“Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people.” – Luke 2:52
Luke 2:52 tells us that Jesus grew in favor with God. That is not an outrageous statement given, theologically, that Christ is Lord and has been with God from the beginning. It is difficult to wrap your head around the idea that even Jesus grew. You can read commentaries, listen to sermons, and spend hours pondering the subject, but it is one of those things we will never fully grasp this side of Heaven.
This entire passage of Scripture (Luke 2:40-52) is a picture of Jesus’ growth. We have lots of details about Jesus’ birth, and we have great detail about His ministry, death, and resurrection. But the 30 years between His birth and His public ministry are almost silent. All we know about those years is what we read in Luke 2. At the core of Jesus’s growth was an understanding of His purpose in life. Jesus knew that His growth was ultimately preparation for the fulfillment of His mission. He knew the importance to become close to God through the discipline of prayer, scripture study, fasting, etc.
Many people in the Bible grew in favor. Joseph experienced favor because the Lord was with Him. (Genesis 39:3-4) Moses found favor in the sight of God. (Exodus 33:17) Samuel found favor with the Lord and with people. (1 Samuel 2:26) Mary, the mother of Jesus, found favor with the Lord. (Luke 1:30) David found favor with the Lord. (Acts 7:46) We can find favor with God as well.
We will find favor with God when we commit ourselves to obey Him. Jesus shows us that some spiritual disciplines can be done by yourself. For example, in Mark 1:35, we learn, “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.” Jesus prioritized spending time with God the Father alone.
How do we put these spiritual disciplines into practice? Try a few disciplines for a month or two. Instead of aiming for perfection and getting frustrated at any missteps, see the practice of spiritual disciplines as a journey of learning.
Finding God’s favor is a continual process. The Lord begins to cut things out of our life, and grant us a deeper understanding of Him and His nature. It is in seeking the Lord with all of our heart that He grants us the ability to find Him and to know Him in a powerful way. His favor grants us the power to carry His love, holiness, and His word in a real and tangible way. If we seek daily, to increase our spiritual knowledge, we will be blessed, guided, and prepared for our true potential.
- Take some time this week to reflect and pray. Ask God to guide you and speak to you about growing your relationship with Him.
- When and where do you feel closest to God? Pay attention to the experiences, practices, and relationships that draw you toward God.
- Choose a discipline and work on it this week.