It is always fun to watch kids grow from babies to full-grown adults. Each stage is a special milestone. The Bible tells us that Jesus grew. Luke 2:40 says, “And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.” (ESV) Sometimes, I think, we forget that Jesus was fully human as well as fully God, and yet the Bible reminds us that He was born fully human and had to grow up just as we must. He went through all the stages of life we go through, and as the book of Hebrews tells us, He did this so that He could identify with our struggles. “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews 2:17 NASB)
Our verse in Luke also tells us that He grew in wisdom and God’s favor was upon Him. Not only did Jesus grow physically, but He grew spiritually. When we become Christians, we start just like we do physically, like babies. All we can absorb is the milk of God’s Word. We act out according to what we understand. Just as babies can’t eat steak when they are first born because their systems can’t process it, as new Christians, we can’t process the harder things of Scripture or the meat of the Word. As we learn, we grow in faith, we grow in our actions, we grow in every way spiritually, and can understand the more difficult parts of God’s Word so that we can mature.
The first thing that popped out at me from our verse today was that Jesus was filled with wisdom. This Scripture is from the section where Jesus was taken to the temple after He was born and presented to the priest. Not much is known about His growing up years, but we are told that He grew physically and spiritually. He gained wisdom at such a young age that when He was 12, He is seen in the temple teaching the teachers! They marveled at His knowledge of the Scriptures and His wisdom. Even His parents were amazed, as He tells them how He must fulfill His purpose and do the work His Heavenly Father called Him to. (Luke 2:42-50)
There are things about each of us that we want to see changed. Is there a character flaw that needs to be addressed? Is there a circumstance we want to see changed in our lives? Do we want to go in a different direction? Do we feel God calling us into an area we are unfamiliar with? These all help us grow and mature in our faith and our Christian life.
We are to grow like Jesus. So, how do we accomplish that? By getting into His Word, applying it to our lives, living out what we learn, and letting it change us to be like Him. On my computer desk, I have a note to myself that says, “The goal to daily Bible Study is applying what we’ve learned and studied. Ask God what He wants me to take away from it.” It’s a reminder not to just read my Bible and check that off my “to do” list but to thoroughly get into the Word and study it and take from it things that will help me to grow and become more like Jesus.
Sometimes, it is good to look back and see how we have changed. What is different now from before? How have we grown and become more like Jesus? When we do a self-examination, we can see the progress we have made. We can see the areas in which we have grown and become more mature Believers. The more we grow, the more we become like Jesus. That is the goal of our Christian lives … to be more like Him. We are to be a reflection of Him. When people look at us, they should see how He would act, speak, and think. They should be able to see growth in us as well. We should be like Him and grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the Word.