the world. Just regular people with very regular standing in their society. (Matthew 4:18-20)
God is not looking for the remarkable in the immediate obvious sense from a human perspective, but the long term true sense from a divine perspective. God works in seemingly unremarkable ways with seemingly unremarkable people building a seemingly unremarkable Kingdom. A growing Kingdom that is at work today changing the world one unremarkable person at a time.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: "Let those who boast boast in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
Are you unremarkable? I know I am and I long to see the Kingdom fully come in a completely, unbelievably, totally awesome, and remarkable way.


| More on the Essential Jesus journey. |
photo credit: The photo in this article is title "discovery v2" and was uploaded to Flickr.com by concretecandy on Feb. 5, 2006

7 comments:

  1. Truly very inspirational and real. It is interesting that God showcases His glory in the very ordinary. This is all the more glorifying of Him! He is truly amazing. He has chosen the weak things to shame the strong, and the foolish to shame the wise.

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  2. Good post. Great way to write about the authenticity and complete truth of scripture - God uses the weak things to shame the wise :)

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  3. Lori and Steve, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Encouraging!

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  4. Brad,
    You have such an Awesome blog! Also, with a very important message about the Lord!
    Come stop by my blog. You have been awarded a Friendship Award!
    God Bless,
    Jeanie

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  5. I am guilty of not religiously reading the Bible but I continue to pray to God that I will have the wisdom and go on in listening to His words and to be patient to His will.

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  6. What a beautiful blog. So glad that I found you.
    Hope you will stop by my blog.
    I am going to have a "card box" giveaway every month.
    This drawing will be the last day of April. Every comment you leave throughout the month will enter your name in the drawing.

    This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I got on the Blog Party, that I decided to make this a monthly GIFT...
    Also, if you will mention my blog telling about the monthly giveaway, you will have your name entered 10 extra times...How is that for an incentive?
    I was so blown away by all the responses that I wanted to email each person personally, but TIME... just has not permitted..but I did love reading all of them..I am continuing to introduce my family members and then there will be some fun blogs coming up from Disney World in May. I am so thankful for all my new friends.

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  7. Thank you JEANIE for your Friendship Award. That was very kind of you.

    EV thanks for stopping by and I encourage to continue on in the Word. It really is not about how much or how often you read the Bible, but that today you take a few minutes to read the Word and think about what you read, then live it out. Take it one day at a time.

    Thank you TERESA for stopping by my blog and I will check yours out. Please come back as you have time.

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