Monday, July 20, 2009

It's Not About How Old You Are....

Have you ever thought about how old the disciples were when they began to follow Jesus and, consequently, when they were commissioned to carry the message of Jesus to the rest of the world?

Ray Vanderlaan ( suggests that only one of the disciples (Peter) was over 20 years old. In Matthew 17.27, Jesus and his disciples go to the Temple and they are asked to pay the Temple Tax, which was assessed on men 20 years old and older. Jesus tells Peter to go catch a fish and get the money out of its mouth to pay for their (Peter and Jesus') Temple tax. Which means all the other disciples were under age twenty. hmmmm... Kinda scary that Jesus places the Gospel in the hands of teenagers. Isn't that incredible (and plausible). Now, all the pictures of bearded disciples seem ridiculous or even funny.

Two things:

1) Our teenagers need to be given more responsibility for preaching the Gospel...not just herd them into a room with a high energy, caffeine enhanced youth minister to be baby sat. Our youth need to be commissioned and relied upon to be fruitful Christians. They are good for it. If we have that expectation of them and hold them accountable, I think they would come through.

2) God wants every believer, regardless of age, to be fruitful. He wants passionate followers not passive believers. Each believer, not just ministers and pastors, has a responsibility to talk about Jesus. Each and every believer has a testimony of faith that God can use if we are willing and bold enough to speak it.

What do you think about this? Does the fact that the disciples were all "crackly voiced, acne pocked, impulsive" teenagers change your view of what they did?


  1. I agree with the argument that they were younger and in their teenage years. It makes the stories in the Gospels take on a new light. In many cases their reactions in the stories make more sense thinking they were teens.

  2. YEah they acted like teenagers much of the time.agruing over who was the Rabbi's favorite, talking tough but running from the garen like wild jackrabbits...

  3. The story of the disciples shooing the little children away from Jesus makes so much more sense when you know the disciples were not much older than them. Older kids tend to shoo little ones out of the way. I agree with Ben. The gospels make so much more sense when you realize the disciples were probably teenagers who had not been chosen for rabbi school thus being forced into professions such as fisherman yet were chose by the Rabbi for ministry.

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  5. Children are a pain in the neck for teenagers...children remind them of their powerlessness and vulnerability....teens want to appear invincible and tough...but inside they are so similar.

    Teens, on the other hand, want to appear independent, and self suffiecent, the opposite of what God wants from us.

    Lord, help us to be less like teenagers and more like children.