Ever wonder why Jesus waited until he was thirty years old to start his ministry and then took three years to complete his mission?
I think part of the reason may be that his brain and character needed the time and life experiences to be ready for Jerusalem. According to Dr. Matheson, it takes about 25 years for the male brain to complete its physical development with the prefrontal cortex being the last part to develop.
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for integrating information from the rest of the brain for analysis and decision-making. It regulates emotions and is the primary location for planning, judgement and values-based decision making. It’s where our character is localized.
Through the experiences and choices made over thirty-three years of life and ministry, Jesus developed the strength of character he would need to endure the physical, emotional and spiritual onslaught of his final visit to Jerusalem.
In Living into the Life of Jesus, The Formation of Christian Character, author Klaus Issler comments on the role of suffering in the perfecting of human character.
Apparently human nature is so constituted that suffering can be an aid in maximizing deep character formation as we bear more of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus’ own (character) formation included suffering: “Although he was a son, [Jesus] learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Hebrews 5:8-9 NIV)
May we be willing to endure and even embrace suffering as a necessary part of the process of developing and perfecting our character.
Compare your character strengths to the character strengths of Jesus by completing the Character Strengths Survey. It generally takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Its free.