As my eyes fell upon the bible this morning for my daily reading, the bold print read “Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry”. For some reason I found this statement strange. Jesus, the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity actually has a ministry?? Ministries are for men like my pastor who has a ministry to his flock or my friend, a medical missionary who has a ministry to the infirmed in Nepal. Ministries are done by people – sinner people. But even more, were the first 2 words, “He begins. . .” Then a bit further, it states that Jesus was 30 years of age when He “began” his ministry Luke 3:23. Not only was His ministry time short – approximately 3 years if He died at age 33 – but 30 long years had gone by & when I turned my pages back to see what those years were like, I could only find a story about His birth & then another short story about a visit to the temple in his 12 th year. There was nothing about His childhood, teen years or the decade of His 20’s. I have been a Believer for a long time so this was not news to me. But for some reason, I began to wonder about this. Wouldn’t it be interesting for us to hear of His younger life? And wouldn’t it be helpful to see how He, the Son of God, lived in a home with earthly parents & even brothers & sisters who unlike Him, were sinner people? And how difficult it must have been for Him to live for 30 years apart from His real home and His real heavenly Father. Didn’t we need to know how He dealt with that? But nothing, except His birth and one visit to the temple. Silence.
I remember another place where Jesus was silent. He was brought before Pilate, the Roman governor. He had been falsely accused by His own people, who led Him to Pilate to decide His fate. He gave no words of defense. No matter how many times Pilate asked Him for a defense, it says, “that Jesus still answered nothing so that Pilate marveled.” That indeed was a profound silence. For it led Him to a scourging & then a crucifixion. I considered again that first silence – the silence of His life prior to age 30. Was that first silence just as profound to me? I began to think about most of us. We have life stories galore! Our birth, childhood, teen years, college years, married life & everything in between are very important matters these days. And there are so many places to talk about our stories from online venues like Facebook, Snapchat, blogs, & texts to real chairs in therapist’s rooms. The bible gives no such stories about Jesus. There is nothing about how He may have been treated by sinful brothers & sisters. There are no stories about His obedience & submission to His earthly parents over & over again, even though He was their Creator. There are no stories about other temple visits or anything about how He grew in stature & wisdom & favor with God & how He astounded His teachers. No stories about working with Joseph, or playing with siblings or listening to Mary. And even more, no stories of missing a Father that had always been at His side. Silence. How unlike us. We can’t wait to get online to mention the latest event in our life. And of course there is always a real photo or live video to go with it. Or we can’t wait to tell longer stories on a site or a blog or a chat room or even a chair in therapist’s rooms.
I am beginning to see how such silence is profound. Unlike us, Jesus came to this earth for one reason – to do the Father’s will. So indeed, He had the ministry of all ministries – to live perfectly in order to be killed innocently. He was hated without a cause. He knew no sin and yet He was the worst sinner in the world because He bore every sin of all of His people for them. Thus He had done His Father’s will. He saved His people. His mission was completed. And so only 3 final years are proclaimed and approximately 30 years are silent. And that is absolutely right & good. We need to take note of such silence of our Lamb. There’s just one thing left to say to all of this.
This is a faithful saying & worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the chief. 1 Tim. 1:15 Indeed, it is the most faithful saying that I have ever heard.