Speaking to the Soul – May 15

Jesus became a human being

Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his public ministry. Jesus was known as the son of Joseph. Joseph was the son of Heli. Heli was the son of Matthat. Matthat was the son of Levi. Luke 3:23-24

It is so interesting that Jesus began his ministry when he was about 30 years of age. Only Dr Luke supplies us with this information, and it is fascinating to reflect on why it took him so long to begin his public ministry. Like many people, I started preaching in my late teens and had preached to thousands of people by the time I was 30.

We cannot know the answer to why Jesus began his ministry when he did, but it is clear that Jesus gained considerable life experience before it started. As a child, Jesus doubtless played with the other children in Nazareth and attended the synagogue on the Sabbath. When he grew up, he was presumably employed for a number of years, probably with his father. How we would love to know what happened in those long years! But what matters is that no one could possibly suggest that Jesus wasn’t fully human. When he was baptised, God spoke from heaven and confirmed that Jesus was his son, so we can be clear that Jesus was fully God and fully man.

Luke confirms Jesus’ human credentials by giving us his family tree. Genealogies were extremely important for Jews, and so it is not surprising that both Matthew and Luke give a long list of Jesus’ ancestors. What is particularly interesting is that both lists go back to Abraham, but Luke goes further. He goes right back to Adam, the first man. Luke is keen to show that Jesus came to the world for all humanity. The good news that he came to bring was for the whole world.

Our society obviously looks very different from Jesus’ time, but the key issues of life stay the same. Then and now, the main challenges focus on human relationships, making a living, having enough food and coping with political change. Jesus was the son of God and yet he also fully understood all of these everyday challenges. That is why he is able to be the bridge between God and humankind.


Why is it so important that Jesus was both God and man?


Lord Jesus, thank you that you became a human being and faced up to the challenges of life. Thank you that you understand me so completely and are able to strengthen me each day. Amen