The Growing Years

Bible Reading: Luke 2:51-52

What must it have been like for Mary and Joseph to have Jesus, the sinless Son of God, growing up in their home? Was He ever naughty? Was He fun to be around? Was He a very seriously minded child?

There is so little written about Jesus from the story of His birth to the time of His baptism at the age of thirty. Did He work as a carpenter in Nazareth? We cannot be sure, although it was asked, “Is not this the carpenter’s son?” It is almost as though the growing up years were deliberately hidden from us, except for the two verses of our reading. He was submissive to His parents and He grew, both physically in stature and in wisdom. He also grew in favour with men and God. The word “favour” here is the word that is often translated as “grace.”

If Jesus had to grow in wisdom how much more do we, His children, need to grow also. In fact this word grow crops up thirty-one times in the New Testament.

In his second letter Peter speaks about growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ [2 Peter 3:18]. At the beginning of the same letter Peter makes it clear that God will give us more and more grace and peace as we grow in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord [1:2]. We are to get to know God better!

Paul exhorts us to grow our roots deep into Christ and as we do so, we will also grow in faith [Colossians 2:17]. He tells us that we are to grow more and more like Christ [Ephesians 4:16]. Paul uses the words ‘to grow’ in the sense of becoming mature [2 Corinthians 13:11]. The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to move on from “baby” milk to the strong meat of God’s Word [Hebrews 5:12-14]. We are to grow up spiritually in Christ.

Billy Graham once said that during his growing years his mother would read a chapter from Proverbs each day. He attributed his spiritual growth and foundation to that daily reading from Proverbs. In the next thirty-one days we will consider a truth from each of the thirty-one chapters of Proverbs.

Like Jesus may we grow in wisdom and in favour with God and men.

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