Forty Days Revisited, Day 11–One Thing Jesus Didn’t Do

Let’s be real, Jesus did a lot of stuff, so the bible says. For every story recorded by the gospel writers, there were hundreds of other things that he did, said, that happened to him, etc. that never found their way onto the scroll, the papyrus, or whatever they managed to write with back then. I mean, Jesus was the son of God (but also was referred to as the “son of man,”) so does that mean he never got sick? Didn’t worry about anything? Was never afraid? Of all the things recorded and unrecorded that Jesus did, and probably did, there was one thing he didn’t do: he didn’t grow old.

The adage “only the good die young” definitely applied to Jesus, as his life ended (until he came back on resurrection day) at 30-something years old. He didn’t grow old and creaky. He didn’t reach a day when things suddenly stopped working like they used to and aches and pains sprung all over, and things got flaccid and saggy and drooped south. He didn’t endure the unique pain of losing friends in his age group–only his friend Lazarus died, but even that didn’t take, as Jesus raised him from the dead after only a few days.

Jesus didn’t deal with being a caregiver to an aging parent. We know that his mother, at least, survived him, and I’m not sure what happened to his step dad. Jesus died young, and so he wasn’t confronted with the same circumstances as we who have aged. There is no doubt he got tired, I mean who wouldn’t, what with people following him everywhere he went, asking or something from him. On days when I’m “peopled out,” from all the various demands from everyone around me, and want nothing more than to escape to the quiet, I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to have throngs of people following me around day in and day out. But while I might have been doing my work for 35 years, Jesus only did his for three. He didn’t live long enough to look forward to retirement. What’s more, he knew he was going to die young.

So what does it matter on this journey of 40 days that Jesus didn’t know what it meant to grow old? It doesn’t. Because Jesus packed a whole lot of living into the 33 years he walked the earth, and it reminds me that I need to do the same. The other day I was reminded that I have entered my sixth decade of life. I have way more days behind me than I do in front. There are so many things I still want to do, so much life I still want to live. And at times I feel like I am out of time, that I am too “old” to do them, to live that life. The lesson is focus not on what Jesus didn’t do (grow old and creaky) but on what he did: he live life to the fullest and made the most of every moment he was on the planet. How much more should we? How much more should I?

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