In our average, mundane, normal, every day life we can often think, “I am not capable of God using me.” We have all felt it at times; we have all fallen prey to the thought. It is a thought the world, the flesh, and the devil so desperately want to deceive us with. If satan can direct our attention to our incapabilities it takes the focus and faith off of God’s capabilities. It is satan’s sure fire way to stump your growth in Christ and to stop your witness for God’s Kingdom.
One of the many problems, in our students lives today, stems from the idea that they are too insignificant to make a difference. They believe they are too young, too ugly, too unpopular, and too unimportant to matter. The truth is; our nation’s youth is in a major identity crisis. We have more and more students who accept the lies of the enemy due to a misunderstanding of their position in Christ. Let me try to encourage you with this bit of information today. (I am going somewhere with this so stay with me)
In the days of the law God gave Moses a command in Exodus 30:14, and it states; (summarized) “If a man is 20 years or older He owes a tax to the temple.” It was apart of God’s law for the children of Israel to begin paying taxes at the age of 20. Once a year they were to offer a tax as an offering to the temple to pay for expenses and a many number of items. This being said if ANY Jewish young man was at the age of 20 they were required to pay their taxes by law. Now get this:
Fast forwarding approximately 2,000 years down through history, at the time of Jesus, you will find a passage of scripture in the book of Matthew chapter 17, specifically starting in verse number 24. The Bible begins a narrative here between Jesus (the Christ) and the Apostle Peter. The events of the conversation consist of tax collectors approaching Peter and asking of him, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” Peter assured them that Jesus pays the tax required of the temple. Jesus later instructs Peter, after a conversation, to go to the sea and grab a fish and Jesus prophesies that Peter’s first fish he caught would have the sufficient funds needed for both Peter and Jesus to pay the tax.
You know the most interesting part of this whole story? The bible NEVER once mentions the other disciples names in this story. If Peter was concerned about only him and Jesus paying the tax what does that say about the other disciples? It tells us one indisputable truth. All of the other disciples were under the age of 20 years old. What a revelation, right!? I am astonished by this. We assume in our modern Western-World that the disciples must have been 40 years and 50 years old, but that is furthest from the truth. They were all young men. Some perhaps even teenagers.
Digging deeper in this concept, we also know that John the beloved wrote Revelations some 70 years after the crucifixion while the normal life expectancy of man was a mere 45-50; John could have been as young as 15 years old! Even in Jewish tradition it was customary that the 12 year old Jewish boy would begin his discipleship following the Rabbi.
What a great revelation? That the men who literally flipped the world upside down, and changed it forever were all under the age of 20. That tells me this; you are not too young. You are the perfect age for God to use you to change the world forever.
Many blessings and love from me to you,
Pastor Colton Pemberton