22180.012 Wisdom and Favor

12 Days of Christmas: Day 12

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.
(Luke 2:52)

Oh, the great economy of words in Scripture! Wouldn’t you like to know more about the childhood of Jesus than simply what this one verse tells us? Why on earth did God not tell us more? Unless, of course, this was sufficient? Scripture tells us that we are to walk as Jesus did:

The one who says he resides in God ought himself to walk just as Jesus walked.
(1 John 2:6)

Since God does everything perfectly, maybe we should examine this verse a bit deeper.

At first blush, these words appear to let us know that Jesus grew up. While it is perfectly normal and predictable for a child to grow physically, it is neither human nature nor predictable for a child to grow in wisdom and favor with God and men! Jesus, being both totally God and totally man, possessed in his precious infant body the “fullness of the God-head” (Colossians 1:19). Just as his body was in the infant stage, so was His wisdom and favor. It was perfect for that stage. As He grew in stature, He also grew in wisdom and favor to perfection for each stage. While we will never reach perfection on this side of heaven, we are still called to pursue wisdom and favor. The Bible is filled with verses to this end:

By making your ear attentive to wisdom, and by turning your heart to understanding.
(Proverbs 2:2)

For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up effective counsel for unright, and is like a shield for those who life with integrity, to guard the paths of the righteous and to protect the way of his pious ones.
(Proverbs 2:6–8)

Blessed is the one who has found wisdom, the one who obtains understanding. For her benefit is more profitable than silver and her gain is better than gold. She is more precious than rubies; and none of the things you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant, and all her paths are peaceful. She is a tree of life to those who grasp onto her; everyone who takes hold of her will be blessed.
(Proverbs 3:13–18)

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all people.
(Romans 12:18)

We are told in Scripture that in Christ are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). As we grow up in Christ we grow up in wisdom and with this, we find favor with God and men. Have you ever noticed in Scripture how many years God takes in readying or growing up His vessels for use? Abraham waited twenty-five years for Isaac, the promised child of the covenant; Joseph spent thirteen years in preparation before becoming a leader in Egypt; Moses was forty years tending sheep for his father-in-law; David, Paul, and many more all waited for the “time to fully come.” Even Jesus prepared for thirty years for His three-year ministry. Just as building muscles takes time, growing in wisdom and holiness takes time.

Since we are commanded in Scripture to grow in wisdom and holiness, how do we go about making it happen? Here are a few suggestions:

  • We must be in God’s Word daily. Even if it is just a verse, it is profitable.
  • We must apply God’s truth to our life. What we learn by being in His word, we should apply. All the head knowledge in the world will not help us grow until it is actually fleshed out. We live what we believe to be true. And we grow or go backward, whichever the case may be, as we live our lives.
  • We must hide God’s Word in our hearts. This keeps us from sinning, strengthens our prayer life, and allows us to live a life that glorifies Him.
  • We must pray, pray, pray.

The promise of Scripture is this:

When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul. “I will make myself available to you,” says the Lord. “Then I will reverse your plight and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,” says the Lord. “I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.”
(Jeremiah 29:13–14)

Become More

While we will never reach perfection on this side of heaven, we are still called to pursue wisdom and favor.

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in the Son.
(Colossians 1:19)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is not hard to carry.”
(Matthew 11:28–30)

Read the Word

Luke 2:41–52

2:41 Now Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem every year for the Feast of the Passover. 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom. 2:43 But when the feast was over, as they were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, 2:44 but (because they assumed that he was in their group of travelers) they went a day’s journey. Then they began to look for him among their relatives and acquaintances. 2:45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. 2:46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 2:47 And all who heard Jesus were astonished at his understanding and his answers. 2:48 When his parents saw him, they were overwhelmed. His mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” 2:49 But he replied, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 2:50 Yet his parents did not understand the remark he made to them. 2:51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. But his mother kept all these things in her heart.

2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and with people.