Monday, January 14, 2013

Jesus' Missing 18 Years - Part II

In yesterday's post I tackled the broad outline of how Jesus spent the 18 years not narrated in the gospels.  Today I wanted to share a few specifics regarding that period - ways Jesus' life intersects with ours:
  • I realize that some reading this have lost parents.  Jesus knows that pain;  He lost Joseph.  The gospel shows the deep pain Jesus experienced at the death of His friend Lazarus (Jn.11:33-38); it had to be excruciating at the loss of Joseph, the man He called "abba." It would have been Jesus' duty to wash and prepare his body for burial.  I cannot imagine how difficult that had to be.
  • In a culture where women could not work outside of the home, it would have fallen to Jesus to provide for His Mother. He knew what it was to work and be depended upon to make a living,
  • The work Jesus did was manual. It took time and sweat, and if His customers didn’t like it, He didn’t get paid. 
  •  Jesus shared in the same good, healthy human desires we all do. He cherished His friends. Like all of us He also needed time to be alone, to turn to His Father in prayer, and “recharge His batteries.”    
  • Jesus was a young man; he was able to look at a young woman and appreciate her beauty (both inner and outer).  There shouldn’t be anything shocking about that. Jesus was a man, and God created men with an appreciation for women. Because we live in a fallen world though, we are use to seeing this God-given orientation tainted by lust. When Jesus looked at a woman there was nothing self-seeking in His gaze; He saw her for the priceless, beautiful work of God she was.  Jesus redeemed our vision of the opposite sex!  
  • When all of His friends started courting and getting married, Jesus didn’t.  He probably knew what it was to feel like a “third wheel” at times. 
  • Jesus, God the Son, knew what it was to be a “nobody” – to live over 90% of His life in a small town, work hard to put food on the table, and appear to have absolutely no effect on the world going on around Him.  (Not that He actually was a nobody though - and neither are you!)
I love thinking about the ways Jesus has shared our experiences.  I have often thought that the reason we have been told so little about His growing up and home life, is so that we an empty mental canvas upon which we can imagine Him doing all the things familiar to us.


  1. Shane, you mentioned in your last paragraph about thinking of how Jesus has shared our experience. There are roughly 360 or so names for Jesus, God and Holy Spirit used in the Scriptures, and we common humans can find so many ways to connect with these names. I was a teacher (at DHS!!), and I love that Jesus was called teacher. I can relate to that so well! My friend is a doctor; she relates to the name of "Great Physician". My father was a farmer; he relates to the term "Good Shepherd". How awesome that God in His perfection gave us these names so that we can relate our experience to His!!!!!!