11 A Polished Shaft

HOW OFTEN IN those hidden years must the Tempter have tried to bring upon Jesus a feeling of frustration, of uselessness! Young men are most at home in action, not in patience, and here was a young man who did no miracle, preached no sermon, saved no soul, for the first thirty years of His life. But He came not to do His own will, however good, but the will of Him that sent Him: and it was written in the Book that His Father was to send a Messenger before Him who should prepare His way. How eagerly must He have awaited the appearance of His unknown kinsman, how hard to let the best years of His life pass by in apparent helplessness! The very book He read told of Samuel and David, of Joash and Josiah, who long before their thirtieth year had done great things for God—and here was His Own Son doing nothing. Yet it was also written that Moses the great Leader of the Old Covenant had failed at his first attempt, and that Joseph had spent his best years as a slave in Egypt learning to rule first a large private house and then a large public institution as a preparation for ruling Egypt. Must not He who was to rule the Universe undergo severe training for such a destiny? And so the shaft was polished until neither devil, brethren nor admirers could deflect Him from the path of strict obedience, an obedience which