When we consider our role among the 7 billion other people on this planet, it would be very easy to have a low estimation of our value. What is one person among such a sea of humanity? Put in that perspective we feel pretty expendable.
About two thousand years ago a 12 year old boy from the rural regions of northern Israel went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. By all appearances he was just like any other 12 year old – excited to go to the big city and attend his first Passover celebration. He did cause some raised eyebrows at the questions he asked the religious scholars who would hold discussions in the Temple. But after that brief moment of attention, the boy went back home to the country and lived what some have described the common life as “a life of quiet desperation”.
Some 18 years later that same boy exploded on to the scene as a teacher and miracle worker. He spent three years traveling throughout Israel making the most outrageous of all claims: that he was the Messiah, God himself. He was put to death for those claims. But three days after his crucifixion he gave irrefutable proof that his statements about himself were not just empty words – he physically rose from the dead. This one person changed eternity for all people.
Jesus Christ said he was God in the form of a human being. His purpose in doing that is found in the cross and his resurrection. But what we often overlook are the 30 years he spent living like an ordinary human being, doing all the ordinary things of life. Was he killing time, waiting for just the right moment to execute his rescue plan? Did he need to learn something from us before he went to the cross? God doesn’t kill time and he certainly doesn’t need to learn anything from the people he created.
The thirty years of anonymous living demonstrates how God values what we call “common” or “ordinary”. Every daily activity: from work to family and friends to relaxation, when it is done God’s way has a divine purpose and value. Jesus Christ is not looking for any of us to change the world. He is rather offering us the opportunity to join with him on a daily basis in changing lives – one at a time. Can you put a value on that?