Monday, December 8, 2014

December 9, 2014

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52

Nowadays we have complete and voluminous pictorial records of our children at every age and stage of development. That is a good thing, but it is also a fairly recent phenomenon due to the rise of technology.

We get just a few glimpses of Jesus as a child and then this summary statement of Him from age twelve until age 30. I certainly would have been glad to know more about Him as a child and then as a teen and later as a 20-something. But instead, I get an 18-year leap and to the time when He launched His earthly ministry at 30 with a brief statement - "And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man."

Another way to state this verse is, "As Jesus grew older He continued to get better!" His personal popularity increased as His spiritual purity became apparent. He was better at 15 than He was at 12 and better at 18 that at 15, and so on.

I think it is safe to say that Jesus, thanks to His Heavenly Father and His earthly parents was very well-grounded in His knowledge and understanding of the Jewish law and customs. He was well educated!

It's also true that Jesus, again thanks to Mary and Joseph, was well-rounded. He was well mannered and had good social graces. He was thoughtful and helpful. Joseph taught Him a trade and made Him a partner in his carpenter's business. According to some secular historians, Jesus was known for His competence as a tradesman. We do know He was able to support Himself and His mother, Mary, after the death of Joseph.

Let me also suggest that Jesus was unbounded. Because of His relationship with His Heavenly Father He had a different perspective and worldview than others. There were times even Mary didn't understand Him and "pondered" in her heart what she saw and heard from Him. Jesus didn't allow Himself to be defined by His parents, by His hometown, by His trade, by His humble surroundings, or by His Hebrew identity. Jesus lived a life bounded only by the will of His Father.

Jesus, God in the flesh, was well-grounded, well-rounded and unbounded. No wonder God could use Him to change the world!

At FredWes, where we have a vision to raise up our next generation to be more passionate about God than we are, this sounds like a good pattern for us to follow. Let's raise kids that are well-grounded, well-rounded and unbounded!