“I would not have known him, except the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.'” -John 1:33
It always interests me that the way Jesus went about his work is not the way anyone who wanted to make him up would write it. Here we have John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, claiming that he would not have known who Jesus was except by this sign.
It is probably better not to read too much into one verse, but this is only one place of several where those closest to Jesus before his ministry seemed to have little idea who he really was.
For thirty years, God Incarnate flew under the radar. Just another carpenter who happened to really know his Scripture.
Compare this with Hollywood’s current hidden superhero, Clark Kent in Man of Steel. In his younger years, despite trying to hide, he still performed heroic acts. He rescued classmates on his bus and men from a burning oil rig. He doesn’t know if he wants to be a hero, but he can’t seem to help himself. The secret wants to leak out.
But Jesus? His first miracle is after his baptism, at his mom’s insistence, and it’s changing water into wine. Miraculous, certainly, but a little ho-hum compared to healing lepers and feeding multitudes and raising the dead. And even this little miracle he kept hidden.
So what to make of God hiding in plain sight?
It sounds pretty much like real life.