The Age of Maturity?

When He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age.
Luke 3:23a

Thirty is the new twenty, according to some. Did you know that the age of thirty also holds some significance in the Bible? It was at age thirty that Joseph went into the service of Pharoah. It was at age thirty that Saul became king of Israel. It was at age thirty that David also became king. And it was at age thirty that Jesus began His earthly ministry.

Thirty was the age that a priest must be before he could serve in the temple. While Jesus, our High Priest (according to Hebrews 4:14), was certainly not subject to the Law, we must remember "He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death" (Philippians 2:8). In order to fulfill the Law by His death, He remained obedient to the Law during life. Through His perfect keeping of the Law, He was able to offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice for all mankind.

So, what is so significant about the age of thirty? It could be that thirty years is the age of maturity. "The world's largest study of brain development in children, conducted primarily by researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has demonstrated dramatic differences in the trajectories of brain development in girls compared with boys...A young woman reaches full maturity, in terms of brain development, between 21 and 22 years of age. A young man does not reach full maturity, in terms of brain development, until nearly 30 years of age."* Could it be possible that the Creator of the Universe already knew what scientists have now discovered?

Please note that thirty is not some magical age. I found no Biblical evidence to suggest that man must wait until he is thirty to begin a ministry. Nor could I find evidence to suggest that man's usefulness expires at any given age. In fact, retirement is a relatively new concept. Retirement from work or ministry is not a Biblical concept. While we may follow American suit and retire from a full time occupation, how could we ever retire from sharing God's love with others?

Now, you may wonder, "How can I possibly have a ministry at my age?" First of all, to the younger of you, may I encourage you to reach out to those of you younger in age and in faith? Can you share your faith? Can you pray for others? Can you live your testimony?

And to those of you who are more mature let me share with you a story. I visited my grandmother in the nursing home. Having succumbed to the clutches of senility, she didn’t remember exactly who I was, just that I was a granddaughter. She couldn't remember my name, nor to which of her children I belonged. But she never forgot her Savior. She was quick to ask me each time I visited if I knew Jesus. And I have no doubt that she spent much of her last days on earth in prayer. Can you pray - for the hurting, for the lost, for the church? Can you share your faith with those around you? Can you minister - in word, if not in action - to your children?

*Sax, Leonard, M.D., Ph.D. "Gender Differences in the Sequence of Brain Development." <http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Boys_Girls/>.

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