Christ was the Son of God. Why does the Bible say He grew in wisdom?

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“Grew in Wisdom”

The Bible tells us that “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). While Luke 2:40 refers mainly to the childhood of Jesus, Luke 2:52 refers mainly to His youth and young manhood. In order to understand how Jesus grew in wisdom we need to examine His two natures:

Christ’s Divinity

John declares, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1 also 10:30; Luke 22:69; ). The Word partook of the essence of Deity, which means that He was divine in the ultimate and absolute sense.

Though Christ was originally “in the form of God” He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself,” and, “being born in the likeness of men,” was “found in human form” (Philippians 2:6–8). The divine and the human natures were mysteriously blended into one person. Divinity was dressed with humanity, not replaced by it. The two natures became thoroughly and inseparably one, yet each remained separate.

The Son of God took on the human nature. For this reason, He grew in wisdom that is, mental excellence in its maximum and fullest sense (Luke 1:17). Wisdom includes not only knowledge but the capability and judgment to use that knowledge in daily life. It is essential to know that Christ faced human problems as every human child would. He was not supernaturally gifted with knowledge and wisdom. Rather He “increased,” or “grew,” in wisdom. This truth gives us hope that every child of God may acquire knowledge in the same manner as Jesus did through the Holy Spirit and the study of the Scriptures.

Christ’s Humanity

Christ is divine in the absolute sense of the word and He is also human in the same sense, except that He “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Christ’s early years were years of balanced growth of His physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities.

“Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8). The Scriptures frequently and insistently teach the truth of His humanity (Galatians 4:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 1:3; 8:3; Colossians 2:9; etc.).

How all this could be done is beyond human understanding; it is a part of the great “mystery of godliness” (1 Timothy 3:16). “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same… Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people…” (Hebrews 2:14-18).

The infinite love of God (John 3:16) was revealed when Christ emptied Himself and took on the attributes not only of a human but of a slave. As a slave’s main characteristic is submission and obedience, Jesus whole life was subject to the will of the Father.

The superstitious myths found in the apocryphal gospels concerning Jesus’ childhood and youth teach that He performed miracles during those years before His public ministry (the apocryphal work, 1 Infancy 7:1–35; 13:1–13; 15:1–7; 16:1–16; 18:1–19). But these stories are not true and they present a bizarre contrast with the simple honesty of the Bible record. The truth is that Jesus grew in wisdom like any other human child without special powers. For that He became our supreme example.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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