Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. Luke 3:23
Does it ever amaze you to think that Jesus probably only ministered for a little over three years? We can’t pinpoint the exact time very well, but the biblical evidence points to three celebrations of Passover while He did His work of preaching, teaching, and healing. In those three(ish) years, He did so much in the power of God’s Spirit and in the reality of God’s kingdom that, according to one of His closest friends:
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written. John 21:25
He had thirty years of preparation and formation before He stepped into the public eye as Rabbi Jesus. He learned the ways of His ancestors from His parents, family members, and local and national leaders. He saw the pure and corrupt examples of those who led and taught. He visited the great Temple of Yahweh with His kin when they went to worship during high holy days. He saw anger and compassion, wisdom and foolishness, justice and injustice played out before His eyes at home, school, work, and at play.
We don’t know how or when it happened, but He became aware, as He grew and developed, that He was sent by God on mission as His own Son. It seems He already had some idea of His special identity at twelve years old when He stayed by Himself in Jerusalem and spent time at the Temple. He didn’t call it “God’s house”; He called it “my Father’s house” (Luke 2:49).
My point in reminding you of all these things, Disciple, is to invite you to consider that however old you are and however long you’ve been following after Jesus, you’ve been prepared and formed so that you might fulfill your God-given work as well. I don’t know how long any of us will have in this mortal flesh to do our work (probably longer than three years!), but we can be powerful and effective just as our Master was in His mortal flesh. We have the same Spirit at work in us. We have His message and mission. We are challenged to decide whether we believe that what He said is true:
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12
Do not believe the common message that the best you can do in Christ is to cope in life. Rather, embrace the calling that the Master has placed on you as one of His gifted and empowered servants. Utilize all the training and experience you’ve gained until now for the present and future work you can bear for the eternal Kingdom to which you belong. That training and experience is in the hands of the Spirit of God!
One last reminder, one from our dear brother Paul that always invigorates my vision of my Master’s calling on me: “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Let us use whatever we have for however long we have left to the glory of God, the pleasure of our Master, and the life of the world. Amen!
Ready to do the work with you that’s been prepared for us,