Question:

Do you happen to know if there is any signifigance to the age of 40 in New Testament times? We noticed on at least two separate occasions that the remark "he is over 40" is used. Once when Jesus healed the blind man and when the lame man was healed in Acts. We (the other ladies and I ) thought that maybe when a man was over 40 he was considered ... hmmmm ... more of an adult and not under his parent's authority? We realize that the Jews considered the young men to be a man at age 12. The wording in both of these instances made us wonder if it was significant.

Answer:

In the healing of the lame man, Luke states, "For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed" (Acts 4:22). But in the healing of the blind man his parents only say he is an adult, "We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself" (John 9:20-21). It doesn't appear that the mention of 40 was anything more than documentation on how long the man had suffered before being healed.

According to the commentator Adam Clarke, the Jews considered a man to be fully mature at the age of 30. This was the age priests could enter the service to God. Jews considers a boy of 12 to be old enough to be accountable to the law.