Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. (Matt. 12:15–16)

BROADCASTING OUR EVERY MOVE has become commonplace in our social media–driven culture. The beauty of these online communities is that they allow us to connect, to see what’s going on in the lives of our friends and family members. However, they have also fostered a culture that views all life—from grilled cheese sandwiches to complaints about the dry cleaners—as shareable content.

It’s no wonder that as we read this passage about Jesus’ life here on earth, we are confused. We ask, “Why in the world would he not tell people who he was?”

For most of Jesus’ thirty-something years on earth, he lived a pretty quiet and anonymous life. Even after he began his ministry, he didn’t spend time positioning himself in a place of power, but as a friend, healer, and confidant for the common man. He knew his future, so keeping who he was quiet was not only to fulfill Scripture but also to create a community that would one day become his church.

Like Jesus, we can live our lives—both online and offline—with this kind of peace, a confidence that God wins in the end. Perhaps our greatest battles in this life aren’t won by being the loudest revolutionary, but by providing a hand to hold, a bite to eat, or a place of love and belonging seasoned by grace.

Consider how you might quietly love others day-to-day.

Sarah E. Westfall resides in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with husband Ben and their four boys. Her elusive free time is spent reading, home remodeling, and writing.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.