The Sixth Day Of Christmas
Wisdom, Stature And Favor
“So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace* of God was upon Him.” Luke 2:39-40
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52
*Grace = favor and spiritual blessing
From the time of His birth Jesus grew, and like all children learned the rudimentary knowledge of communication, obedience and respect for those in authority over Him, His mother and Joseph. Surely in order to become a priest as a man subject to all the things that mortal men are subject to, this child must have been as ordinary and as remarkable and as unremarkable as any other child.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
There is much evidence that Jesus was considered by those who knew Him in childhood as ordinary as any child during those days. But, in Jerusalem on that day after the Feast of Passover when He was 12 years old it was said of Him that he astounded the teachers, the doctors of the Law with His wisdom and understanding
“And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” Luke 2:46-47
From that day we have no record of Jesus’ maturing years except that it is said of Him that He increased in wisdom, stature and favor with God and men. The wisdom with which He astounded the teachers was minor compared to the wisdom that He gained over the next 18 years after that day. We know that He grew up as a man and He gained the favor of God and was favored and respected by the people who knew Him as well.
Then, after His baptism by John in the Jordon and after His 40 days in the wilderness fasting and being tempted by the devil, He came to Nazareth on or very near His 30th birthday. Having been brought up there, most of the people were very familiar with Him. So, as His custom was on that day He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read. Being respected and favored among the people and the teachers He was given the book (the scroll) of Isaiah and when He found the place of the reading for that Sabbath day he began to read from chapter 61.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…” Isaiah 61:1-2
But then, He stopped suddenly in midsentence and closed the book and sat down.
“And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:20-21
He stopped because the next portion of Scripture was,”and the day of Vengeance of our God.” This was not being fulfilled that day. And He was not obliged to read that portion knowing He was about to declare the purpose of His ministry now on the Earth and was not to bring vengeance but the Good News of Redemption, Salvation and Life more abundantly.
But at these words, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” the entire company of people in the Synagogue that day were filled with wrath, so much so that the former favor and respect they held for Him was suddenly replaced with a violent rage to kill Him.
“And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way…” Luke 4:28-30
It is astounding to us today to imagine that telling people, who had been allegedly praying for the Messiah to come and to be revelaled to the them, that the fulfillment of their prayers had come to them that day with such great promises of good and blessing for the them; that their reaction would not be joy and celebration as Mary did when she encountered the Angel, or as the shepherds did when they heard the proclamation of His birth from the angel of the Lord.
It is hard to imagine what they must have been thinking to so immediately dismiss His claim and account Him worthy of death without trial or demonstration of His authority, merely for making the claim that the Scripture was fulfilled in Him.
Why did they not just believe Him? Partly, I believe, because He was so familiar to them having grown up there, they held little respect for Him. And partly, I believe, because He was such a normal man in their eyes, they refused to truly hear His Words. He didn’t do any razzle-dazzle magic trick for them or arrest their attention with His rapier wit. Nor did He cast a spell over them to make them believe Him. He simply spoke the Word and declared to them the truth. How they received His Word was completely their choice.
He declared the Good News, but, too many of them could not hear the message because they were so fixed on the messenger, presuming Him to be a transgressor of the Law for making such a claim. They chose not be believe Him, but rather, to believe their self-deception and their false interpretation of the Law. There was no place for grace in their thinking. It was all about the Law, every jot and tittle.
From that moment Jesus was continually confronted by those who only saw Him as a transgressor of the Law not realizing or even desiring to understand His Words , that He was the fulfillment of the Law, that He was the incarnation of the WORD, that He was the Law and the Prophets, the Covenants and the Blessings. He was and is Messiah, Yeshua, Ha Maschiach. Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, the Anointed One.
On this sixth day of our 12 Days of Christmas let’s consider Jesus the man of full stature, the man of wisdom who stood in favor with God and with those who believed Him here on the earth. Consider Jesus who went about doing good and healing all who were sick and oppressed of the devil, who fed the 5000 and the 4000, who raised the dead, recovered sight to the blind, who made the lame to walk the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak, who gave Himself a ransom for all. Consider Him who is our High Priest and Advocate before the Father. Consider Him who is our Wisdom, our Righteousness and our Sanctification. Consider Him who gave His body and His blood for us, to redeem us from sin, from death, from hell and the grave. Consider Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Consider Jesus today, Jesus the Child, Jesus the Man, Jesus the Lamb, Jesus the High Priest, Jesus the Prophet, Jesus the King, Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Man, Jesus, God and Lord, Jesus, brother and friend, Jesus Comforter and Peace, Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, Jesus the First and the Last, Jesus the Beginning and the End.
Jesus the name above all names.
Jesus Christ is Lord!