After graduating from a prestigious college and working for a reputable local medical clinic, there was a gap of two years in his otherwise stellar resume. I was reviewing the resume of a prospective employee and my eyes were riveted on this gap in his work history. Alarmed, I called his former employer, whom I knew. He quickly reassured me that the gap occurred because he was a caregiver to his father who was stricken with dementia. His mother had passed away and there was no one who could care for him. He left his lucrative job at the medical clinic to care for his father for two years. To support himself, he worked numerous odd jobs, often for cash, and never more than a few days at a time. He was embarrassed to place this on his resume. I was gratified to learn of the unselfish nature of this applicant and immediately contacted him for an interview.
What if I came across a resume that had a gap of five years? Would I have similar doubts? What about a gap of twenty years or more? Without a qualified and trustworthy reference, would I question the integrity and veracity of the applicant?
Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age…
Luke 3:23 (ESV)
The four Gospels in the Bible give a detailed account of the three-year ministry of Jesus Christ. Yet, the first thirty years of His life are largely unknown. Dr. Luke records two observations that provide us some insights into this period of Jesus’ life.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.
Luke 2:40 (ESV)
And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.
Luke 2:52 (ESV)
While encouraging, these are admittedly vague statements, lacking in details. Are there any trustworthy references who could reliably attest to Jesus’ integrity and growth during these years? John the Baptist was a prophet who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. He was very popular and many thought that He was the true Messiah. He adamantly rejected these assertions and pointed everyone to Jesus Christ.
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29 (ESV)
Is there an even greater reference who might know Jesus Christ? The Bible states that we know Jesus because we know God, His Father.
…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father….
John 14:9 (ESV)
There is a gap for nearly the first thirty years in the life of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God that He gave us reliable and trustworthy references and witnesses of His activities during this period recorded in the Bible. There is no gap in the life of Jesus. As Dr. Luke writes, during this time, Jesus grew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man. Thirty years prepared Jesus for His three-year ministry that changed the world and gave us the path to redemption and reconciliation between God and man. The apparent gap is yet another reason to praise the wondrous providence of God.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.