Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jesus Grew in Wisdom and Stature and Favor

Luke 2:39-52 NLT 
    39  ¶When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him. 
   41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Passover festival. 42 When Jesus was twelve years old, they attended the festival as usual. 43 After the celebration was over, they started home to Nazareth, but Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents didn’t miss him at first, 44 because they assumed he was among the other travelers. But when he didn’t show up that evening, they started looking for him among their relatives and friends. 
   45 When they couldn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem to search for him there. 46 Three days later they finally discovered him in the Temple, sitting among the religious teachers, listening to them and asking questions. 47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 
   48 His parents didn’t know what to think. “Son,” his mother said to him, “why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been frantic, searching for you everywhere.” 
   49 “But why did you need to search?” he asked. “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they didn’t understand what he meant. 
   51 Then he returned to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. And his mother stored all these things in her heart. 
   52 Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.

What must it have been like to raise the only begotten Son of God, as an infant, a toddler, a young boy, a teenager?  Scripture tells us that the Messiah was tempted in all ways as we are so that he can be our example. Thus all of life's experiences that other humans know, he too would come to know them-- except that he would always choose NOT to sin.  His little heart listened to God. As he grew up his young heart listened to God and He obeyed. Children sin, teens sin, young adults sin. All sin. We do so because we wrestle with our self and self preferences. Christ had those and the had to wrestle with them as well. But He managed to obey God and say no to self.

Notice that the pre-teen boy was teaching scholars about the Word of God. This suggests that he had studied God's word and had hidden it within his mind and heart. Notice his innocent response to Mary and Joseph's panic statement "why have you done this to us. . ." What had he done to them? He was obeying His father by teaching truth to people who were lost in darkness. It was in complete innocence that he said "didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"  Jesus knew then he was the Son of God. If that then he also knew what future lay ahead of him in another 21 years and yet he pursued obedience along his path. As a child then he was obedient to his parents, just as he was to his Heavenly Father.

Mary recorded these images and experiences to be played back years later when she would make sense of the terror of the crucifixion, and when she would also help the other first believers make sense of it too. God will help us to always do His will when we make the commitment to do so and trust Him for the resources and strength. Jesus promised that whatever miracles he did we would be able to do also, so living outside of sin is possible for us who live in Christ. How about making this day one of those days in your life?
Your servant in Christ's love

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