Thursday, May 17, 2012

What can we learn from Jesus about growth?

Luke 2:52 -- "An Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favour with God and man"

This verse shows us that growth is not just about physical growth (which is natural) but also mental and social growth.

In Luke 2:41, we are introduced to Jesus as a twelve year old and His 'parents' are anxiously searching for Him, only to find Jesus in the temple where He was teaching. This is a beautiful picture drawn by the scripture - Jesus is twelve years old and where is He found? At the temple, the house of the Lord, where He is teaching and meditating upon the word of God. When you were twelve years old, where would people find you when they looked for you? Even now, where do people go in order to find you? Your true identity is only found in God; when people seek to know you, the only place they can go is to the Father.

Because Jesus spent much of His time reminiscing about God's word, He grew in (1) wisdom. This is a very important lesson, wisdom is not a natural phase you go through, it is intentional. That's why we still get immature grown-ups, but also mature youth. A analogy of "You reap what you sow" is very true in this regard - if you sow God's word, you will reap wisdom.

On another level, Jesus grew in (2) stature - now, stature, is physical growth. Jesus grew older, grew in height, etc. Now this is a natural phase of life, there is nothing much you can do to control it. However, a consistent lie we continue to tell ourselves is that wisdom comes with age, but in Jesus we can see that wisdom is intentional. Age is the mother of experience, not wisdom; wisdom is found in God and God alone.

Lastly, through Jesus we learn another element of growth, which is favour (which also means, good social standing). Jesus grew in favour with God, meaning that God was increasingly pleased by Jesus' wisdom, growth and way of life. Jesus also grew in favour with man, which shows that Jesus had a good influence on people; people wanted to be around Him because of His teachings and wisdom.

Scripture teaches us a lot of things about life, we just do not take the time to fully study the word. Apply what we have learned about growth, that we may be complete in mind (wisdom), body (stature) and favour.
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