And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
This truth about Jesus is communicated in Luke 2:40 and shortly after in 2:52. Previously it was said very similarly of his cousin John (1:80) and in the Old Testament of Samuel (1 Sam 2:26). Here we find examples of what the Proverbs implore us to do (Prov 1:8)
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
Samuel, John, and Jesus model for us something that is celebrated throughout scriptures. We are encouraged to grow in our humanity in every aspect. It is maturity. We could break it down specifically into spiritual formation or discipleship, but scriptures really do talk to our whole life. In a sense, everything is spiritual. Or, said another way, everything in our life is affected by our spirituality.
We are constantly encouraged to remain on a trajectory of growth. We never stop, never check out or retire. We should ask ourselves, “Am I growing? How am I growing? In what ways have I fell back on autopilot?”
I am not talking about an overachieving, works-based, frenetic way of life. I am talking about an honest assessment and a plan to grow. I’ve heard it said that we should all have a “Paul” (a mentor) and a “Timothy” (an apprentice). There is something good about having people in your life who encourage and sometimes challenge you forward as well as to have someone that you are pouring into. When I have people that I feel a sense of responsibility for, I tend to stay on a path of growth. When I am completely on my own I tend to check out.
Here are some questions that could be asked to begin to assess and create a plan:
Growing is good. Embrace it and enjoy!
A shepherd and his journey