“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” –Luke 2:52
Mini English Lesson, courtesy of Dictionary.com
Wisdom of course, means:
1. the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight
2. accumulated knowledge, erudition, or enlightenment
3. obsolete soundness of mind
Stature, however, means:
1. the height of a human or animal body.
2. the height of any object.
3. degree of development attained; level of achievement: a minister of great stature
Where the prefix, sta-, means "to stand".
1. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill: to win the favor of the king.
2. the state of being approved or held in regard
3. a small gift or decorative or festive item, as a noisemaker or paper hat, often distributed to guests at a party.
(I’m partial to the explanation of the first definition of favor…favor with the King..Jesus had favor with the king…Get it??)
So I came across this short verse during the sermon tonight, and it got me thinking. Jesus was 12 during this time…that’s right 12. He wasn’t even a teenager or an adult, just a teeny bopper, and yet He had favor with God and men. At 12 years old. Did I mention He was 12??
Ok, I know what you’re thinking… He’s Jesus, of course He’s going to have favor with God…He is God. Well DUH!
But aren’t you forgetting a little something there??
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Hello! I know we hear this verse a bajillion times in church, but seriously just sit and think about it for a few minutes. The reason Jesus was in favor with God, and was able to receive from God (wisdom and stature) is because He was of God, not of the world. We don’t think we can be like Jesus in this manner because it simply seems impossible. We always feel at war with everyone around us, which is absolutely true, but even Jesus had favor through all the junk people threw at Him.
Seriously, don’t even be complaining that “it’s too hard” because even He was a smelly low class carpenter followed around by 12 dudes…who all probably seriously needed a bath…just saying. Jesus overlooked and overcame who He was in the world to be who God called Him for the world.
Getting your confidence back yet?
Jesus even tells us in John 1:50 that we’re going to do and see greater things than what He did. (Still doubting your ability to be in favor with man & God simultaneously?). He said WE WILL DO GREATER WORKS THAN WHAT HE DID!! He healed the blind, raised the dead, walked on water, fasted for 40 days and nights, resisted the Devil, died on a cross and conquered that grave! And you can’t even tell people that Jesus loves them because you want their approval more than you want their salvation.
There is something SO wrong with this picture.
So earlier I defined stature for you (well not technically, but you get the point). When reading it, I found that the prefix STA means to stand…stature is having height, whether in physical aspect or achievement wise. Well, in order to achieve anything for God, you have to stand up for him, right? And you know how to stand up for him and profess him from the wisdom he downloads into you, right? And therefore, by drawing near to God and listening to his guidance, you know how to lead people to him, thus granting favor with men. And favor, approval or acceptance, is also “a party favor”. I know this doesn’t really directly relate to the term used in Luke, but these include those funny noise makers and sparkly stuff that you play with. A goodie bag so to speak, so think of favor with God as getting a bag full of goodies that you get to share with and annoy other people with until they join in on the fun!
Being right with God means everything else will fall into place.
Don’t doubt who you are or why you are simply based on the fact that you feel inadequate in any way shape or form. God destined you with a divine purpose, that no one else may understand or know of, but he will provide the way and all that you need.
James 4:8 says it best… Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
So go climb up in Daddy’s lap and ask for wisdom, stature, and favor…