LUKE 2:49-52: “Why were you looking for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he meant by that. Then he went back to Nazareth with them, and he obeyed them. But his mother kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. Jesus became wiser and stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to God and to people.” (NirV)
OBSERVATION: “Well, I’m not Jesus!” Have you ever said that, or thought that? In a moment of discouragement, when our faith is weak, or when we have just failed, we all might be tempted to throw our hands up and say – “Well, I’m not Jesus!”
When we think about Jesus we usually think about Jesus as God in human flesh, but not as a human who also had to learn and grow. Granted, we are not like Jesus in the sense that He was born without sin, and was the “Son of God”. However, we are like Jesus in that He was also born the “son of man”. Jesus was not born with all the wisdom, understanding, and ability that He manifested during His earthly ministry. Jesus had to grow and develop like any young child. He did this through obedience, through suffering, and through the grace of God!
- “Jesus was God’s Son. But by suffering he learned what it means to obey.” Hebrews 5:8 NIRV
Why is this so important? It helps us understand that – HE UNDERSTANDS! So many times we make unrealistic assumptions about what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. We hold up standards for ourselves, and for others, that are simply setting us up for a fall. We forget that our spiritual growth and maturity is not something that we receive – it is something that we learn and grow into. And learning takes time. It is not instantaneous. The only thing that is instantaneous is our right standing with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Everything else is a process, and Jesus understands the process – because He too experienced it!
- “So he had to be made like his brothers in every way. Then he could serve God as a kind and faithful high priest. And then he could pay for the sins of the people by dying for them. He himself suffered when he was tempted. Now he is able to help others who are being tempted.” Hebrews 2:17-18 NIRV
The enemy wants to convince us that God is always dissatisfied with our growth. Jesus is not our judge – He is our faithful High Priest! He is ever making intercession for us, and He is ever present to cleanse us, forgive us, and help us grow in His grace. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is forgiveness, and the provision of the Holy Spirit to help us continually grow and learn of Him. Growth in our spiritual lives is a step by step walk of obedience and repentance. It is quickly turning from our missteps, drawing upon God’s grace for forgiveness and strength, and walking after the Holy Spirit in ever increasing wisdom and understanding.
Jesus was not born into this world completely wise and strong – “He became wiser and stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to God and to people.” Jesus grew. His growth took time. Will ours be any different?
Lord, thank you for fully understanding that I have not yet arrived! As the Apostle Paul proclaimed in the book of Philippians, help me to forget the things that lie behind, and press on to the things that are ahead. Help me to, step by step, day by day, and moment by moment – grow into the fullness and stature of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
In Jesus Name!