…who appears to be fairly intent on not being in the limelight.
Jesus’ birth, surrounded by prophecies and cosmological events, with angels cropping up more in those few pages than for most of the rest of the Bible, is definitely a drums rolling, fanfare blast of a start; but then immediately following on from that, what happens?
He becomes a refugee for several years, and then spends the rest of his childhood growing up just like many other boys of his age (except, thanks to Herod, there were quite a few less boys his age in the town of Bethlehem).
Jesus didn’t do big and showy- even when you look at the miracles of the feeding people or healing, they are done in response to a need ‘the people were hungry’, ‘the people were like sheep without a shepherd’… or else done on a low key level- folks came to the house he was staying in and were healed- a home visit rather than a showman.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi, there’s a passage about his character- humility, coming to serve others etc. It doesn’t read like the saviour of the world, but neither does it read like the doormat that we can often caricature Jesus as instead. He was and is impossible to put in a box, to label conveniently.
When we think he’s a healer, he teaches
When we think he’s all compassion, he challenges or rebukes
When we think he’s a rebel leader, he reminds us that he loves all his Father has made
When we think he must be joking, he shows us just how real he is
When we think he’s a baby, he grows into a man
When we think he’s a man, he show’s he’s the Son of God
When we think he’s dead, he rises from the grave
When we think he’s just friend, he is our saviour
When we think he’s just a saviour, he is always our friend
When the world thinks they’ve got him sussed, he steps to the side and comes round again
And the list could go on…