I was reading the first few chapters of Luke and realized that there is a lot of detail about the birth of Jesus not only in Luke but also in other chapters of the Bible. There is even more detail about his 3 years of ministry on earth. It’s half of the Bible and the whole basis of the New Testament. What I don’t think we often think about are the in-between years. In Luke years 12-30 of the life of Jesus is summed up in only 2 scriptures.
Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:51-52
It’s interesting to think that the biggest chunk of Jesus’ life wasn’t in the spotlight. It wasn’t recorded by anyone other than his close relatives and God. Since it’s not recorded in the Bible I don’t know what those years were filled with but since I’m a mom of 2 kids I can probably imagine at least some of it. I think there was a lot of growing and learning that happened and there was a lot of love that was shared. I think there was probably some rivalry and jealousy that occurred in their house and there was disappointment and pain. I think a lot of what happened in those years was similar to what happens in many homes.
At first thought, you might think that those years weren’t recorded in the Bible because they were insignificant and didn’t matter all that much but I don’t think that’s true at all. I don’t think Mary would have treasured those years in her heart if it were that way. I think instead those years weren’t recorded because they were sacred. They were the years in Jesus’ life when he learned to become fully man, he learned how to have compassion for every aspect of our human experience. I think that what happened in those unrecorded 18 years were some of the most important parts of Jesus’ life. I think those years were the reason that God chose Mary and Joseph to be his parents.
I think it’s good to realize that if some of the most significant parts of the life of Jesus happened in the in-between years it’s probably going to be the same for each of us. The growing and learning that happens in the safe spaces God created for us mold us into who we are becoming. We aren’t going to get to the big miraculous ending without the in-between growing. So if you find yourself doing things that seem to go unnoticed and may seem to be insignificant to the people around you I hope you remain faithful to what God has called you to. I hope you prayerfully consider the things you put your hand to and that you stay close to God and keep going. These may be your most sacred years too.