Jan 20

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“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). This was spoken of Him when He was 12, but Jesus kept advancing in those four realms of life, even until we next read of Him at the age of 30. Since Jesus is our perfect example (1 Pet. 2:21), then we need to examine how He increased so that we may grow to the full potential that God would have us to achieve.
Jesus increased in WISDOM. “Wisdom” is putting to use what you know. A person can learn about all the material for building a house (concrete, lumber, etc.), but if he does not know how to use those things then his knowledge does not do him much good. Likewise, a person can know a great deal of what the Bible teaches, but if he does not know how to apply it to everyday situations of life, it is not going to be of much benefit. But Jesus knew the Scriptures and He knew how to apply it to life. Such is exhibited in His duel with Satan (Mat. 4), the woman caught in adultery (John 8), the confrontations with the Sadducees and Pharisees (Mat. 22), and in many other occasions You have learned Bible stories and lessons for years. Now you must be wise in using what you have learned!
Jesus also increased in STATURE. Such implies that He ate and took care of His health. We too need to increase in stature We need to take care of our bodies by eating good nutritional food (Dan. 1:8-16). We are not to harm our bodies (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We need to seek medical help when we become ill (Mat. 9:12). We also ought to do some exercising (1 Tim. 4:8). However, do not over emphasize this! Do not make “being healthy” your major quest in life. Rather, serving both God and man is the purpose of life (Mat. 22:36-40).
Jesus increased in FAVOR WITH GOD. At His baptism (Mat.3) He said He was to be baptized “to fulfill all righteousness” (i.e., God’s Will), and Jesus was so pure, John said, “I need to be baptized of you.” The Father then said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” The point is, Jesus grew in favor with the Father because He followed and obeyed the Father’s will. You, likewise, grow in favor with God by following and obeying Him. Colossians 1:10 states “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Thus, you are pleasing to God by knowing what He says and then doing it.
Jesus kept advancing in FAVOR WITH MEN. To gain favor of men means to gain approval as a good fellow human being. How is this to be accomplished? It is done in the same way you gain favor with God–you live the godly life as is taught in the Bible. This is precisely what is seen in Acts 2:47. On the other hand, the evildoers loose favor with man (Prov. 21:10). Yes, you gain favor with men by living the godly, Christian life.
Jesus is the great example for us. He kept advancing in wisdom, stature, favor with God and with men – – and so can you, if you follow in His footsteps.

Gary Henson

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