Sometimes it’s not the actor in a leading role that steals the show, but the actor in a supporting role that makes all the difference in a story. This is a blog about several “supporting actors” that made a difference in the greatest story of all time: His Story.
It is easy to name the “leading actors” in the Old and New Testaments, even those who do not attend church can name them: Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, King David, King Solomon, Mary and Joseph, Paul, and Jesus, to name a few. Without doubt, they played integral roles in the Creation, Ten Commandments, Jerusalem and the Temple, the Christmas story, the New Testament, and the Crucifixion.
One thing that we can forget about these people, however, is that they all started out in supporting roles. Adam and Eve were formed from the dirt, in order to fellowship with the Almighty Creator; Noah was the simple father who one day was told to build a large boat; David and Solomon were a lowly shepherd boy and illegitimate son, respectively; Mary and Joseph were common, unmarried virgins; Paul was Saul, the persecutor of Christians; and there was Jesus, the baby boy born in a manger who grew up as a carpenter and did not teach until his third decade of life.
The Bible, however, is full of “supporting actors,” those who are easy to overlook when standing in the shadow of the “leading actors.” Several examples are Aaron, Caleb, Jonathan, Amos, and Silas. We will briefly look at the significance they each played in God’s ultimate plan.
As Moses’ brother, it would have been very easy to be overlooked; I mean, Moses parted the Red Sea and led God’s people out of Egypt! But we see in Exodus 4:13-14 that Moses begged for God to send someone else to Pharaoh, because he was self-conscious about his speaking ability. God gave up trying with him and instead turned to Aaron, who obeyed him right away. Because of this, he became Israel’s first High Priest. Jesus is now our High Priest.
In the book of Numbers, Moses sent 12 men (one leader from each tribe) to spy on the Canaanites. If the twelve, only two brought back good news, Joshua and Caleb. Joshua later became Moses’ successor in leading Egypt, but it was Caleb who convinced the Israelites to fight for God’s land. In Joshua 14:14 says, “…he [Caleb] wholeheartedly followed the Lord, the God of Israel.” It is also interesting to note, Caleb was the leader of the tribe of Judah, from which Jesus is descended from.
As the son of King Saul, Jonathan was next in line to become King over Israel. After saving his best friend, David, from the hands of his father, Jonathan made the difficult choice to put his faith in God and accepted that David was chosen to lead, giving up his birthright and eventually dying in order to protect David. As Jonathan’s son was adopted by David after his death, we too are adopted as sons and daughters of God by Jesus’ death through our faith in Him.
In a time of victory in the history of Israel, the people where becoming overconfident. They were beginning to attribute their wealth and successes to themselves, not to God. Amos, a simple shepherd, was chosen to warn Israel to repent and change their ways. He was faithful and steadfast, even unto his banishment. His prayers spared Israel from destruction, despite their disobedience, just as Jesus was falsely accused and crucified, all for the sake of the world.
When reading of Peter and Paul in the many letters of the New Testament, the names Silas and Silvanus (long form of Silas) appear many times. Little is known of his life, but we know he was not an apostle. However, he is described as one of the chief men, a delegate, missionary, companion, and prophet. More importantly, he was also a scribe, providing a voice for Paul when the world was trying to silence the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God from the very beginning, and we are called upon to spread His word until Christ’s return.
Chances are you and I are not leading actors. We are struggling, day-to-day living, “common folk.” We haven’t slain any giants, we haven’t built any temples, and we sure haven’t died for anyone’s sins. We have, however, changed people’s lives. We are mothers and fathers, teaching our children how to live life and hopefully follow the Lord. We are friends and neighbors, demonstrating healthy relationships and faithful living for Christ. And most importantly, we are sons and daughters of the Most High, who knew our names since before birth and who knows the number of hairs on our head. Never despise who you are or where you are in life. God has you exactly where and when He wants you. As Zechariah 4:10 says, “do not despise these small beginnings,” for He knows the plans He has for you…
Response: It takes 30 days to develop a habit, and 17 positive comments to counteract one negative one. Take the next month to focus on who God says you are. A free resource for who God says you are can be found here: https://bible.org/article/who-does-god-say-i-am. Fight for the confidence to be who God made you to be, and always remember, you are NOT insignificant, no matter what the world tells you.