Oh how I wish scripture gave us more of a glimpse of the boy Jesus than it does. But the little snippet we get tells us really all that we need to know I guess. Our focus verse comes after Jesus was left by his parents in Jerusalem and was lost to them for three days. Jesus’ family would go to Jerusalem every year to celebrate the Feast of the Passover. The year Jesus was twelve years old as the parents and all their relatives were returning home, Jesus stayed behind. When it was discovered that Jesus was not among the relatives, his parents returned to Jerusalem to look for Him and they found Him in the temple sitting among the teachers asking questions. His parents scolded Him.
“And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’” Luke 2:49
While His parents knew because of His birth that Jesus was God’s Son and that would make Him special, they still did not fully understand what was happening. So Jesus goes back to Nazareth with them and scripture tells us He was submissive to them. And then we get our focus verse of today.
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
The next time we see Jesus, He is being baptized by John. And when He was baptized ….
“and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” Luke 3:22
It’s not hard to see the favor of God on Jesus. Can you just imagine being there and hearing the voice from heaven. My little feeble brain can’t even comprehend it. The thing we can know, however is that Jesus came to earth to save us but also to be an example to us and to teach us how to live in favor with God as well. God was well pleased with Jesus. Jesus had favor with God as He began His earthly ministry.
Jesus taught us many things during His earthly ministry, but there is one that stands out to me and comes to mind as I study the favor of God on Jesus and how we can gain favor with God by following Jesus. The Pharisees and the Sadducees were always trying to trip up Jesus, so to speak. They did everything they could think of to entangle His words, yet Jesus was always able to come back with wisdom and it amazed the crowds, which only made the leaders more angry. One particular instance a lawyer asked Him about the greatest commandment.
“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
You see it all comes down to this. We can check everything back to are we loving God with all of our hearts and are we loving people. When you don’t know how to react to a situation or circumstance it all comes back to love. How do you follow Jesus? You love the Lord and His people. How do you gain favor with God? You love Him and His people. And when you have that unlovable person in front of you that you think “Oh Lord, I don’t know how to love this one.” You ask the Lord to love them through you. Everything depends on how we love God and how we love people. And when we are doing that, the rest just has a way of falling into place. I don’t mean there won’t still be hard days and hard times, and loss and grief and things we want to change in the world. But the only way to survive it and to get through it is love. That is how we grow in favor with God and with men.
And when we do that we can be assured of God’s favor for the rest of our lives.
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.” Psalm 30:5
May we grow in wisdom, stature and favor as we follow Jesus!