Have you heard of this secret from the life of Jesus during his teenage years?
Most men haven’t, so keep reading to find out more.
As I publish this post we’re now in the first week of February 2023, and according to the data, the 2nd of this month is when most people will officially give up on their New Year’s resolutions if they haven’t already.
But it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is if you’re reading this later or you find it in the archives; this “secret” from the Greek pertaining to the way Jesus approaches his mission is still relevant no matter when you’re reading this.
What are Your Goals For this Year?
Most people have aspirations, things they want to achieve, and dreams they want to see realized.
So what stops them?
One of the main obstacles is that men get distracted with the busyness of life and you might hear them say “I don’t have enough time.”
For almost everyone, that is simply not true.
I’ve found many guys don’t have a goal for the year or a vision for their life, or if they do they’re not sure if their goal is good. And if you have no clarity, that leads to confusion, and confusion leads to losing.
If You Don’t Have a Goal, Let me Give You One
I have been setting up camp this past week, examining the start of Jesus’s ministry and digging into the Gospel of Luke, where we see his first recorded words and some insight from his teenage years.
There is not a lot written but what is recorded is mind-blowing and I noticed something in a well-known and oft-quoted passage.
And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52 NASB)
If we rewind 12 verses, it actually starts in verse 40:
And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
It's easy to read this and see them in a passive tense as they paint the picture of an unaimed and unconscious experience of growth and development as though it “just happened” and this is the documentation or narrative of this part of Jesus’s life.
When reading the Scriptures, sometimes it’s easy to overlook that something that happened in a matter of a few verses and takes us just a moment to read can actually encompass years’ worth of time in the narrative we’re reading.
One moment Jesus is a baby, then a little boy, then a teenager, and a chapter or two later he’s in his thirties and beginning ministry. It’s recorded as all experience and little to no achievement like it was just the normal course of growth.
But this is not what is conveyed in the original language.
In Luke 2:40 he grows and Luke 2:52 the word changes to increases BUT the in the original Greek it says;
The significance of this can not be overlooked, even though our modern-day translations might not bring this out. The root of this word is “to cut forward” and cut ahead.
It speaks of continuous persistent action.
It speaks of a goal to be reached with obstacles and barriers in the way that must be overcome.
This is not just a passive rate of growth that was going to just happen anyway, no matter what.
It speaks of determination and unceasing effort. Jesus cut a path forward; he saw what he needed and went after it
There was a lot of cutting to do; he had to cut through the traditions of men; he had to cut through prejudices and long held beliefs and misunderstandings and cultural customs among many other things that he encountered in his life and in ministry.
Jesus has a single-eyed vision he is relentlessly focused on; His fathers will (v. 49), and he exercises obedient action in every move he makes.
Kenneth Wuest translates Luke 2:52 this way:
And Jesus kept on hewing a pioneer path ahead, making steady progress in wisdom and maturity and in favor in the presence of God and with men.
Did you catch that?
if you don’t have a goal or a vision for this year. I’ll give you one right now:
Cut a Path forward. Stop Being Passive and Casual
We see in the life of Jesus there’s a forging and a pushing ahead. This involves unrelenting and unceasing effort to the obedience to the Father’s will.
Jesus cut a path, increased, and advanced in multiple areas:
- He advanced in his body and physical capacity
- He advanced in his mind and mental cognitive faculties
- He grew in wisdom (v. 40), which is also available to us, which is that supernatural discernment and mind of God (see 1 Cor. 2:10, 16)
- He Grew in favor with God but also grew in favor with Man — we can all use this as we grow in our Kingdom assignments
And keep in mind, Christ did all this as he lived in God’s grace
Let’s Get Practical
The question you may be asking is HOW do I come up with a plan? WHAT does it look like? HOW much time does this take?
I will answer all of these but first:
STOP saying you don’t have enough time!
We all have the same number of hours in a day for each of our lives. I have a lot on my plate and I know as a Kingdom-driven man you do to, but it’s a matter of where we are investing or spending that time.
Laura Vanderkam, who also hosts a podcast called Before Breakfast wrote a brief article over on Medium a few years ago titled What Will you Do with Your 1,000 hours?
Here are a few takeaways:
- There are 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and if you add it all up that’s 8,760 hours in a year
- Some of those hours are spoken for. If you need eight hours of sleep a night, that’s 2,920 of the 8,760. So almost a third of that is taken up with sleep.
- If you work 40 hours a week for 49 weeks (excluding holidays and two weeks’ vacation), you’re working 1,960 hours.
- When you subtract all that and take it out, every one of us has somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 discretionary hours per year.
So let’s stop saying we “don’t have enough time” because mathematically and statistically, that’s just a lie and an excuse.
Where you Spend Your Time is Where your Treasure is
Jesus said it like this where your treasure is there is your heart (Matt 6:21). And it’s with this most-important resource and prized possession that we obtain other resources, like earning our money and accumulating our resources.
How you invest your time is the greatest reflection on your priorities.
So back to the questions on how and where to start.
First of all, good on you for investing in your spiritual development and your personal development. That says a lot about you already if you’re reading this article and have made it this far.
Second, the best way I’ve come up with to help Kingdom-driven men is a result of favor with men and with God I’ve experienced in my own life. I’m not perfect and have not arrived, don’t misunderstand me. I’m still on this journey like the rest of you, but along the way I’ve picked up some keys that has led me to create the unfair advantage that I want to invite you into.
The Unfair Advantage is Less Than 60 Minutes of Total Training
And the "what does it look like?" and "how do I do this?" is ALL contained in this 11 day email challenge, which again is just ONE hour accumulated of your time IF you do it all.
There are video modules within those emails where you can receive guidance and training from me IF you’re serious about forging forward and cutting your own path and walking in God’s favor for you and stepping into your promised land.
There’s a mountain with your name on it and we need to be shown how to walk in this.
And this email challenge is completely FREE.
If you're ready to stop delaying your growth, then I look forward to seeing you on the inside.