Luke 3:23 “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph,”
Luke 4:22 And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 And he said to them,…..”
Matthew 13:55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary,
Jesus is THIRTY years old when He FINALLY leaves home. Now for some of you parents who still have your young adult children living with you because they cannot live on their own financially and you are not able to support two households this is Good News! Jesus is still at home because He is the oldest son, and He is responsible for the care of His mother and His younger siblings until they are old enough to provide for themselves and assist with caring for His mother. He has been trained as a carpenter by Joseph, His earthly father. The emotion of the loss of Joseph and the overwhelming responsibility of His role in the family required years to work through- as anyone who has lost a parent at a young age knows all too well.
Was this a trial for Jesus? Think about this with me. At the age of twelve, He knew He should “be about His Father’s business,” but then goes home to be obedient to His parents (Luke 2:49). How much restraint did this require? How much patience did Jesus have to exercise? My biggest question is WHY? In Jesus day, by the age of eighteen most were married, raising families, and “on their own.” Jesus was not married. He was just working from home. By now, He is a son, brother, uncle, friend, and a breadwinner.
When my three young adult children were coming in and out like our home had a revolving door hauling with them furniture, household goods, and school books, supplies, and all their “important stuff they could not live without”, I became a bit frustrated. Can I get an AMEN? But, one day, I read this! Jesus was thirty before He began what He came to do! Whew! I decided right then, to give my poor children some grace! And I made sure to point this out to their dad who was more frustrated than I. If Jesus was thirty, surely it was okay if mine were not quite ready to begin what they were born to do! Maybe I had not been a complete failure as a parent.
Adults all living under one roof is difficult. It is not like the Waltons! Personalities are set. Each adult has their own agenda. The previous rules no longer apply. Adults are now accountable to God, not mom and dad, but they live under the roof they did not pay for but they think “it’s their house.” This is a time of great friction and consternation. Hostile words are often hurled. If you have lived through this you know exactly what I am talking about.
So how did Jesus survive? He watched His words. He thought before He spoke. He spoke kindness or He was silent. (Proverbs 4:23, Matthew 15:18, Luke 6:45) He did not add to the hostility. This alone proves He was PERFECT! If I had been Jesus I would have zapped somebody! When my Stoic was coming and going through the revolving door, one day he was a bit verbal to me. He has a tendency to have low blood sugar and fortunately for him, I remembered this. I asked him pointedly, “When was the last time you ate? I would suggest you tell me it has been a long while, and I would suggest you get something to eat because if you are not hungry I am fixing to knock you out!” He took the hint, opened the refrigerator, poured a glass of milk and grabbed a couple of chocolate chip cookies. It is funny now but that day, he was on very thin ice.
For parents, letting go of control over these young adults is a constant tug of war. This leads to a less than ideal environment to live in.
Jesus undoubtedly experienced these and many other frustrations. His family dealt with His exasperating perfection and always being right. Family life is both wonderful and wanting. I have come to believe Jesus’s family might have been challenging Him, even before He began His ministry.
Jesus probably had to listen to more than one immediate or extended family member ask Him when He was going to “get on with His life,” or “find a girl and get married,” or half a dozen other “helpful” comments about His age and what may have appeared to be a total lack of motivation.
Timing is everything in God’s plan for Jesus and for each of us. Moses began leading the children of Israel at the age of eighty. Sarah had a baby at ninety. Noah was 500 years old when he started building a boat and had three sons. Joseph was about 30 when he explained dreams and still spent more years in prison before pharaoh needed his expertise. We are never too old to be used by God. His ways are sure not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). He displayed this even in the life of His own Son. This is God’s way of asking us to give grace to our children as they wait on God’s timing and give ourselves grace as we too wait for His plan and purpose to develop in our own lives. Eighty is not to old to begin. Time is nothing to our Father (Psalm 90:4, II Peter 3:8). Spiritual maturity develops slowly and the age of thirty represents this life milestone in Jewish culture.
Matthew 6:33-34 reminds us:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (NKJV)
Whatever you are facing, seek Him!
Life Song by Casting Crowns
Treading in new understanding,