Bible Society of South Africa
Xanthe Hancox

People of the Nativity – Day 11


Bible text(s)

The Return to Nazareth

39When Joseph and Mary had finished doing all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their home town of Nazareth in Galilee. 40The child grew and became strong; he was full of wisdom, and God's blessings were upon him.

Luke 2:39-40GNBOpen in Bible reader

It seems only fitting that we end our series on the people of the nativity with the person of the nativity – Jesus himself.

At first glance, verse 40 doesn’t seem to say very much – only that Jesus grew up. However, those few words describe just how human Jesus was. It’s one thing to say that he was born as we all are born, quite another to demonstrate that he was similarly and entirely human throughout his life, growing in stature and wisdom, just like every other little boy.

Most of us understand that Jesus had to grow physically; he had to become strong, and grow older, but we struggle with the idea of him growing spiritually and mentally. He was God. God doesn’t develop spiritually. And since Jesus was God, how could Jesus develop spiritually? The other way Jesus grew was in wisdom. This is a challenging thought, too. Jesus is God, and God knows all things. How could Jesus learn if he was God?

Jesus, although he was the Son of God, was also human, and so he had to learn the Bible, and learn theology, and learn obedience just like we do. Jesus was fully human, just like we are, and a big part of being human is the learning process. He learned how to eat, how to walk, how to talk, how to read and write, and how to obey his parents.

The full humanity of the Son of God is one of the most stunning and mysterious truths in the history of the world. Jesus has a fully human body, heart, mind, and will — and this in no way compromises his deity. He developed just as we do. He experienced life just as we do. He was born into a world of cruel politicians, where people lived in poverty and godly people were scorned. He became man in full so that he might save us in full. He is truly Emmanuel, God with us.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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