It can take more than nine years of study to become a doctor. Even after so many years of study, practice, and learning doctors still don’t become experts on everything. They have particular areas where they are experts and others where they only know a little. Yet, every single moment of preparation for that role in saving lives and curing diseases counts. It’s the same with ministry. When we hear the call of God to go into ministry, we can often burst out of the gate wanting to get through the training process as fast as possible. Let’s get these training wheels off and get on with the race. But, good preparation is essential for lifelong impact in the call of God.
It’s easy to read the Gospel stories and think that Jesus suddenly appeared on the scene and started doing his thing. It is likely, however, that Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until he was in his late 20s early 30s. What did he do for those thirty years? He prepared. Going to the synagogue, studying the Torah, reading the scriptures, praying, working at his carpentry trade. During that time, he probably gathered stories about mustard seeds and lost sons and wicked tenants. He watched and studied the way the Roman Empire exerted its power on the local Jewish communities, regulating their lives through taxes and military force. Above all, he waited for the appointed time, the right time. Even though he was waiting, he didn’t stop preparing. He was preparing for the moment when his waiting would end.
Just as Jesus is in the waiting, so also Jesus is in the preparation.