We learn from scriptures that Christ, as a child, grew and developed just as we do. Because he grew and developed as we have, we have a savior that can sympathize with us in our weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus developed that inspires our own development.
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52
Here we see Jesus setting the perfect model of development: wisdom (cognitive), stature (physical), favor with God (spiritual) and man (social). These areas make up the development of the complete person – and Jesus, living the perfect life, set the model of perfection of whole-person development.
The fact that Jesus developed in perfection is interesting and inspiring. Often times we focus on “the fact” of the matter and miss the “why’. Why was he so driven to develop cognitively, physically, spiritually and socially? To be smarter than anyone else? Look better than anyone else? Be more successful than anyone else?
We certainly know how he was able to develop – he relied upon His connection with the father for the strength to will and to act (John 5:19). But why? What motivated him to have the connection with the Father to grow and develop?
The answer is just a few verses previous. While observing the annual Passover in Jerusalem, Mary and Joseph accidentally left Jesus! When they returned, they certainly witnessed an awe-inspiring scene:
Luke 2:46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.
Mary and Joseph explained to Jesus that him staying behind in Jerusalem alone caused them to worry and fret. After a lite scolding, Jesus responded. In this response, we find the reason behind his pursuit of perfect development in the Father.
Luke 2:49 And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”
Why did Jesus pursue perfect development in the Father? Purpose! He knew the cross called to Him. He tapped into the perfect power of the Father so that his mind and body would be ready to carry out his purpose. He knew that he was about his Father’s business.
I am reminded of a story of three bricklayers. Each was asked what they were doing. The first man replied, “I’m laying bricks.” The second man replied, “I’m building a wall.” The third man replied, “I’m making a place of worship for the Lord.” The first man had a job. The second man had a career. The third man had a purpose.
Whether you are going to work or school, leading a team or contributing to a team. Ask yourself: what is my purpose? This truth we learn from the perfect development of our Savior: it is important to develop in God’s strength – it is equally important to know why. When times get tough. When things don’t go as planned. When work gets hard and school becomes overwhelming – take a step back, look your challenges in the eye and say “I must be about my Father’s business.” Move forward, confidently in Christ.