Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man Luke 2:39-25

Jesus was only 12 years old when he went missing. You can imagine how worried Mary and Joseph were when they couldn’t find him anywhere.
46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Even by the age of 12 Jesus had come to realize that he had a unique relationship with God. To Jesus the wondrous Temple in Jerusalem was simply “My Father’s House”. But we shouldn’t imagine that Jesus as a baby was necessarily aware of who he really was. Something I said in a Christmas service a few years ago struck a chord with many of you when I pointed out the obvious truth that Jesus was once a child. The baby-hood of Jesus. There was a time when Jesus was a baby. A time when he was a toddler. A time when Jesus was a teenager. For any age up to 33 years old there was a time when Jesus was that age. He was a baby and then he had to grow up – just as we all do!
“Lo, within an manger lies He who built the starry skies
He who throned in height sublime Sits amid the cherubim”
There are 100 billion stars in the average galaxy and 100 billion galaxies. God knows every star by name. Jesus was the Son of God yet at the same time Jesus was also a human being. So I don’t think it was the case that the baby Jesus in the manger in the stable in Bethlehem knew the name of every star yet. Over the years, Jesus needed to grow as a human being.
51 Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.
I believe that Jesus needed to grow up to realize his eternal and divine nature. Let’s think for a few minutes this morning about what it meant for Jesus to grow up as the Son of God.
As He grew up Jesus came to realize he had a unique relationship with God the heavenly Father which no other human being has.

For Jesus, being the Son of God meant discovering a unique knowledge of God.
John 6: 44 “No-one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 … Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 No-one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
John 8:54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him.
Jesus had a unique relationship with God the Father. And Jesus realized that His ministry was to reveal the Father to human beings – to share His unique experience of God with us:
John 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
9 … Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. … 10 … I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
In the prologue to his Gospel, John puts it this way.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.
Jesus the Son of God had a unique relationship with God the Father. He came to reveal God the Father to lost human beings. He did this in different ways.
SPEAKING the Father’s WORDS and deliver God’s messages
John 12: 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
DOING the Father’s WORKS
Jesus did not do all his wonderful works of salvation in his own strength or according to his own plans. As a faithful and obedient Son, He simply did what His Father commanded.
John 14: 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.
As Jesus was talking to the woman at the well the disciples brought him some food. When they came back and offered the food to Jesus he said to them,
John 4:32…. “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
Doing God’s will is food and drink to me – it sustains me, it’s my bread and butter, it keeps me going
John 5:16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17 Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus did not do his miracles in his own strength but in the power of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit. He told a little parable to explain his relationship with God.
John 5 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.
Here is the parable of the Son, the apprentice. The Son was the Father’s apprentice. Jesus had learned from Joseph how to be the carpenter in Nazareth. So also Jesus the Son of God learned from His heavenly Father how to do the works of the Godhead.
These works of the Father which Jesus performed included GIVING LIFE
John 5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
The works of the Father also included BRINGING JUDGMENT
John 5 22 Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent him.
As he grew up, Jesus had been learning about his destiny to give life and to bring judgment.
John 5 25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
Giving life and bringing judgment – this was the mission Jesus would accomplish. But I don’t think that, as a baby in the manger, Jesus necessarily understood all this. He grew up through the years.
Luke 2:52 Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.
As the baby in the manger, Jesus did not necessarily knew who he really was. But as time went on, Jesus grew up into an increasing awareness that He was no less than the Son of God, Immanuel, God with us. So in the end Jesus was able to say,
John 10: 30 I and the Father are one.”
Just before he was crucified Jesus the Son of God could look back on the life he had experienced in glory before he had become a human being.
John16:28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
In his High Priestly Prayer in John 17
John 17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked towards heaven and prayed:
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
I don’t believe that as a baby laid in a manger Jesus was necessarily aware of his eternal nature. It is impossible to imagine how any human being could be truly human with that kind of knowledge. But as the years went by Jesus certainly came to realise who he truly was and that he had existed forever.
We can see from these events and sayings at different points in the life of Jesus that he grew in his understanding of what it meant for Him to be the Son of God. But what does this mean for us?
John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
So we have a relationship with God as God’s children
As Jesus said to Mary in the Garden after the resurrection
John 20:17 “‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ”
Jesus’s relationship with God as His Father is the pattern for our relationship with God as our Father – knowing the Father, speaking God’s words and doing God’s works.
We need to God to reveal Himself to us so that we can know him better. We need God to reveal to us what it means for us to be His Children!
Ephesians 1 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
We all need to grow in our relationship with God, to know him better.

Boldly delivering the Good News about Jesus to a world which is lost without Him.

DOING the Father’s WORKS
The 7th Beatitude says, Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Matthew 5 44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
Doing God’s works will even include bringing miracles of healing and deliverance as Jesus did.
John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
As Jesus grew up he learned more of what God His Father was like. And Jesus God’s apprentice learned how to serve God better and to speak the words and to do the works of his heavenly Father better.
52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.
Just as Jesus grew, each one of us also needs to grow in our faith. To know God as our Father better – to deepen our personal relationship with God. To speak his words and to do his works in the church and in the world. He is our childhood pattern. Day by day like us he grew.

You may also like...

Comments are closed.