The Secret of Preparation

The Secret of Preparation

And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
–Luke 2:51-52

Many bemoan the fact that, while the Gospels detail Jesus’ life from His earliest years, and certainly describe His activities as an adult, there’s little information about the time in between — His years of adolescence into His 20s.

What did He do during this time?

All we’re told is that Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”

One thing we know about Jesus is that, while fully divine, He emptied Himself of most of His divine privileges to live like you and me. He took no shortcuts in His pursuit of God to show us how we as humans could do the same.

So, we can assume that these unknown, secret years were a time of preparation for the revolutionary, impactful years of Jesus’ adult ministry.

Most of our preparation in living for God is the best-kept secret: prayer, fasting and giving. Jesus suggested these be done in secrecy (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18). The point isn’t that no act done for God should be known, but that secrecy imposes on us a discipline to devote our hearts to God alone, un-swayed by the opinions and glories of man.

Secrecy itself, it could be said, is the secret to preparation when it comes to living for God.


Dear Jesus, Nothing I do is kept secret from you. Please help me grow in wisdom and favor, both with You and with Your children. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.


How do I prepare my heart for devotion to God? How do I prepare myself for serving God and others? Is my impulse to do these things in secret or for the approval of others?