“And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.”
We are not told in Scripture very much about the adolescent Jesus. We know from the Gospels that He grew up in Nazareth and, as tomorrow’s passage will show, every year they would travel to Jerusalem for the Passover. Outside of that, we don’t know much more about Jesus’ life between His early childhood and His public ministry as an adult. So between the time of purification as a very young child (Luke 2:22) and the account of Jesus as a twelve-year-old in the temple, we do not have much detail about His life. What do we know?
As any healthy child, Jesus grew up and became strong and filled with wisdom. Jesus developed into a young man physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually. There are deep, deep mysteries here that we cannot adequately explain or understand but it is clear that Jesus was for any observer a regular, normal child. In this way, Christ was submitted to the Father’s will in the same way he submitted to the Father’s will being born of woman.
We know from elsewhere in the Gospels that Mary and Joseph had other children (Matthew 13:55-56), and that Jesus worked with Joseph in his carpentry shop (Matthew 13:55). There were no miracles recorded from Christ’s childhood and we must understand the reasoning for that to be that the fullness of time had not yet come for Christ to reveal Himself to the world.
In other words: Jesus was a son, brother, and understudy in a very normal way for that day and age. It’s important to not to add to the testimony of Scripture about this time period where Scripture does not have much to say. But, I do think it’s safe to underline that Jesus had a regular childhood and adolescence. And what a testimony of Christ’s patience and grace in His mission to save His people. The Son of God came and put on flesh and dwelt among us. The Son of God was an infant, a toddler, an adolescent, and a young adult with all that monotony that entails in order that He might be the spotless Lamb of God.
And the favor of God was upon Him. While Jesus was experienced a normal childhood the favor of God was upon Him each and every day. The favor of God rested upon Him and along with Luke 2:52 in our next passage, we can see increased over his developmental years. Our takeaway: our Savior submitted to the process of natural, ordinary human development in order to become the perfect Lamb of God.
Prayer — Heavenly Father, What a Savior Jesus Christ is for us. A Savior who came down and can sympathize with our weaknesses. We praise you this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.