Years of Silence and Preparation
Luke 3:21
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

In the humble home at Nazareth Jesus spent thirty years; most marvellous in this, that nothing marvellous is recorded of them. Goodness was so perfect, duty so evenly performed, the lustre of holiness so mild and steady, that brothers and sisters and rude Nazarene neighbours came to take all this as a matter of course, saw in it nothing superhuman; and when at last the disguise was laid aside, and the prophet-king of Israel, the promised Messiah, stood unveiled, they could still only stupidly ask, "Is not this Jesus, the carpenter?" Imagination may strive to withdraw the veil which inspiration has left drawn over these thirty years — the precious episode of the visit to Jerusalem. For some minds the attempt will have an irresistible fascination, to others it will be utterly distasteful; and neither may judge the other. But faith and love should never lose sight of the lessons which speak in the very silence of those years. Ten times as much of life as our Lord Jesus occupied in public ministry He spent in private life, preaching no sermon, initiating no public movement, working no miracle. The Divine ideal of perfect holiness in childhood, youth, and manhood was realized during thirty years in a life of obscure privacy, mechanical toil, and home affection and duty.

(E. R. Conder, D. D.)Thirty years of preparation, and about three years of work I how contrary to our notions of a wise economy of the working powers of a human life! There may possibly be a reference to the age at which, according to the law, the Levites were to enter upon their ministrations; but when we consider the short time during which the actual ministry lasted, we may certainly draw the conclusion that in order to do a great work in a short time long and patient preparation is necessary; and that they who would be useful ministers of the Church of Christ should grudge no time and no amount of labour to fit themselves for the great work committed to them.

(Bishop Harvey Goodwin.)The author of the "New Phoedo" considers thirty years of age the epoch for the departure of youth; by which he does not, of course, intend to signify incipient decay, our frames being as young as they were five years before, while the mind has been ripening; by youth he means the growing and progressive season, the departure of it being visible only inasmuch as we have become, as it were, fixed and stationary. The qualities that peculiarly belong to youth, its quick, throbbing fancies, its exuberance of energy and feeling, cease, by his reckoning, to be our distinctions at thirty. Maynard, in the play, speaks of himself as almost thirty — "warning thirty." "Warning thirty?" repeats his companion, half-mockingly, half-inquiringly. The other explains, "'Tis half the journey, Tom. Depend on it, after thirty, 'tis time to count the milestones." At the age of thirty, according to Lord Lytton, the characters of most men pass through a revolution; we have reduced to the sober test of reality the visions of youth; we no longer chase frivolities or hope for chimeras; and we may now come with better success than Rasselas to the Choice of Life. Ever to be noted is the pregnant fact that when our Lord began to be about thirty years of age, then began His work in earnest, His ministry in public. To many that age is the signal for selfish indulgence in regrets. To Him it struck the hour of hard work — work that should cease but in death.

(F. Jacox.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

WEB: Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened,

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