10 A Sharp Sword

CHRISTIANS VERY OFTEN experience the difficulties of living in the midst of an unbelieving family before whom they may not have free speech. Faith longs to speak, is at its best upon a ready tongue: but here was the Son of God obliged to live in a home that was full of unbelief and antagonism; from day to day to hear all around calling him Jesus bar-Joseph, and expecting Him to enter into communal life as such. At His brothers' and sisters' weddings as one of the family; in the synagogue on the Sabbath as no one in particular; in the shop as an artisan in a small way—how could He continue to believe that in reality He was God Incarnate, responsible for the Redemption of the Universe, the long-awaited Messiah of His people?

He stayed Himself upon Isaiah 49:1-12. Here was the blue-print of this period of His life, here was the forecast of His hidden years, and also their explanation and enlightenment. He needed this time that He might become a sharp sword and a polished shaft, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, a servant that never disobeys.

When once He came forth upon His Ministry He must be able to say that though Heaven and earth would pass away, His Words would abide: He must be able to challenge anyone to find a fault in His obedience. As a