He had a custom or regular habit and it centred around the Word of God. Each Sabbath he was found in the synagogue and there he regularly contributed to the public reading of the Scriptures. It is likely that he excelled at this because he could read with authority and understanding. He would have been able to articulate the sense and meaning simply through the tone and inflexion in his voice. He was the Word made flesh and would have been able to recite passages off by heart, but he deliberately read from the public scrolls to demonstrate the important place these Scriptures should hold in the life of those in his town. In those pre-ministry days, the focus was to be on the Word of God, not on himself.

So, to him, attending the synagogue and reading the Word of life were lifetime habits which were consciously practised by him. He would have heard many imperfect discourses from the rabbis who led the synagogue service but he still attended. He would have joined in conversation with those who were drawn to the Scriptures and he would have doubtless discussed some of the issues that stemmed from those dissertations. Imagine the strength of will required to conceal his destiny as the Son of God to those whom he spoke to.

The second indication of a regular habit can be found in Mark 10:1 where we read: “And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again”.

And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias (Luke 4:17)

The Greek word for the phrase ‘as he was wont’ is the same as that found in Luke 4:16: ‘as his manner was.’ This was another one of his personal traits. He had a great desire to teach. It was his customary routine to unfold the significance of the Word and educate people who wanted to listen.

This tells us a great deal about what was important to our Lord in his early life. He developed two distinct customs that were part of his regular routine. One was attending the place of meeting and then reading from the Word of God and the other was teaching that Word at every available opportunity.

Not all of us can publicly read or teach, but we can attend the meetings. If it was the Lord’s practice to do so, shouldn’t it be ours?

Daily Habits

The Lord had regular habits and we should too. Here are some examples of good daily habits to consider:

  • Prov 8:34 – Blessed is the man that heareth me (wisdom), watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
  • Heb 3:13 – But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Acts 17:11 – These were more noble than those in essalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
  • Luke 9:23 – And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
  • Psalm 61:8 – So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.
  • 2 Cor 4:16 – For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

This takes some determination to put into practice, but the counsel to do so comes from the Word itself. Developing daily practices like attending to the Word and undertaking personal sacrifices in the service of our Master will allow us to be renewed day by day. Without a conscious will to put this into practice we stand in jeopardy of being hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Teaching by Example

The Lord excelled as a public teacher, as was his custom, but many of us don’t have the opportunity or ability to do as he did. Nevertheless, we can educate and instruct others by our example. Our conversation, or way of life, has the capacity to encourage and influence others for good. We should never underestimate the power of that influence. it is why the Lord exhorts us: “learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matt 11:29). The instruction he offers comes from his own personal godliness.

Similarly, in John 13:14-15, he instructed his disciples: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”

Doing as he did ought to be the adage of our lives (1 Peter 2:21). Imagine how powerful our example would be if every one of us humbled ourselves in service one for each other like this!

Here is another example of how our conversation, or way of life, can educate and win others to the Truth. It can be found in the everyday routine of domestic activities: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without [a] word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2). Our demeanour and speech and consideration towards our spouse can be a compelling force for good if we consciously make it so.

Our young people can also encourage others by their steadfastness and earnestness in the things of God: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12). This is quite a list to live up to, but the standard for young brethren is particularly important: “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned” (Titus 2:6-8).

Being an example, showing a pattern, illustrating godliness for others to follow; these are all traits of those who are conscious that they can influence and teach by their very way of life. They are able to show out of a good conversation their works with meekness of wisdom (Jas 3:13).

The Lord’s routine and manner of life revolved around the Word of God. May it become our priority as well.