Jesus Our Example
Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man– Luke 2:52
This statement is a summary of eighteen years in Jesus’ life, from the time he was twelve years old until the narrative picks back up at age thirty.
This was a time of relative obscurity, but it was the majority of our Savior’s stay on earth. What a marvelous description is given of how he spent those days!
First, notice the fact that he increased — he was continually growing. Too often we tend to plateau in our walk with God. We reach a certain point in our faith and we stop growing, stop studying, stop seeking a deeper relationship with God. Many of us allow whole years to go by in which we stagnate spiritually, but the course of our Savior’s life for these eighteen years was one of continual growth.
As a truly human child, his mental and emotional faculties were limited. But as his body and mind matured, so did his capacity for knowledge and emotion and fellowship. And each step of physical maturity brought with it increased spiritual maturity. As his capacity grew, so did his relationship with God.
It is almost always the opposite with us. Children are usually rather innocent and trusting and affectionate. But as they grow up, each additional experience and phase of physical growth leads to less innocence, less purity, less trust.
As a human, Jesus’ mental and emotional and physical capacity was always filled to the brim with love for God, purity of heart, and a desire to please his Father in heaven. Our goal should be the same.
May we never stop increasing in the love we have for God and the pleasure we bring to God.