Every so often my wife and I will flip through family pictures and note how much our two boys have changed. I’m amazed at how small and childlike they were not so long ago. We’ve lived through these years with them and have witnessed their development. Yet their transformation has been so woven into the rhythm of our lives, we don’t notice the changes until we look back.
When I read Luke’s account of the early years of Jesus’ life, I’m drawn to the simple observation that He “grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people” (Luke 2:52). In many respects, this was an ordinary thing—Jesus grew over long stretches of time in His understanding and in grasping His place in the world. God the Father, as well as Jesus’ family and neighbors, watched as His Son became the man He was meant to be.
The words in Luke 2:52 follow the author’s presentation of how shocked Jesus’ parents were to find Him in the temple, and how shocked the religious leaders were at the depth of Jesus’ understanding (Luke 2:47). Yet, immediately after this, Luke tells us that Jesus needed to continue to grow up. And after that remarkable temple moment, He apparently did something any child would do: He returned home with His parents (Luke 2:51). He did His chores, honed His craft, and matured as a man.
Over the next few decades, we know precious little of Jesus’ life, likely because His life was (from the outside view) nothing extraordinary. Although divine, He had to grow up like all of us. Jesus had to grow into His calling. For all of us, following God is an invitation to grow and become our true selves—becoming the person God has in mind for us to be (Philippians 1:6).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Ruth 2:1-23
Read Ephesians 4:14-15 and consider what it means to grow “more and more like Christ.”
Where do you see growth in your life? Where do you think God wants to help you grow so that you can be the person you were meant to be?