Explore My News,
Thoughts & Inspiration

Jesus, The Lost Years

Sometimes when I want to feel good about myself, I look up the craziest Kanye or Trump quotes and I laugh at the things these guys say.  At times they are very similar. I think the both of them would get along great, and who knows, maybe Kanye will be the next president. #Kanye2020

And other times I dive into one of David McCullough’s biographies of some of U.S. presidents. Like John Quincy Adams who graduated from Harvard at age 20 after having already served as the interpreter for the minister to Russia. Or a young George Washington hustling as a surveyor then being promoted to major in the Virginia militia  and commander and chief of all Virginia’s troops during the French- Indian wars.

These guys were preparing for greatness, not even knowing the responsibility the would someday have.

So why, when I read the story of one of my favorite leaders, Jesus Josephson, do I have a glaring omission of his formative years? The four dudes responsible for documenting his life seem to have intentionally left blank the span of time from his birth till his ministry days. What’s going on?

It’s like the black lettering over the secret information of released government documents. It’s like the way that people try not to drop movie spoilers around you but inevitably end up dropping movie spoilers around you and you end up learning to discontinue all social life until you can watch How I Met Your Mother or Lost for yourself. 

Is there something we should know about those years? Were they the wild and raucous years of the Son of God? Surely something interesting must have happened during that time.

Gnostic gospels have a young Jesus turning clay pigeons to life as well as striking people with blindness. A French author in the early 1900s even suggested that Jesus traveled to India to practice meditation before starting his ministry. Culturally improbable and pretty much economically infeasible (although Jesus was quite the hiker).

But something in me needs the Rocky balboa training montage of jesus’ grand preparation for his ministry. There he is lifting heavy logs to prepare for the cross. He’s dealing with disgruntled carpentry clients to prepare for the Sanhedrin. He’s memorizing the sacred texts to spit back at the devil in the desert. All of this stuff most probably happened but still I get no music montage. Sucks.

I think that this section of Jesus’ life is left intentionally blank. It seems Jesus lead such a normal life till his 30s that people actually discounted his credibility ( Matt 13:55) Jesus won the award for being the most boring adolescent jew. He wasn’t even a zealot. He wasn’t missing any fingers and he had no nickname. Jesus pushed the limits of how ordinary a person could be.

And that’s the point.

Out of nowhere comes average, humble, unattractive Jesus. (Isaiah 53:2) He wanders into the public eye at his baptism and receives confirmation and affirmation from his Father as well as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

Then, indwelt by the Holy Spirit he walks the earth, casting out demons and teaching about the kingdom. He calls his disciples to do the same thing, empowered them by the same Spirit.


Because Jesus was in full agreement with Paul’s words in romans 8 that ‘the Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.’ Because as he said in John 12 ‘ whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater works than these.’

Because Jesus actually emptied himself of all his God superpowers and the miracles he did on earth were through the power of the same Holy Spirit that is promised to his followers.

I believe he did all of this intentionally so we would never whine about him being the rich kid using his dad’s car. No one can justifiably look at the life of Jesus and complain ‘well, ya but He’s God , so you know, like, different rules, right?’

He was in all ways tempted as we are. He felt what we feel and experienced the common human existence. He humbled himself to the point of death and calls his followers to do the same because he assumes that they are working with the same set of tools.

I get no backstory or prequel to the golden years of Jesus. This is intentional. It is also mind-blowingly phenomenal. If you google the hypostatic union your brain might overheat more than watching Inception or thinking about at what point Marty Mcfly’s mom would have recognized her own son to be some guy she met in her teenage years.

The point is, it’s not about your credentials or abilities. Jesus is scouting the earth for unfit and untalented people who will receive the Holy Spirit and love others like he did.

And if you haven’t done anything exciting in your late twenties, there is still hope.

You just have to be ready to drop the nets, leave everything, and follow him wherever he leads you.

None of us get the Balboa montage­­ because Jesus doesn’t pick musclemen for his sports team. He picks foolish misfits so that people follow him and not us.

“When the Council saw the boldness of Peter and John and could see that they were obviously uneducated non-professionals, they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them” –Acts 4:13