A quiet life might not sound attractive, but consider there were two disciples named Judas. The lesser known – or almost completely unknown – is “Judas the son of James” (Luke 6:16, Acts 1:13) or “Thaddaeus” (Matt 10:3, Mark 3:18).
The only time he’s mentioned outside of the above mentioned four lists of The Twelve is John 14:22, which says: “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’”
That’s it! His claim to fame is asking Jesus this question.
If asked which of the disciples they identify with, most people will say Peter for two reasons:
- Peter is known for opening his mouth when he shouldn’t, which we can all relate to: “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man” (Jam 3:8).
- People don’t identify with the other disciples, because there’s so little said about them. You can’t identify with people you don’t know.
We tend to think of The Twelve as some of the most famous men in history, but after Peter, James, John, Judas, and Thomas, what can we say about the other seven? How famous can you really be when most people don’t know anything about you, including even your name?
The same could be said of most of:
- The judges: we know Gideon and Samson, maybe Ehud and Othniel, but who knows Tola, Jair, Elon, or Abdon?
- The kings: we know David, Solomon, Hezekiah, and Josiah, but who knows Amaziah or Jotham?
- The prophets: we know Samuel, Elijah, or Jeremiah, but who knows Amos or Obadiah?
And the truth is most all of us – myself included – are going to be a lot more like Judas Thaddaeus, Tola, Jotham, or Amos, than Peter, Gideon, David, or Elijah.
But if we consider how God has called us to live, this is the way it should be!
1 Thessalonians 4:11 Aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.
Why does God have to tell us this except that it’s tempting to NOT…
- Lead a quiet life: we crave fame, attention, and recognition.
- Mind our own business: our world loves to advertise what others are doing. This is one reason social media is so popular.
- Work with our hands: we naturally tend toward laziness.
God wants us leading simple, faithful, consistent lives of obedience, which – for most of us – means days filled with small, ordinary activities. Sometimes we can begin to spurn these routines, but Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise the day of small things, for the LORD rejoices to see these things take place.”
God finds joy in the small things we do. He takes pleasure in us leading simple, faithful lives, and for most of us that’s going to look like a very ordinary, non-glamorous life. It’s going to look like being…
- A Thaddaeus versus a Peter…
- A Jotham versus a David….
- An Amos versus an Elijah.
But these are lives that please God. These are the lives God’s called us to live!
For over half of the disciples, their ministries – even while living with the Lord Himself – involved so many “small things” we have no idea what they did.
I don’t mean this to be discouraging. I actually hope it can be very encouraging, because in the world you have to worry about being big and noticed. But in God’s Kingdom, serving Him – and serving Him quietly, faithfully, and humbly – is about the highest calling there is!
Consider these two verses:
- 1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. There aren’t many “[smaller] things” than eating and drinking, but even they can be done “to the glory of God.”
- Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Whatever we do – no matter how small or insignificant – can be done in Christ’s name.
Author: Scott LaPierre