I am currently working through a Beth Moore Bible Study and came to an interesting finding. In Luke 2:42, we learn that Jesus was 12 years old when he went to the feast at the temple. In Luke 2:52, we learn that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.
In Luke 3:23, we find Jesus started his ministry when he was 30 years old. Do you realize the Bible was silent for 18 years of Jesus’ life between 12 and 30? We have nothing in Scripture to let us know what was going on.
Here are a few ideas of what Jesus was doing during that time. We know he was the oldest of at least 5 children, maybe more. We know that Joseph died sometime during Jesus’ adolescence or early adulthood.
We know that as the oldest, Jesus would have to help take care of his brothers and sisters and run the family business. So, during those 18 years as Jesus was growing in wisdom and stature he was probably doing some fairly mundane things.
He was working in the carpentry shop, possibly helping to support or be the sole financial support of his family. Some Biblical scholars think that Jesus did not start his ministry till age 30, because he had to wait till his siblings were old enough to take over the family business, only Jesus knows that for sure. He probably had to help take care of his siblings from time to time.
He may have had to mediate fights between his brothers and sisters. Jesus was doing the daily tasks of living, day in and day out. He was dealing with cranky customers and working hard. I don’t think it is out of line to imagine he was talking with his Heavenly Father as he was working daily and taking care of family.
So, what does all of this have to do with us? Jesus modeled for us how to do the mundane and still grow in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man. He spent 18 years working in a carpentry shop, taking care of siblings and probably his Mother.
Nothing spectacular or earth shattering, but oh so important. Do you talk with God in your mundane tasks? Do you grow in grace as you are washing the umpteenth load of laundry; especially the clothes that your child put on for 5 minutes changed their minds and put in the dirty clothes? Some weeks to me feel like I’m just going from one day to the next, just trying to survive.
What is the next thing on your to do list? Jesus I’m sure had a to do list as well, but we know he spent time with his Father. Do you share with God about the cranky customer or co-worker you really can’t stand?
He has been there, he wants to know. In all honesty we can’t expect that all of the customers that came to Jesus’ carpentry shop were nice and wonderful. Truthfully, our lives are often lived in the mundane; laundry, car pooling, work, dishes, groceries, baths, changing diapers, sports, etc. Can you allow Jesus to be with you in the mundane?
Jesus’ 18 years were so mundane there is nothing said in the Bible, absolutely nothing. I imagine we feel very unappreciated as we complete our daily mundane tasks. The mundane does not excuse us from spending time with God. Jesus spent time doing the mundane and found wisdom and favor.
What mundane tasks do you have this week that you could look at with a different lens? Jesus cares about the mundane; he cares about everything in our lives.
Kimberly Chastain, MS, LMFT is the Christian Working Mom Coach and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She was recently featured in the book the Myth of the Perfect Mother. She is the author of “Help My Preteen/Teenager is Driving Me Nuts!!!” To schedule a free, initial coaching session send an email to email@example.com or visit http://www.christianworkingmom.com.