And Yeshua grew both in wisdom and in stature, gaining favor both with other people and with God. Luk 2:52
Jesus grew in four dimensions. Wisdom, stature, favor with men, favor with God.
Jesus is the pattern son.
Therefore, we have to grow in wisdom, stature, favor with men, and favor with God.
But what does that mean? Let’s have a look at each.
Thinking about wisdom, my mind goes to Salomon immediately. Instead of asking for worldly goods, he asked for wisdom, because that task before him was too big for him.
Yet wisdom in itself has many dimensions.
In Proverbs, which are written in Hebrew, wisdom is just knowing to do the right things. Knowing why to do them is understanding. And knowing, well, that is intimately knowing and be one with Wisdom itself. We progress from knowing what to do to why we do it to finally being – the law written on our hearts. For wisdom is a person – Jesus Christ. In Him is wisdom. That does not mean only that he has some or even is full of wisdom. That means, very literally and in a sense of locality, if you are in Him, there is wisdom.
Wisdom in Greek is intellectual and moral maturity. Here we go from simple know how, to understanding, to mastering, to guiding. Guiding, maturity is wisdom.
Wisdom therefore is in the beginning and in the end. The alpha and the omega.
And God gives wisdom freely. James tells us that if you lack wisdom, ask for it, and you will receive. God is pleased if you ask for wisdom. Look at Salomon: God gave him everything else just on top of it, because he made the right choice.
Stature stands for health. Standing upright, healthy, good looking – read the Song of Songs, where she is called a woman with a stature like a palm tree. Beautiful. Look after your body. Paul says that bodily exercises effect little. But they allow us to live a good and healthy life.
Also stand tall. Know who you are. Find your identity in Christ. When you know who you are, height and body index do not count. Your demeanor is one of great stature. When you enter a room, people notice. They know, Christ just entered the room.
To grow in stature therefore means to find out who you are in Christ. I am not talking about titles, positions, not even callings. I am talking about identity, maturity. Knowing yourself by and through knowing him. Knowing that you are. I am a son of God. I am health. I am peace. I am.
Favor with men
Grow socially. Find the place you belong. Get planted in a church. Build relationships. Build your ability to connect. Build trust. Invest in other people. Let other people invest in you. Stop being a rebel, a lone ranger. Start bringing yourself to the table. That is the offering table, the altar. Put yourself on the altar as a living sacrifice for God to use.
Find yourself somebody you let speak into you life. Somebody that can help you become what God wants you to become. A father in Christ.
Find yourself a place in the community of the church. Complement others. You are not just put there to receive, but also to give. God gave you some very special and unique gifting that your church needs.
Sure, in the beginning it is ok that everything is about you. You need to get saved, healed, spoon-fed. But then it is time to grow up and become for others what others have been for you.
And you know what? The more you focus on others, help, serve, minister into their lives, invest yourself in them, the more your favor with men grows. They start to respect you, trust you, even turn to you with their questions. And they start to turn around and invest themselves into others. Multiplication. Replication. You just begot sons.
Favor with God
Grow spiritually. In the outer court, that is in the beginning of our journey, we know about God. Others take our sacrifices and bring them before God. Others bring us revelation from God. Priests stand before God for the people and before the people for God.
But we do not stay there. We progress into the Holy Place by being baptized by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a teacher, a guide, in the Greek he is called a paidagogos, a tutor, or more precise, a servant that leads the students to their teacher, reminding them about what they learned. This is the place we draw near to God and he draws near to us. Here we sing “Just a closer walk with thee”. He in us.
And then we realize: there is yet another room, another realm. The Holy of Holies. But only one person is allowed there – the high priest. That has not changed, even though everybody has access today. An oxymoron, a contradiction? No. Remember that we are the body, while Jesus is the head. We are become one (old English, but it clearly shows that it is finished). And as one we are in the presence, in the glory of God. Even more than that: we are the glory of God. We found identity. In the real sense of the word: we are identical to Jesus, save his being Lord of lords, save his being the head. We in him.
You clearly have seen by now that these dimensions intertwine – just like our natural dimensions do (What exactly is breadth, depth, width, and height? Greetings, Paul). You will not get one without the other – unless you live in a lesser realm.
I pray for you that you experience growth in all dimensions and become all that God wants you to be.