Sunday, October 14, 2007

In my Jesus years | Only the Injil v1 - The wilderness

As some of you know my 31st birthday is coming up soon. While I won't reveal the exact date here, I will say that the process of transitioning from a 20-something to a 30-something has been fairly traumatic to my youthful outlook!

While it's been difficult to think of myself as a 30 year old, there has been one sweet consolation - I am now in my 'Jesus years'. These years in Jesus' life (between 30 and 33) were powerful, dynamic, miraculous and ultimately led to the greatest grass-roots revolution in human history.

Realizing this has stirred something inside of me. Recently I picked up my Reese Chronological Bible and each day, for the next 3 years, I will seek to read about exactly what Jesus was doing at my age! The Chronological Bible actually goes so far as to put dates on the events in Jesus life, so I'll be able to follow along fairly well. These may not be exact dates, and I may use other sources but it should be a fun project retracing Jesus' steps each day when he was my age and posting my findings here. I may call this series 'Only the Injil' or 'My Jesus years', I haven't decided yet. Probably 'Only the Injil' as this title lends itself to a better understanding by my Muslim friends. The word 'Injil' is an Arabic word for the gospel, derived from the Greek word Evangel, or good news. So maybe that makes me an evinjilical :)

As an intro I thought I'd post a bit about what happened during Jesus' 30th year, seeing as my 30th year is almost over:

> 30 years 1 month - John the Baptist begins to preach, ferociously condemning the religious leaders. When people ask John 'What should we do' (Luke 3:10) he answers by saying in verse 11 'He that has two coats, let him give to him that has none, and he that has food, let him do likewise'. Do you have two coats? John the Baptist states you need to give one of them away. Perhaps now is a good time, before we in Canada have to face winter. Try to find someone this week that needs your coat and give it to them. I'm sad to say I've rarely done this, or witnessed Christians or churches that have done this. I wonder why we shy away from helping those in need. One Christian leader I know, upon being asked this question shamelessly stated 'Well, you know what they say...if you feed a stray cat" as if to lower the value of a human life in need to that of a garbage picking feline! Folks if we are believers in Jesus we are commanded to help those in need. It's not enough to simply study scripture until you can quote it from memory. If we are not doers of the word then what profit is our bible knowledge? Knowledge puffs up and perhaps this pride, which is often seen in evangelical bible memorization clubs is exactly what the Pharisees were suffering from.

> 30 years 9 months - Jesus baptized and 'full of the Spirit' is led into the wilderness to be tempted. It's very interesting to me that the Spirit is the one leading Jesus into temptation. The Spirit leads each of us into tests, to make sure that we can handle the power that is on the other side of the test. Each of us go through the 'wilderness' at times. As John Piper states in the 'video of the week', God is most glorified when we are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss. This is what makes the health and wealth gospel preachers so hideous - they would not have allowed Jesus to go to the wilderness. But God does and will 'lead us' into wilderness situations. During these times may we follow Jesus' example of satisfaction and obedience to God in the midst of desolation, loneliness, temptation, isolation, sorrow, hunger and thirst.

Up next - Jesus' first disciples

1 comment:

Dave Sutherland said...

Ok Shawn, first of all, no one, not even a stray cat, wants your Orange jacket. So I guess its good that you don't have two of them. Oh wait, you guys have a whole pile of them ready to hand out. Apply the baptizer's challenge!

And secondly, I think I'm 28 or something, but I've thought about my upcoming Jesus years already. I've concluded that now is my time for prayer and carpentry and training for my 40 day fast.

I can't wait for the Nazareth Synagogue where I get to read out Isaiah 61 with all eyes popping out their skulls in whatever the equivalent of the syngogue is.