Jesus Grew…

January 9, 2024 | Jaci Miller

“Father, grow them in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.”

The weekly time with my prayer partner frequently includes these words for her grandchildren and my nieces, nephews, and younger cousins. It’s a prayer modeled on Scripture’s (very brief) account of a youthful Jesus.

Although stories of toddler or teenage Jesus would be fascinating, and no doubt instructive, Scripture speaks little about these years, other than His birth and an instance when He’s 12. But blessedly, Luke 2:52 essentially says all we really need to know. “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

That’s it, that’s all. Bada bing, bada boom.

But looking deeper reveals four key ways to pray for our young people. The meaning of this simple prayer is more profound than the few syllables my prayer partner and I utter in our meetings.

Jesus grew …

In wisdom. Jesus’ mind was challenged. Mentally, He became strong. Just a few verses earlier, in Luke 2:40, we learn that He was filled with wisdom. The ability to think, discern and decide. In Luke 2:47, we find Him on the cusp of adolescence amazing the Temple teachers with His wisdom. His growth in this area is evidenced by His deft answers to hard, even trick, questions later in His ministry.

In stature. Again in Luke 2:40, Scripture says “[Jesus] grew and became strong.” His body physically developed, he grew taller, and as sons at that time usually followed in their fathers’ trades, Jesus probably became a carpenter or builder like his earthly father, Joseph. He likely possessed strength.

In favor with God. Jesus grew spiritually and walked blamelessly.

Psalm 84:11 tells us, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”

Additionally, Proverbs 3:1–4 says, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man [emphasis added.]”

Jesus kept God’s commands (perfectly, in fact), but nevertheless, Luke 2:52 points out that He not only possessed favor with God, but that this favor grew. It increased and expanded. His spiritual life blossomed throughout his formative years.

In favor with man. Jesus learned how to interact with people. We don’t know much about his relationships in his youth, but innumerable instances exist of Jesus’ social dealings after reaching adulthood. He called men of varying trades to leave their work and follow him—and they came! He spoke to crowds of strangers—who followed just to hear his teachings! He understood the appropriate times for righteous anger and for merciful words. He grew socially as a child and this surely served Him well as an adult.

We want our kids and loved ones to be like Jesus. Mentally. Physically. Spiritually. Socially.

It only makes sense to pray for our young people to grow as Jesus did.