The long and short of it is this: Spies are awesome. Clandestine affairs, geopolitical intrigue, cool code names – man … sign me up. As a kid I always wanted to be a spy. They lived the ultimate adventure. Or so I thought. Spies have been around almost as long as humanity itself, and you can find them in the Bible. Joshua was one of 12 spies sent out by Moses to scout the land of Canaan. He went behind enemy lines to help bring his people into the promised land. Then, after Israel came into the promised land, he would take over from Moses and lead the people himself, a sort of “spy king,” if you will.
One of my favorite stories involving Joshua happens just after he and the 11 others return from Canaan. Some of the men he went with expressed fear over the Canaanites and many of the Israelites started to cry out, wanting to return to Egypt. But Joshua tore his clothes and pleaded with the people, arguing that the land of Canaan was truly a good land and that God would allow them to enter because He delighted in them. Joshua would later become the man who led Israel into the promised land.
There are many parallels between Joshua and Jesus. Just as Joshua was a spy, Jesus can also be seen as such. When Christ, who is sinless, entered into the world of fallen humanity, he went behind enemy lines. After doing so, he became the head of the human race, leading us into the promised land of paradise and union with God our Father. Also, if you didn’t know already, the name “Jesus” is an iteration of the name “Joshua,” and it means “God saves.” Born behind enemy lines (clandestine affairs ✓), leading us into a new land (geopolitical intrigue ✓), and his very name means “God saves” (cool code name ✓) – Christ truly is our spy king.
[The Aleteia community is joining the journey of an Old Testament pilgrim each day this Advent, as they lead us to the Christ Child in this holy season. Find the daily reflections here.]