51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.
52 And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
During the years in which Jesus lived in obedience to Joseph and Mary (v.51), He continually increased in wisdom, stature, favor with God, as well as favor with people.
To say Jesus grew in wisdom is to point out that He had both an intellectual and practical holiness.
His stature refers to His physical development into an adult. His favor with God entailed His spiritual closeness with His Father, and His favor with others refers to His relationships.
Jesus' wisdom was already noteworthy as a young boy, and the rabbis marveled at His understanding at age 12. His advancement would have been astounding by the time He began His ministry.
The life of Jesus inspires the life we should all live. Note that this passage covers every area of development of Jesus—implying that spiritual growth is a holistic process.
We must not compartmentalize our lives: the physical should mesh with the mental, and the mental should blend with the physical. As we physically grow, we should also spiritually grow.
Peter urges in 1 Peter 2:2, “Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
"Spiritual milk" is a metaphor that refers to the divine sustenance drawn from the gospel. We continually feed on this spiritual milk when we read God’s Word.
- What does Jesus’ holistic growth process reveal about His intentionality with knowing and growing in the knowledge of God?
- How are you growing physically, mentally, and spiritually?
- Pray that God would help you grow in every area of your life.