Jesus Spent 30 Years Being Boring

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You don’t have to leave home to be crazy on fire for the Lord.

For the first 30 years of his life, Jesus was boring.

He was an unknown carpenter who wasn’t doing “big” things for God.

He worked alongside his dad, using his hands to shape, shave and tack together pieces of wood. He quietly studied the scriptures, and grew in stature with God and men.

He didn’t have a public ministry.

He didn’t write any books, go on a conference tour, adopt an orphan, give away 75 percent of his income, or go on multiple missions trips. He loved the Lord with all his heart, honored his mother and father, and quietly went about his work.

Was Jesus wasting his life? Absolutely not.

He was doing exactly what God had called him to do. As his hands ran over rough planks of wood, he was quietly earning our salvation. Jesus, the lowly carpenter, the furniture maker, was as radical as they come.

And for 30 years he was quiet.

You don’t have to leave home to be crazy on fire for the Lord.

Jesus spent his first 30 years simply working and obeying. This tells me that it’s possible to be radical while changing diapers, or creating spreadsheets, or plowing snow, or doing whatever mundane task you are called to.

For the Christian, there is no such thing as insignificant work.

Being radical for Jesus means obeying Jesus, loving Jesus and proclaiming Jesus wherever we are, whether that’s in the mission fields of Cambodia or behind the counter at Starbucks.  

Stephen Altrogge Stephen Altrogge works as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Indiana, PA, where his main duties include leading worship, working with college students, and shining his dad’s shoes. He also has written a number of worship songs that have been included on Sovereign Grace Music albums. Stephen is the author of the book Game Day For the Glory of God: A Guide For Athletes, Fans, and Wanabes, which was published by Crossway Books in September 2008, and The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence, which will be published by Crossway Books in April 2011. When not shining his dad’s shoes, you can find Stephen drinking coffee or playing video games.

More from Stephen Altrogge or visit Stephen at

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  • audie

    So, where does the Bible tell us that Jesus was boring for 30 years? Or the he worked at being a carpenter?
    My point is this–that creating details like this article’s writer has done is no more valid than the new-agey types who claim that Jesus took trips to India and Tibet.
    The Bible records very little about Jesus’ life before His ministry began. Trying to “fill in the blanks” usually reveals more about the person doing the filling than about Jesus, and I think that’s what’s happening here. I God had wanted us to know more about Jesus’ early years, He would have recorded more of in the Bible. But the fact that He didn’t doesn’t mean we can make up details for Him.

    • Blake

      But that’s not the point he’s making. Sure, the author is assuming but we can give some decent assumptions given He was a Jew and would have followed Jewish traditions. We can assume based on where He came from and the profession He had the sort of life He would have lived. None of this is worth fussiBng about and by doing we completely miss the point the author is making here.

  • Bart

    John 21:25 gives me the impression that Jesus first 30 years of life was far from boring!


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