I sometimes wonder what Jesus was like during the 30 years He lived on the earth, before He started His ministry. Since Jesus never preached anything He didn’t practice (Acts 1:1 – DO and TEACH), I believe we can look at the Sermon on the Mount and rightfully say ‘This is what Jesus was like for those 30 years.’ Everything that Jesus preached is what He had practiced diligently and perfectly lived out for those 30 years before He preached it.
Jesus was gentle, even when people were harsh with Him. (Matt 5:3-5)
He hungered for righteousness (Matt 5:6). He must have read verses like Proverbs 3:32 ‘God is intimate with the upright’ and been driven by it, because He wanted intimacy with the Father more than anything and desperately didn’t want any break of fellowship.
He was merciful toward people (Matt 5:7). His family growing up wasn’t sinless like He was. But He had immense mercy toward them. He overlooked their sins toward Him, and not only that but appreciated the good that they tried to do even when it wasn’t perfect. He was full of mercy and patience toward people.
He had a pure heart (Matt 5:8), never with any ill motives, always seeking the eternal best for the other person.
He always sought for peace (Matt 5:9). There must have been fights among all of His brothers. He was one who preferred to be wronged for the sake of peace rather than to join in and fight and argue back when someone else was being unreasonable.
He rejoiced inwardly when people persecuted Him for doing God’s will (Matt 5:11). He didn’t laugh and smile over it, but it was an inward joy, where He praised God afterward for the honor of being able to be persecuted and suffer for the sake of His Father.
He always watched His mouth and didn’t insult people out of anger (Matt 5:22).
From a young age when sexual temptation started to tempt Him, He practiced controlling His eyes and starving them from indulging looking at pretty women (Matt 5:28). As the years went by He had such self-control that the temptation that plagues almost every young man didn’t have any pull on Him anymore.
He hated sin so much that He would’ve rather cut off a body part than sin with it (Matt 5:29).
He never sought revenge for Himself (Matt 5:38-39).
He was a generous man always going above and beyond for people with His time (Matt 5:40-41). He was a carpenter, maybe He had impatient or ungrateful customers. He went out of His way to do good for them, preferring rather to lose His own money and time for their sake, rather than have a very lucrative business.
There were people that hated Him for different reasons but He had a genuine concern for them anyways and prayed for them in secret (Matt 5:44), never telling anybody about His prayers.
He saw how much His Father loved the people of this world, and cherished that in His Father’s heart, and so this love filled His heart too (Matt 5:45-47).
He was concerned about making sure He was clean INWARDLY (which only God sees), not just OUTWARDLY where men see it (Matt 6:1).
He did His works in secret, He would give in the temple and help the poor when the opportunity came up, but He never made a big deal of it or talked about it afterward (Matt 6:3-4).
He prayed a lot inside of His room at home, where no one was there except for Him and God. He never bragged to His family or friends about how many hours He prayed. It was only between Him and His Father in Heaven (Matt 6:6).
He didn’t recite prayers from the Old Testament, but prayed with meaning whatever the burden of His heart was – which was mainly that God’s will would be done and that God would keep Him from sin (Matt 6:7-10).
He was a master at overlooking the faults of others and sins people committed against Him (Matt 6:14).
He fasted, but went out of His way to make sure people wouldn’t notice. When He fasted, He looked just the same as when He didn’t fast (Matt 6:16).
His desire was set on Heavenly things (treasures) that last forever. He didn’t think about or concern Himself with earthly gain which He saw as worthless since it’s temporary (Matt 6:19-20).
His attitude toward money was He didn’t worry about it (Matt 6:24-25). He knew His Father would just take care of Him (Matt 6:26), and didn’t have any desire to chase after it. Even when His carpentry business was slow, His joy and peace was exactly the same as when it was going well.
He judged Himself the hardest, and there may have been times when He felt had to rebuke someone. Maybe He had to deal with His brothers at home after His earthy Father Joseph died, since He was the oldest man of the house. He was careful to be merciful on them, but also He knew He had the right to do it since it was out of love and He had taken those sins seriously Himself first. He would never dare correct someone for a sin that He hadn’t taken seriously Himself first (Matt 7:1-2).
He sought God with all of His heart (Matt 7:7). You see this when He was 12 years old in the temple, but this was true for His whole life. Even when He was older the Bible says He often withdrew to the mountains to be alone with God. God was all that He loved and wanted and because of this, He loved everyone else perfectly as well.
His view of God wasn’t one of a hard, withdrawn Father, but a loving Father who was eager to give good things to His children, even more eager than the children were to receive them! (Mat 7:11)
He saw that primary of these good things that the Father gives is the Holy Spirit (Matt 7:11/Luke 11:13) – He knew that His Father was eager to pour out the Spirit on Him, and so He did... both to live a perfect life mastering every sin inward and outward, and then He prayed to be filled with the Spirit for ministry when it was time.
He spent so much of His life meditating on God’s word. He probably didn’t have scripture at home but He was at the temple learning all He could when He had a chance, and what He memorized and learned He meditated on and labored for and prayed so hard to make sure that He obeyed it perfectly, every word (Matt 7:24-26).
His whole life, He lived to do one thing – God’s will (Matt 7:24-26). He summed up His ambition near the end of His life when He said ‘My food is to do the will of the One who sent me’ (John 4:34). Jesus was the most single-minded man that ever lived.