I ended yesterday’s devotional with a question: If the gospel compels us to “redeem our time” (see Ephesians 5:16), where can we look for practical wisdom as to how to manage our time well?
That question brings us to the fifth and final truth of this plan: By studying the life of Christ, we can know how God would manage his time.
I know, this is a wild idea, so give me a minute to unpack it.
John 1:14 tells us that God, the author of time, “became flesh” in the person of Jesus Christ. During his time on earth, Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, meaning that he experienced the same day-to-day challenges as other mortals. He had a business to run, a mother and father to care for, hunger to manage, and the need for sleep. Oh yeah, and he faced the same twenty-four-hour time constraint as every other human being.
OK, Jesus had a finite amount of time on earth. But surely the demands on his time can’t compare to what we experience today, can they? Absolutely they can! Pastor Kevin DeYoung says that “If Jesus were alive today, he’d get more e-mails than any of us. He’d have people calling his cell all the time….Jesus did not float above the fray, untouched by the pressures of normal human existence.”
DeYoung’s words bring to mind Hebrews 4:15 which says that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.” In the person of Jesus, the Word became flesh, ensuring he could empathize with all of our weaknesses, including our efforts to steward 24 hours each day.
OK, but do the gospels really have anything to say about how Jesus spent his time on earth? Now we’re getting somewhere! Yes, they do—quite a bit in fact. But in order to see it, we must adjust the lens through which we read the gospels.
Pastor John Mark Comer has written extensively about how modern Christians read the gospels almost exclusively for their theology and ethics. “We read [the gospels] as cute sermon illustrations or allegorical pick-me-ups or theological gold mines,” Comer says. “…not bad, but we often miss the proverbial forest for the trees. [The gospels] are biographies.”
And what do biographies show us? The lifestyle and habits of their subjects. The gospel biographies are our opportunity to see not just what Jesus said or what he did but how he walked, so that we can walk through life and manage our time the way he did.