Lk 2:52 ‘And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.’
A unique glimpse into the boyhood of Jesus. Shows us that his was a true humanity: he became like us, so that we might become like him. Here is a summary statement of his human development. Similar things are said about Samuel and John the Baptist.
1. He increased in wisdom – Intellectual development
Although he was the Son of God, the Bible does not teach that he was born with complete knowledge and wisdom. At the age of 5 he would have been sent to school – ‘the House of the Book’. There he would have been taught the OT Scriptures, memorising large portions of the first 5 books. He must have been quite a pupil, for his understanding caused a stir at the age of 12, and also later, Jn 7:15.
2. He increased in stature – Physical development
The considerable physical endurance he showed later was no doubt built on the foundation of an energetic childhood and youth. His voice must have been rich and clear, in order to reach the ears of the multitude that came to hear him teach. Although his physical appearance is never described, it would have been most attractive, if Ps 45:2 is to be our guide.
3. He increased in favour with God – Spiritual development
Even at the beginning of his public ministry, God could declare, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
4. He increased in favour with men – Social development.
This characteristic is left out of the description of John, Luk 1:80. Perhaps John was too stern and severe: people looked on him with respect, but not affection. But Jesus was friendly, sociable, joyful. Godliness is by no means inconsistent with courtesy and human warmth.
It was a fully human Saviour who went to the cross and died for our sins. I believe in the full divinity of Christ; but I also believe in his full humanity. It was as a human being that he suffered – that his body was broken and his blood shed. It was as a human being that he was able to represent us and our needs, bearing the punishment for our sins. It is as a human being that he is able to sympathise with our every need, being tested in every way just like us, yet without sin.