Day 12: Wisdom and Favor
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.(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:
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (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 perfection 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:
Turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding. (Proverbs 2:2)
For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. (Proverbs 2:6-8)
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing 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 ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (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 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.
As we grow up in Christ we grow up in wisdom and with this we find favor with God and men.
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 backwards, 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:
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:13-14)
Take It to Heart
“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, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)