In Case You Missed It : Three Years

Jesus

In the Bible, the ministry of Jesus begins with his baptism in the countryside of Roman Judea and Transjordan, near the river Jordan, and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke (3:23) states that Jesus was “about 30 years of age” at the start of his ministry. A chronology of Jesus typically has the date of the start of his ministry estimated at around AD 27–29 and the end in the range AD 30–36. I could fine tune the estimate a little better but what I’m specifically looking at here is the three year period of Jesus’ ministry.

Can you imagine being with Jesus for a three year period? The four gospels give us a glimpse into things that He did and statements that He made during that period but when you really stop to think about it, those are a lot of days (lunar calendar) to be with Jesus.

Can you imagine the things that He did and the things that He said that we aren’t told about? At the end of the Gospel of John 21:25 NIV, the Apostle says the following “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

So really, what we are shown is only a snippet of what transpired through that three year period. One of the things that I often wonder about is when we get to heaven, will we have the opportunity to literally “see” all of what transpired in the Bible, right from the start to the very end, kind of like a “rerun” if you will, starting with Adam and ending with John’s vision in Revelation. Wouldn’t that be something! And how about when God created our universe and our galaxy, our solar system and our earth and all of the things that He knew would be necessary so that life could exist and how He put them in place, many of which we aren’t even aware of or could possibly comprehend. I’m hoping or maybe we’ll just “know”.

For sure I would want to “see” those three years although I don’t know if I would like to see the crucification, not sure if I could handle that. My Christian daughter, Tracey does beautiful art work and we have a number of Bible verses that she has created, on our walls. One of my favourites is from 1 Corinthians 2:9 KJV that reads, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

Have you ever wondered why God didn’t say “into the mind of man”? Instead He chose the word “into the heart of man”. I think I know. I think it’s because our “heart” is the essence of our where our “spirit” resides, it’s where we are created in His image, where the needs of our soul are responded to and formed and that transcends what the mind is capable of imagining. So if you’re talking about something that “blew your mind”, well it goes even beyond that. We literally can’t even imagine.

Three years. Three real years of being in the presence of Jesus Christ, the foretold Messiah, the Son of God, in the flesh but not of the flesh. Without sin, not stained like we are, subject to but not controlled by our fleshly desires. And consistently doing the will of the Father, day after day, moment after moment.

You know how you can read a book and then they make a movie and leave a whole bunch of what is in the book out? That’s what the Gospels are. Kind of like a word movie of “some” of the things that He did and “some” of the things that He spoke of.

Jesus spent a lot of time in private prayer. Do you not wonder what He prayed about? Can we even begin to comprehend the communion that He had with our Father? If He’d allow us, I’d like to listen in so to speak, I’m sure that, that communion was special, similar to what we sometimes “taste” when through God’s grace, we are brought into His presence, only far beyond what we can comprehend. The pure love of God, from the Father to the Son and from the Son to the Father.

Remember how just prior to the crucification, when Jesus was praying in the Mount of Olives, where He said as recorded in Luke 22:42 NIV “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” This was just after the “Last Supper”, Jesus knew full well what was waiting for Him. From the physical pain alone, no one would question not wanting to go through that, but I believe there is more. I think even beyond the physical pain was the anguish of being separated from the communion that Jesus had with the Father, because of our sins, because of what He became in our place.

I don’t think we can comprehend that, not even close. Yet, even with the knowledge of the pain He would face and the coming separation from His Father, He still said, “yet not my will, but yours be done.” Such is the dedication that Jesus has for His Father, such is the love that Jesus has for us. God in the flesh, tempted as we are but not subject to giving in to the desires of the flesh.

Then there’s the day to day experience of being in the presence of Jesus like the 12 Apostles had for that three year period. That would be walking and talking with Him, eating with Him, seeing Him at rest, seeing Him heal multitudes of people, time and time again, teaching and explaining spiritual realities to the waiting disciples and speaking in synagogues throughout the different areas Jesus travelled to. Can you imagine how many miles or kilometers they walked together and talked together over a three year period? And don’t forget the heightened activities of demons that Jesus dealt with plus the outright power Jesus demonstrated over natural elements such as turning water into wine, multiplying food and walking on water or controlling the weather. Three years, that’s really a significant period of time. What we are shown is really only a snippet, and yet, it is more than enough.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

9 comments

  1. Hey, Papa Bruce!! For what it’s worth in Hebrew/ANE the heart actually meant kidneys, encompassing the whole person (heart, mind and will). There was no word or concept that means mind like in today’s cultural context. For example: In the Shema Deuteronomy 6:4–9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (ESV). The meaning of the Hebrew heart here again includes emotions, mind and will. The heart is all encompassing! Again, for what it’s worth hear in this instance means listen or obey.

    Now when Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27) He does so because in the Hellenistic, Greco-Roman world, the Greeks, specifically the Gnostics divided the heart and mind into two different entities. A concept absolutely foreign to Israel and the ANE (Ancient Near East).

    1 Cor 2:9 Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him.” However, when Paul says “heart of man imagined” is not found in 64:4. Most scholars agree that 1 Corinthians 2:9 brings “together various formulations and concepts found in a number of different places in the OT” (Taylor, 1 Corinthians NAC).

    All this is to say that you are right, this is way more than mind blowing (again, said concept doesn’t exist) the whole being of the person, of you and me cannot fathom or imagine! I am so thankful that this snippet of our understanding of God, each other and ourselves will be made more clear when we see Jesus face to face! Love and blessings to you and Peggy!!!

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    • Thank you Mandy for all the background information, sincerely appreciated. I know from many years ago when God allowed me to experience His presence for a minute or two, in a way that I had never experienced before or since for that matter, NOTHING via words could possibly explain or articulate His Holiness, how different I was from Him and how much He loves us (all at the exact same time). Words can never explain that, it’s just not possible. All I know was I NEVER EVER wanted to leave His presence. And that was just a taste. So that heart that I speak of, and I believe God speaks of, is the essence of our whole being, which transcends the totality of what we can know, here, in these bodies, in our mind, heart and spirit. That is the only way in which I can explain it. Blessings.

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      • Bruce, I do NOT doubt you at all!!! I was hoping to be affirming, sorry if that was overkill! Praise God you (and I) will never know a time without His Presence! When I speak (verbal or written) I know that when I say “heart” that I mean the whole being not just emotions! I LOVE your passion, enthusiasm and desire to be holy as God is holy. It is rare to find someone like you who desires God’s holiness and who appreciates the OT and book of Hebrews! I am so thankful for you, Papa Bruce!

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      • It wasn’t overkill on your part Mandy, you are aware of things that I do not know and I am truly grateful for any insight that you provide. I was just trying (poorly) to explain the source from which I speak. Having experienced the Holiness of God I know that there is no possible way in which I could ever even approach God’s Holiness, which explains why we so desperately need the sanctification that comes from our faith in what Jesus accomplished on our behalf, for us. Jesus was the Anointed One, who had the Holy Spirit without measure. I know why I need the righteousness of Jesus imputed on me because there is no way in which I could ever approach the righteousness that Jesus possessed. Totally different ball field. It’s amazing because Jesus is amazing and our heavenly Father is amazing. It is indeed a gift because we have nothing to compare it with, nothing. Grace, shear grace. I’m starting to babble now so best I quit. You have yourself a blessed day Mandy and thank you so much for sharing your heart.

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