Consider this: Christ started His public ministry at the age of 30. Why did He have to wait until then? On top of that, why was there another three-and-a-half years before the cross? Couldn’t He have started His ministry when He was 18?
When I was a boy, my mother took me to kindergarten. There were about 30 lads like me who sat in a circle with our guru (teacher), who taught the alphabet to us in our native language. Each year I passed on to the next grade and eventually on to high school and college.
A primary-school student learns subtraction and multiplication, but the college student deals with calculus. In the lower grades, a child draws pictures or writes papers on simple subjects. But at a university, the scholar reads a 2,000-page book and writes a 10-page paper. It’s a whole different world.
So why did Christ have to wait 33 years before He went to the cross? For Christ the man to choose absolute surrender to the point of death on the cross, He needed time to grow in obedience. The Bible actually says that Jesus learned obedience (see Hebrews 5:8).
When His parents made mistakes and Jesus suffered, instead of sinning against them, He grew in obedience. Like this, He learned obedience through the years until He came to the place at which He was ready to lay down His life.
So it is in our own lives. God does not start us out with calculus and a 10-page paper. We can trust that the opportunities He gives to us to learn obedience—whether to Him directly or to a delegated authority—are at our current level of growth.
As we submit in our hearts, step by step the Lord will bring us to a place where we hold nothing back from Him.