While we don’t know much of the details of Jesus’s young life, we do have enough information to help us form a healthy personal growth pattern for ourselves. Luke’s gospel account shows a natural progression. 2:40 Jesus is called “the child” v.43 “the boy” v.48 “Son” and v.52 “Jesus.” Each of these titles shows a specific growth pattern. Luke says, “the child continued to grow…” Growth is natural, the desire to grow is a part of us. The lack of desire to grow, mature and learn shows there is a problem. If an infant isn’t growing, we immediately seek medical help — we stop growing or desiring to grow, we should examine ourselves to see what’s wrong. “The boy” stayed behind…we should not only keep growing and maturing, we should be growing to a point of standing on our own. The unfortunate truth is, there are many “Christians” as dependent on others today as the day they were saved. This is why they struggle with selfishness, lack of service and submission to God’s will in their lives. We ought to be hungry like Jesus, to determine the calling of God upon our lives, so we can get to it. “The Son” was striking out on His own, yet submissive to His parents. Spiritual growth and maturity are seen in the spirit of humility, not pride. While we seek to be about the divine business we do it in a world filled with human authority — and as long as that authority does not go contrary to God, we are to submit to it. “Jesus” shows Jesus as a full functioning, spiritually adult man working for God and having favor with God and man. What does your personal growth plan look like? Don’t have one? Use Jesus’ — it’s a great model.
Dr. William Burnham is pastor of Point of Grace Church in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.