So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were travelling with the Lord Jesus, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.
Many long years had passed from the day that the young Jesus was lost in the temple. Many silent years rolled by from that memorable day when Jesus returned home to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph, his parents, and lived in humble obedience to them. But as Jesus grew into manhood, in that little town of Nazareth, there was another youth that was maturing into the office to which he had been born – John the Baptist.
John had been called, before his conception, to be the forerunner of God’s Messiah. John was called as a voice in the wilderness – to proclaim forth the kingdom of God. John was anointed to call the people of Israel to repent – to return to their Lord God. John was to proclaim: Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. John 1:29.
We know that John the Baptist and Jesus were relatives for we read that their mothers were cousins – one was from the house of Judah and one of the lineage of Levi. John was of the priestly line while Jesus of Nazareth was of the house of king David. Both were called of God and filled with the Spirit. Both grew-up in relative obscurity. Both John and Jesus had godly mothers that taught their sons the things of God. Both Elizabeth and Mary must have pondered the futures of their unique offspring.
What secrets must have been exchanged and what joy must have filled both hearts as they talked together of the 2 visitations of the angel Gabriel, to tell the good news. When John emerged onto the world stage, he came in the spirit and power of Elijah. He was a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord – get ready! Make His paths straight! Isaiah 40:3 John was preparing the highway for God’s King – Jesus.
The Scripture was filled with Messianic passages that pointed to the coming Saviour. I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain, Psalm 2:6 proudly proclaims. Isaiah announced that there would be streams flowing in the desert and that the glory of the LORD would be revealed, to the world – and all people would see it together. Isaiah 35:6 This truly must have been a most exciting time to be living in Israel for although they were under the yoke of their Roman overlords – the kingdom of heaven was at hand. This meant that the king was coming – God’s promises to Israel were to be fulfilled.
But what of the Lord Jesus.. as John the Baptist was calling the nation to repentance? Where was Jesus when the Baptiser stormed onto Israel’s tranquil wilderness scene? What was Christ doing when John began proclaiming his challenging message? Where was Jesus when John crashed onto the scene dressed in coarse camel hair – and with a leather belt tied round his waist – eating locusts and wild honey?
Well, it seems that Acts chapter 1 gives us a clue as to the whereabouts of the Messiah. It seems that a hint is offered when a replacement for Judas is being considered. We read in Acts chapter 1: We must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were travelling with the Lord Jesus – beginning from John’s baptism. Acts 1:15-26
It seems that for a little time at least; the Lord was among the followers of John! He had humbled Himself for many silent years under the authority of His parents, and He seems to have spent some time learning from the ministry of the Baptist. What a wonderful example we have in the silent years of our developing Saviour. Though little is written of His life and learning there are many little clues that demonstrate that the Lord Jesus lived His entire childhood and early adult life in humble submission to those that were in authority – as He waited for God’s timing when He would continue His long, painful.. difficult road to the cross.
Every step down the pathway of His life was with His Father’s business in view. Every stride He took was in humble obedience to the will of His heavenly Father. Every moment of His journey through life was lived out for you and for me. Christ’s entire life was in preparation for His final victory at Calvary.. for He learned obedience, throughout every stage of His life, through the things that He suffered as a babe; as a child; as a youth; as a learner and teacher, and as our Saviour.
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