In our previous devotional, we looked at how suffering prepares us for God’s grace that our lives might be developed spiritually. Jesus is the primary example of this truth. In our present verses, we see Jesus as the example of grace developing our lives.
When the Son of God came into the world as a man, He laid aside the independent exercise of His deity: “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant“ (Philippians 2:6-7). He then developed as any man should (except, He was without sin). “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom.” Jesus grew in spiritual strength, as the Lord wants us to do: “strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy“ (Colossians 1:11). The wisdom of the Father began to permeate His life, as He also desires for us: “that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding“ (Colossians 1:9). When Jesus was twelve years old, His spiritual maturity and wisdom were evident, as He discussed the faith with the leaders of Israel. His parents “found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers“ (Luke 2:46-47).
Jesus continued to develop in spiritual maturity, pleasing His heavenly Father and impacting the people. “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this Man know letters, having never studied?'” (Matthew 17:5 and John 7:14-15). The Lord wants our walk with Him and our testimony before others to grow, just as in Jesus’ life. “Walk as children of light…proving what is acceptable to the Lord… that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world“ (Ephesians 5:8, 10 and Philippians 2:15).
In Jesus’ life, this godly progress was accomplished by the grace of God at work: “and the grace of God was upon Him.” So it is to be in our lives.
O God of all grace, work in my life, as You did with Your Son, Jesus. Strengthen me spiritually and fill me with Your wisdom. Deepen my walk with You and increase the spiritual impact that I have on others, for Your pleasure and glory, Amen.