#DailyDevotion Jesus Grew Up, Just Like Us
Luke 240The little Child grew big and strong and full of wisdom, and God’s favor was with Him. 41Every year His parents would go to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. 42And so when He was twelve, they went up for the festival as usual… 46Two days later they found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47His understanding and His answers surprised all who heard Him. 48They were amazed to see Him there. “Son, why did You do this to us?” His mother asked Him. “See how anxiously Your father and I have been looking for You!” 49“Why were you looking for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you realize I must be in My Father’s house?” 50But they didn’t understand what He told them. 51Then He went back with them to Nazareth. And He obeyed them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52And Jesus grew wiser and taller and won the approval of God and of people.
We don’t get a lot about Jesus’ childhood. Because of that the early Church had people who wrote things, alternative Gospels that filled in the gaps. This was kind of like fan fiction, bad fan fiction. But we do get a small glimpse into Jesus’ early years here. And overall, it’s fairly unremarkable, which in and of itself is fairly remarkable. What do I mean by that? Well you would expect that someone who is God in the flesh would be doing some fairly amazing stuff but for the most part, Jesus is not doing that.
What do we see here? In verse forty Jesus grew big and strong and full of wisdom. In verse fifty-two Jesus grew wiser and taller and won the approval of God and of people. Overall not that amazing. Kids grow up. Kids hopefully grow wiser and they usually do. Jesus, though he was and is God, did not use his divine abilities in growing up. He didn’t grow any quicker than anyone else. He humbled himself to have to learn and grow in wisdom and knowledge. What is amazing is he was like us in every way. Jesus was and is truly human. Jesus’ only advantage over us was he did not have Adam’s sin hampering his development.
Because of that, probably, we see Jesus in the Temple here. He was twelve. He didn’t leave with his family when they left with the caravan to go back to Nazareth. He was there several days. It was in fact the third day Mary and Joseph found him there. One cannot but hearken forward to the Easter tomb and think about Jesus was found by the women on the third day risen from the dead. Well what was Jesus doing? Luke says, “sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.” Now at the age of thirteen a Jewish boy becomes a Son of the Commandments, Bar Mitzvah. He would have by this time studied the commandment of the Torah and be able to answer basic questions about it much like confirmands do at their confirmation concerning the Small Catechism. Jesus still has a year to go. What we do see amazing here is, “His understanding and His answers surprised all who heard Him.” Jesus was asking questions of the elders that would run with the best of them and his answers to their questions showed a lot of understanding of what the Torah taught. It surprised all who heard him. They were not just surprised but astounded. Jesus isn’t wowing the crowd here with miracles but with wisdom and understanding of the Torah (Law). But Jesus didn’t have sin hampering him either. Jesus was and is truly human like us. He became one of us to save us in his flesh by humbling himself to death, even death on a cross to save us.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for revealing to us the humility of Jesus taking on our flesh to save us and to redeem us in the flesh. Grant us faith in Jesus so that as Jesus was exalted to your right hand we too may be glorified in him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.