Thursday, April 15, 2010

And Being Made Perfect...

How did Jesus spend the first thirty years of His life? Did He ever feel like He needed to get things moving at get about His work? Or that He was endlessly waiting for-He knew not what? What about when He was a boy in the Temple? Or the wedding at Cana? At the wedding, His mother helped Him out a little. She knew He was special, after all! I wonder if she ever 'nagged' Him to get busy and do something! He said that His time hadn't come, yet He went ahead a nd worked a miracle. I wonder what changed His mind? Did His Father tell Him that His time had come?
All through His childhood, teenage years, and well into His adulthood, He had been 'going about His Father's business'. However, His Father's business was neither earth-shattering nor profound. He went about the daily grind, got hot and sweaty, got blisters and callouses, and probably smashed his finger with a hammer more than once. Yet, something must have made Him different, even during these years. After all, He was God! I'm sure He sought His Father's will through diligent study and fervent prayer, and learned to listen to His Father's voice just like Abraham, David, Moses, and many before Him had done.
What about when He was a boy? The only record we have of His childhood is the episode when He gets left at the Temple and just hangs out all day asking and answering question with the most educated guys around. How did He even get left? On purpose? That doesn't seem very considerate... I'm sure it was an accident. Did He just get absorbed in the teaching and forget to follow the family out? When He told His mother that she should have looked for Him first in the Temple since He would be 'about His Father's business', what did He mean? How much did He understand of His Father's business? I wonder if Mary had told Him from the time He could understand that He was no ordinary child and was conceived in no ordinary way. If she told Him His Father was God Himself and that an angel had announced His arrival, did He feel a special call because of that knowledge?
He grew in wisdom and favor with God and man as a teen. I guess He was not a nerdy, pious fellow who ran around correcting people all the time and scoffing at their menial concerns or incompetent understanding. I would think that He was a pretty likable guy. Friendly, happy, hard-working, and trustworthy.
Perhaps He used those years to study human nature with unparalleled insight. As He lived out His own life and watched those around Him live out theirs, I wonder if He learned things about what makes humans humans. I wonder if He only gradually understood how emotions and personality intermix in humans and how sin manifests differently in different kinds of people. I wonder how often He struggled with understanding His own emotions and personality with the finite mind of a human. He had limited His mind to that of a human and must be reliant on the Holy Spirit now. He no longer had the omnipotent, omnicient power in His own body apart from the Spirit. And, that leads to another point.
What was His Spirit before His baptism in the Jordan by John? Somehow, He was fully man, yet He did not have a fallen nature. He was the first born of the Father, the first among many brothers. But when? When the Spirit descended like a dove or when He was born in Bethlehem? He relied on that precious Spirit within Him with unobscured clarity after His baptism, but what about before? Perhaps He just lived life like any other human, in obscurity. What did He learn during that time? Obedience in the face of uncertainty? Humility in the dichotomy of knowing He was God's Son and yet a human? "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. An being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him" Perhaps this verse in Hebrews 5 is referring to the time before He was baptized. Maybe He was learning obedience as a young man wondering when it would be time to begin His ministry. Maybe He 'became perfect', not as someone overcoming sin, but as a human learning to walk in full and perfect interchange between the spirit and the flesh.
His faithfulness was rewarded. Whatever He was learning in those long years of patient working and waiting, I'm sure it was all worth it the moment His soul thrilled to the Father's words "This is my Son, in Whom I am well pleased!"

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