BEING OF AGE
As has been said, being of age is important in regard to a person's readiness to partake in the Lord's Supper (and Immersion in Water).
However, both of these call for understanding, and being able to do, what it is the word of Christ is saying. Paul talks about a time "When I became a man ..," 1 Corinthians 13'11.
Most adults in western societies have heard the phrase coming "of age".
It is supposed to describe the time when children can be held accountable to society for their own words and actions (instead of their parents being held responsible).
In the various "Christianities" it's usually called "the age of accountability". This is celebrated in a ceremony when a child reaches a certain age having learned basic denominational doctrines.
But, from the believing Parents' point of view, there is a factor that must be acknowledged in this.
Due to the godly family environment and encountering God's word among Believers plus the working of the Holy Spirit, faith may be present in a child. And that's a marvellous thing.
However, the Bible refers to being "of age"; having the ability to heed God's word and to do His will. Willing to act, take responsibility and speak for themselves.
The Lord has provided some "of age" examples:
Mary, Jesus' mother, has to be the first. Her faith, worship and understanding was acknowledged by the angel's greeting: "Rejoice, highly favoured one, the Lord is with you," Luke 1'28.
He added: "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God," Luke 1'30.
How did she find favour? Like her famous forebear, Abraham, she believed what God said. And it was accounted to her for righteousness, as it was him!
She was at the stage, personally and spiritually, to accept this commission and face the challenges of her immediate future, Luke 1'26-39.
Showing her trust in God she responded to the angel's statement:
"Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word".
Mary was "of age" indeed!
A Jewish couple made it very clear that their son was of age! Almost all of John chapter nine is taken up with the incident that caused them to speak out.
They were being called on by Pharisees to take parental responsibility for what he said and did after Jesus had healed him of blindness. But they refused.
They were not willing to take the consequences for the strong way their son was rebutting the Pharisees' threatening questions.
They said: "He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself"! Their son spoke for himself confidently and clearly, refusing to back down. His conduct revealed that he was of age!
Timothy is another example. Paul describes him as "a certain disciple" and the son of a believing Jewish woman and unbelieving Greek father and was well spoken of.
At one stage Paul called on him to be circumcised because of the Jews in that region who knew that his father was Greek (Acts 16'-1). Timothy understood Paul's concern and was willing and yielded himself to it.
He had known the Scriptures from childhood which, Paul said, "... are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus," 2 Timothy 3'15.
Later, as a believing young man, he was called to be an example to all:
"Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity," 1 Timothy 4'12.
The Lord's Disciples also were of age. They left their families' authority when they answered Christ's call to serve Him.
"By faith Moses, when he became of age
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God
than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt;
for he looked to the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king;
for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible," Hebrews 11'24-27.
Although Moses may have been somewhat older than Mary or the healed man or Timothy when he became "of age" the basics are the same.