Jesus and the “Normal” Stuff

“When Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” -Luke 3:21-22

In yesterday’s sermon we looked closely at the meaning behind God’s words about Jesus at Jesus’ baptism. But there is something else that is really encouraging that we didn’t get to spend time on.

Think about the timing of Jesus’ baptism for a second. It came before His earthly ministry began. We don’t see Him go out to start preaching and teaching and healing until after His baptism and the subsequent temptations He endures. Which means that for about 30 years (see Luke 3:23), Jesus has been doing “normal” stuff.

Jesus has been a baby. He has gotten molars. He has sucked on His thumb. Jesus has been a boy. He has played outside. He has made friends. Jesus has been a teenager. He has gone through puberty. He has learned the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus has been a young man. He has worked hard in the carpentry business. He has supported His family.

Jesus has been going about life in the day to day “normal” stuff of work, play, and relationships for 30 years. At the moment of His baptism His official “ministry” has not yet begun. And yet God the Father speaks from heaven and says, “With you I am well pleased.”

Yes, the Father has been pleased with the Son from eternity past. But included in that time is the 30 years Jesus had spent on earth up to this point. Those 30 years of eating and drinking, of working and playing, of living and loving – have all been pleasing in the sight of God.

Jesus’ preaching and healing ministry will certainly be pleasing to God as well. But let us not gloss over the fact that in the routine, “normal” aspects of life that Jesus had put His heart and soul into, God delighted.

God delighted when Jesus spent extra time building a chair to get it just right, striving for excellence in His family’s work. God delighted when Jesus sat with His younger siblings outside their home playing simple games, building relationships. God delighted when Jesus sat alone on the steps outside the synagogue and read the Torah in quiet. God delighted when Jesus helped His parents clean the house, take out the trash, do the dishes, change a diaper or two.

In all these things, God was well pleased.

So do not think that just because you are not in the jungles of Southeast Asia bringing people to Christ with signs and wonders that God does not enjoy what you’re doing.

Do not think that just because you are not in the pulpit preaching every Sunday that God does not enjoy what you’re doing.

God loves any and all of what you have done unto Him. It doesn’t have to fall into the “ministry” category to qualify for something well-pleasing to God.

He delights in your job well done at the office as much as when you teach your Sunday school class. He delights in your teaching history to your children at home as much when you facilitate that Bible study. He delights in the time you spend over coffee with a friend, investing in a relationship, as much as when you serve in the nursery.

When you serve the Lord with your whole heart, in whatever you do – whether “normal” or “ministry” – your God is well pleased with you, Christian.