Growing up like Jesus
Jesus, all boy and also fully deity, demonstrated throughout his childhood what every believer can come to expect as we grow with God. Jesus grew up as a boy knowing His identity and calling, partnering with the power of God to accomplish great things to transform the world around Him even at a young age. What an example and invitation for us to walk in!
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
The wondrous birth of Jesus was followed by years of nursing, potty training, playing games, learning to speak and all of the other typical things that any little boy would grow up doing. Imagining Jesus as a toddler and then a young boy captivates my imagination. I look at my own son and consider what is must have been like for Mary and Joseph to parent their’s. Can you even wrap your head around raising up a child who is in fact God incarnate? I hardly can.
Jesus was a boy fully human and fully God. Every moment of His existence was supernatural. How could he be both a typical baby boy in so many ways and yet not like any other boy in all of history? Every breath Jesus breathed, every step He took and every word He spoke was a demonstration of the nature of God. From an early age Jesus demonstrated the love, power, wisdom and presence of God to the people around Him. As he grew, His audience grew.
Luke 2 gives us a bit of insight on what the childhood of Jesus looked like. It describes a boy who was prophesied over and “grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him” (Luke 2:40). Luke goes on to recount 12 year old Jesus’s adventure in the temple. It honestly makes me chuckle because He was supposed to be on the way out of town with his family after Passover but like most boys I know He had another idea in mind. He scurried off to go investigate the temple, His Father’s house.
It took about a day before his parents figured out Jesus wasn’t among their throng of relatives leaving Jerusalem. Any parent who has lost a child whether for 30 seconds or three days can relate to the sheer panic and stress they endured. After three days of searching Mary and Joseph found their boy in the temple. Luke explains, “they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished” (Luke 2:46-48). When his parents asked him what in the world he was thinking, Jesus replied “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49).
You see, this story illustrates what I think is one of the most profound elements of Jesus’s childhood. Even as a child, Jesus grew up knowing His identity. Mary and Jospeh continued to be marveled and even surprised by their son operating in His identity. But Jesus was a boy who knew who He was, where He belonged and what He was born to do on this Earth. Imagine if you and I had that kind of clarity about ourselves and our destinies? How differently would we live each day?
Jesus reveals to us what a life in constant communion with the Father can look like. His death and resurrection made it possible for each of us. We can know who we are, hear what God says to us and walk out our lives significantly in our realms of influence every single day. What Jesus demonstrated as a child, He also invites us to partake in as believers. Jesus’s childhood sets an expectation of what our growth and life can look like with the Father as we bring the beauty, power and love of Heaven to this Earth.
Jesus thank you for living a life of love and power on this Earth, forging a way for hope and a future for me. Thank you for restoring intimate connection between me and Father God. Jesus would you speak to me through your Spirit today, giving me greater clarity on how You see me and what You created me to do on this earth? Thank you for inviting me into intimate, constant relationship with You. I love you Jesus, you are so worthy of all of my adoration and devotion today and always.