Jesus' brothers thought that Jesus was being pretentious for hiding in a small corner of Galilee, though he had moved from a small village of Nazareth to a town called Capernaum at the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Today I just turned down an invitation to teach at a seminary outside of Sabah, probably a third invitation in recent years from overseas. For one reason or another, it just did not work out. I am amazed at how little of the love for the truth in places where you would think truth is the main rationale of existence. Did not Jesus say, "Your word is truth" (John 17:17) and that "the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth" but how many people really want the truth or be led by the Spirit?. Established religion and institutions could well be working against God's purposes. Rightly, God sees into the hearts of men. Though institutions may fail or have many failings, there could still be one or two righteous individuals in it. Did not Obadiah who served the wicked Ahab said to Elijah, "Did I not hide and feed 100 of the Lord's prophets?" So we see that it was not only Elijah but Obadiah who was a government official serving an apostate administration, but could still do a lot of good for God's servants.
But yet I am disheartened and my soul is downcast. "They shall run to and fro, but they will not find the word of the Lord" (Amos 8). They are seeking in the wrong places and the lack of discernment of God's approved servants is appalling. No wonder there is this passage in Paul's Corinthians (1 Cor 3) that one day some may still make it to heaven (a mere belief in Jesus by God's grace is what saves) but they will lose all their rewards because their service on earth is not pleasing to God. They have ulterior motives. They don't love the truth. They despise God's messengers. But as for me, I am content to hide in this little corner of Borneo. I have no need to show myself to the world. Even my trip to my former college might not be welcomed by all. Men may used other men for their benefit and agendas but God is sovereign. It was through a taxation decree by the Roman Emperor that Joseph and Mary returned to Bethlehem. But God used the occasion for the birth of His Son, Jesus; son of Mary and the Son of the living God.