Why doesn’t the Bible record Christ’s entire life?
The Bible is a selective history of God’s dealings with mankind. It is not exhaustive, otherwise it would be too large for wide distribution (Jn. 21:25). The Bible records only the highlights of Christ’s life. These include the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies regarding the Messiah, such as His birth, life, death, and events related to God’s salvation plan. John wrote, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name” (Jn. 20:30-31 NIV). The Bible was written so we could know Jesus.
Luke wrote, “Jesus Himself was about thirty years old when He began His ministry” (Lk. 3:23). Note that thirty was the age when a Levite began to serve (Num. 4:3,23,30,35,39,43,47; 1 Chr. 23:3). Joseph was thirty when he began to serve Pharaoh, and Saul and David were thirty when each became king over Israel (Gen. 41:46; 1 Sam. 13:1 NIV; 2 Sam. 5:4). A man was considered to have sufficient maturity at 30 to exercise authority in a Jewish community. John records that Jesus’ ministry lasted for at least three years (Jn. 2:13,23; 5:1; 6:4; 11:55). The highlights of His ministry are recorded in the four gospels, with one-third of their content devoted to the last week of His life.
The years of Christ’s life, between 12 and 30, have been called the silent years, because the Bible says little about them. During this time Jesus lived with His family as a carpenter in the village of Nazareth and He “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Lk. 2:52). Some early writers tried to satisfy human curiosity about the silent years by inventing stories to cover the missing periods of Christ’s life. These so-called apocryphal gospels are fiction. Only the most important parts of Christ’s life are documented in the Bible.
Published, June 2007
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