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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 2:52

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Jesus increased in wisdom - See on Luke 2:40; (note).

The following remarks, taken chiefly from Mr. Claude, on the foregoing subject, are well worth the reader's attention.

    I. The birth of Christ is announced to the shepherds.

  • God causes his grace to descend not only on the great and powerful of the world, but also upon the most simple and inconsiderable; just as the heavens diffuse their influence not only on great trees, but also on the smallest herbs.
  • God seems to take more delight in bestowing his favors on the most abject than in distributing them among persons of elevated rank. Here is an example: for while he sent the wise men of the east to Herod, he sent an angel of heaven to the shepherds, and conducted them to the cradle of the Savior of the world.
  • In this meeting of the angels and shepherds, you see a perpetual characteristic of the economy of Jesus Christ; wherein the highest and most sublime things are joined with the meanest and lowest. In his person, the eternal Word is united to a creature, the Divine nature to the human, infinity to infirmity, in a word, the Lord of glory to mean flesh and blood. On his cross, though he appears naked, crowned with thorns, and exposed to sorrows, yet at the same time he shakes the earth, and eclipses the sun. Here, in like manner, are angels familiar with shepherds; angels, to mark his majesty; shepherds, his humility.
  • This mission of angels relates to the end for which the Son of God came into the world; for he came to establish a communion between God and men, and to make peace between men and angels: to this must be referred what St. Paul says, Colossians 1:20, It pleased the Father, by him, to reconcile all things to himself.
  • However simple and plain the employments of men may be, it is always very pleasing to God when they discharge them with a good conscience. While these shepherds were busy in their calling, God sent his angels to them.
  • God does, in regard to men, what these shepherds did in regard to their sheep. He is the great Shepherd of mankind, continually watching over them by his providence.
  • II. The glory of the Lord shone round the shepherds.

  • When angels borrow human forms, in order to appear to men, they have always some ensigns of grandeur and majesty, to show that they are not men, but angels.
  • The appearance of this light to the shepherds in the night, may very well be taken for a mystical symbol. Night represents the corrupt state of mankind when Jesus came into the world; a state of ignorance and error. Light fitly represents the salutary grace of Christ, which dissipates obscurity, and gives us the true knowledge of God.
  • III. The shepherds were filled with great fear.

  • This was the effect of their great surprise. When grand objects suddenly present themselves to us, they must needs fill us with astonishment and fear, for the mind, on these occasions, is not at liberty to exert its force; on the contrary, its strength is dissipated, and during this dissipation it is impossible not to fear.
  • This fear may also arise from emotions of conscience. Man is by nature a sinner, and consequently an object of the justice of God. While God does not manifest himself to him, he remains insensible of his sin; but, when God discovers himself to him, he awakes to feeling, and draws nigh to God as a trembling criminal approaches his judge. See this exemplified in the case of Adam, and in that of the Israelites when God appeared on the mountain: hence that proverbial saying, We shall die, for we have seen God.
  • The shepherds had just reason to fear when they saw before them an angel of heaven, surrounded with the ensigns of majesty, for angels had been formerly the ministers of God's vengeance. On this occasion, the sad examples of Divine vengeance, recorded in Scripture, and performed by the ministry of angels, might, in a moment, rise to view, and incline them to think that this angel had received a like order to destroy them.
  • IV. Observe the angel's discourse to the shepherds.

  • The angels say to them, Fear not. This preface was necessary to gain their attention, which fear, no doubt, had dissipated. The disposition which the angel wishes to awaken in them comports with the news which he intended to announce; for what has fear to do with the birth of the Savior of the world?
  • The angel describes,
  • 1st, The person of whom he speaks, a Savior, Christ, the Lord; see before on Luke 2:11; (note). See,

    2dly, What he speaks of him; he is born unto you.

    3dly, He marks the time; this day.

    4thly, He describes the place; in the city of David.

    5thly, He specifies the nature of this important news; a great joy which shall be unto all people. See Claude's Essay, by Robinson, vol. i. p. 266, etc.

    Concerning Simeon, three things deserve to be especially noted: 1. His faith. 2. His song. And 3. His prophecy.

      I. His faith.

  • He expected the promised Redeemer, in virtue of the promises which God had made; and, to show that his faith was of the operation of God's Spirit, he lived a life of righteousness and devotedness to God. Many profess to expect the salvation which God has promised only to those who believe, while living in conformity to the world, under the influence of its spirit, and in the general breach of the righteous law of God.
  • The faith of Simeon led him only to wish for life that he might see him who was promised, and, be properly prepared for an inheritance among the sanctified. They who make not this use of life are much to be lamented. It would have been better for them had they never been born.
  • The faith of Simeon was crowned with success. Jesus came; he saw, he felt, he adored him! and, with a heart filled with the love of God, he breathed out his holy soul, and probably the last dregs of his life, in praise to the fountain of all good.
  • II. Simeon's song. By it he shows forth: -

  • The joy of his own heart. Lord, now thou dismissest thy servant; as if he had said: "Yes, O my God, I am going to quit this earth! I feel that thou callest me; and I quit it without regret. Thou hast fulfilled all my desires, and completed my wishes, and I desire to be detained no longer from the full enjoyment of thyself." O, how sweet is death, after such an enjoyment and discovery of eternal life!
  • Simeon shows forth the glory of Christ. He is the Sun of righteousness, rising on a dark and ruined world with light and salvation. He is the light that shall manifest the infinite kindness of God to the Gentile people; proving that God is good to all, and that his tender mercies are over all his works.
  • He is the glory of Israel. It is by him that the Gentiles have been led to acknowledge the Jews as the peculiar people of God; their books as the word of God, and their teaching as the revelation of God. What an honor for this people, had they known how to profit by it!

  • He astonished Joseph and Mary with his sublime account of the Redeemer of the world. They hear him glorified, and their hearts exult in it. From this Divine song they learn that this miraculous son of theirs is the sum and substance of all the promises made unto the fathers, and of all the predictions of the prophets.
  • III. Simeon's prophecy.

  • He addresses Christ, and foretells that he should be for the ruin and recovery of many in Israel. How astonishing is the folly and perverseness of man, to turn that into poison which God has made the choicest medicine; and thus to kill themselves with the cure which he has appointed for them in the infinity of his love! Those who speak against Jesus, his ways, his doctrine, his cross, his sacrifice, are likely to stumble, and fall, and rise no more for ever! May the God of mercy save the reader from this condemnation!
  • He addresses Mary, and foretells the agonies she must go through. What must this holy woman have endured when she saw her son crowned with thorns, scourged, buffeted, spit upon - when she saw his hands and his feet nailed to the cross, and his side pierced with a spear! What a sword through her own soul must each of these have been! But this is not all. These sufferings of Jesus are predicted thirty years before they were to take place! What a martyrdom was this! While he is nourished in her bosom, she cannot help considering him as a lamb who is growing up to be sacrificed. The older he grows, the nearer the bloody scene approaches! Thus her sufferings must increase with his years, and only end with his life!
  • He foretells the effects which should be produced by the persecutions raised against Christ and his followers. This sword of persecution shall lay open the hearts of many, and discover their secret motives and designs. When the doctrine of the cross is preached, and persecution raised because of it, then the precious are easily distinguished from the vile. Those whose hearts are not established by grace, now right with God, will turn aside from the way of righteousness, and deny the Lord that bought them. On the other hand, those whose faith stands not in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God, will continue faithful unto death, glorify God in the fire, and thus show forth the excellency of his salvation, and the sincerity of the profession which they had before made. Thus the thoughts of many hearts are still revealed.
  • The design of our blessed Lord in staying behind in the temple seems to have been twofold.
      1st. To prepare the Jews to acknowledge in him a Divine and supernatural wisdom: and

    2dly. To impress the minds of Joseph and Mary with a proper idea of his independence and Divinity.

    Their conduct in this business may be a lasting lesson and profitable warning to all the disciples of Christ.

      1st. It is possible (by not carefully watching the heart, and by not keeping sacredly and constantly in view the spirituality of every duty) to lose the presence and power of Christ, even in religious ordinances. Joseph and Mary were at the feast of the passover when they lost Jesus!

    2dly. Many who have sustained loss in their souls are kept from making speedy application to God for help and salvation, through the foolish supposition that their state is not so bad as it really is; and, in the things of salvation, many content themselves with the persuasion that the religious people with whom they associate are the peculiar favourites of Heaven, and that they are in a state of complete safety while connected with them.

    They, supposing him to be in the company, went a day's journey.

      3dly. Deep sorrow and self-reproach must be the consequence of the discovery of so great a loss as that of the presence and power of Christ. Joseph and Mary sought him sorrowing.

      4thly. When people are convinced, by the light of the Lord, that their souls are not in a safe state, and that unless they find the Redeemer of the world they must perish, they are naturally led to inquire among their kinsfolk and acquaintance for him who saves sinners. But this often proves fruitless; they know not Jesus themselves, and they cannot tell others where to find him.

    They sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, and found him not.
      5thly. When people perceive that they have proceeded in a certain course of life for a considerable time, without that salvation which God promises in his word, they should first stop and inquire into their state, and when they find that they have been posting into eternity, not only without a preparation for glory, but with an immense load of guilt upon their souls, they should turn back, and, as their time may be but short, they should seek diligently.

    They turned back to Jerusalem, earnestly seeking him.
      6thly. The likeliest place to find Jesus and his salvation is the temple. The place where his pure unadulterated Gospel is preached, the sanctuary where the power and glory of God are seen in the conviction, conversion, and salvation of sinners. They found him in the temple, among the doctors.

    7thly. Trials, persecutions, and afflictions are all nothing, when the presence and power of Christ are felt; but when a testimony of his approbation lives no longer in the heart, every thing is grievous and insupportable. The fatigue of the journey to Bethlehem, the flight from the cruelty of Herod, and the unavoidable trials in Egypt, were cheerfully supported by Joseph and Mary, because in all they had Jesus with them; but now they are in distress and misery because he is behind in Jerusalem. Reader, if thou have lost Jesus, take no rest to body or soul till thou have found him! Without him, all is confusion and ruin: with him, all is joy and peace.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    In favour with God - That is, in proportion to his advance in wisdom. This does not imply that he ever lacked the favor of God, but that God regarded him with favor in proportion as he showed an understanding and spirit like his own. Happy are those children who imitate the example of Jesus - who are obedient to parents who increase in wisdom - who are sober, temperate, and industrious, and who thus increase in favor with God and people.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

    The Biblical Illustrator

    Luke 2:52

    And Jesus increased in wisdom--

    A pattern childhood and youth

    He grew, not in stature only, but in wisdom and favour with God and man. Christ, as Divine, must have had all knowledge and power from the first. But subjecting Himself to the laws of human development, He thereby consented to an unfolding which, in childhood should exhibit a perfect Child, in youth a perfect Youth, in manhood a perfect Man. It was the unfolding of a perfect bud into a perfect flower. At each advancing step He was only evincing larger measures of that wisdom and moral excellence which, in possibility and germ, were in Him from the first.

    2. He was content with an obscure and humble home. In these days there is everywhere a great crowding into cities and populous towns. These are thought to have peculiar advantages for the training and education of children. But have not the solid men, for whose living in it the world has most reason to be grateful, oftenest come from hillsides and homes like that of Nazareth? It is in obscure places that youth escapes the wasting strifes of ambition, the unproductive chase after vanities; that he learns not only “to scorn delights and love laborious days,” but to think his own thoughts and to stand alone. The wise youth is content just where it has pleased God to place him. If the station is lowly and the lot obscure, he does not chafe and repine; he rather gives thanks.

    3. He was a winning example of filial piety and obedience. For thirty years He was contentedly subject to parental guidance and authority. It is the discipline of a well-ordered home which makes good citizens. It is a blessing, above all others, to grow up in a house where the gospel rule prevails. There it is that foundations are laid for every moral virtue. There is the best safeguard of purity. It is there that one learns the sweetness of lowly ambitions and the surpassing wealth of pure affection.

    4. It is time to speak of His self-subjection to the discipline of helpful industry. He was called “the carpenter’s son.” He was Himself the carpenter. Justin Martyr, who lived as near to Him as we do to George Washington, speaks of Him as “a worker in wood,” and says that He “made ploughs and yokes and other implements relating to husbandry.” After Joseph’s death, the care of His mother would devolve upon Him. It is therefore proper to think of Him as early sharing the lighter labours of His home. His little feet bear Him on many a helpful errand for His mother. Pitcher in hand, He runs for water to the well. To kindle the fire He gathers and brings the wood. Soon, with growing limbs, He begins to wield the hammer, the axe, and the saw in the shop; to invent and shape toys for Himself and useful things for the house. In the process of time, He settles into a more patient industry. In the little village on the hillside of Nazareth, He is “the carpenter.” And such a shop as that in which He wrought, must have been I Do you think He ever made reckless promises, and failed to keep them? Do you think He ever did poor work, and charged the price of good? That He ever concealed a flaw, or tried to get the better of another in trade--can you believe that?

    5. He was not in undue haste to have done with the work of preparation and to enter upon His public ministry. In such backing lies the strength of all great workers. Have we not often seen men of ripened age, men of whom the world never so much as heard the name, suddenly burst upon the stage of action, assume an easy leadership, and carry off the best prizes of emolument and honour? They are equal to the places they attempt to fill. They endure. Such men have taken time for preparation. They have both knowledge and self-knowledge. They have that self-control which comes of quiet introvision. They have root; and a root grows: it is not made; only to an extent can it be forced.

    6. The childhood and youth of Jesus were marked by delight in the truths and ordinances of religion. At twelve years old, when taken to Jerusalem, His feet swiftly bare Aim to the Temple. Let no parent, or teacher, or worker in the Lord’s vineyard look upon a child as too young to be interested in holy things. Little feet linger where earnest words are spoken about (God and duty to Him. Little minds are full of wonder concerning the very deep things of the world unseen. Little hearts would gladly know and choose the way of grateful and loving service. Childhood’s years may be given to God. And oh, what glory and safety and blessedness it is to have begun thus early.

    7. He made His most earthly work a service unto His Father. Back at Nazareth He was all the time doing His Father’s business, just as truly as when sitting among the doctors in the Temple. There is a time to pray, and there is also a time to read, and a time to work. Give to each its own time. And if, in each, your purpose is equally to do the will of God, and bring honour to Him, He is just as well pleased with the one as with the other. Go where God bids you go, abide where He would have you abide, and do each hour the work He appoints for that hour; do all in faith and love, and for His glory; for the rest you need have no fears. Thus the lowly can win as sweet a smile and as large a reward as those who fill the highest places. He is with us in life’s valleys as truly as on the mountain-tops. The little child can come as close to His heart as the great king. It is not a great name, or a giant intellect, or conspicuous service, which God wants. It is only a trusting and obedient heart. Who cannot, who would not, give that? (H. M. Grout.)

    Progress in spiritual things

    Religion is a generous and noble thing, in regard to its progress; it is perpetually carrying on that mind, in which it is once seated, towards perfection. Though the first appearance of it upon the souls of good men may be, but as the wings of the morning, spreading themselves upon the mountains, yet it is still rising higher and higher upon them, chasing away all the filthy mists and vapours of sin and wickedness before it, till it arrives to its meridian altitude. There is the strength and force of the Divinity in it; and though, when it first enters into the minds of men, it may seem to be “sown in weakness,” yet it will raise itself “in power.” As Christ was in His bodily appearance, He was still increasing in wisdom, and stature, and favour with God and man, until He was perfected in glory; so is He also in His spiritual appearance in the souls of men: and accordingly the New Testament does more than once distinguish of Christ, in His several ages and degrees of growth in the souls of all true Christians. Good men are always walking on from strength to strength, till at last they see God in Zion. Religion, though it hath its infancy, yet it hath no old age: while it is in its minority, it is always in motu; but, when it comes to its maturity, it will always be in quiete; it is then “always the same, and its years fail not”; but it shall endure for ever. (John Smith.)

    Orderly development

    An orderly development; none of your monstrous athletes; none of your mere intellectual book-worms; none of your emaciated, hysterical saints and ascetics; none of your hermits or fanatical antisocial visionaries. He grew in body, in mind, in soul, and heart; stature, wisdom, favour--human and Divine. Is not that parable of childhood writ clear! Is not the message to you and to your children? Follow the lines, not of your crushed, but of your restrained, controlled, and regenerate nature. Learn, like Him, by the things that you suffer, undergo, have to put up with. Learn, before you teach; obey, before you command; going in and out amongst men, toil hand and heart about the Father’s business, and with an ear ever attuned to the voices in the upper air, until we all come in the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. (H. R. Haweis, M. A.)

    Christ’s growth in wisdom

    The increase of Jesus in wisdom during this period was--

    1. Real. Jesus had to learn from the words of others what as yet He knew not; and that was entirely unknown to Him as a child, which He had a glimpse of as a boy, conjectured as a youth, and first clearly perceived as a man.

    2. Unchecked. In attributing to the Lord Jesus the relative imperfection of childhood, we must carefully avoid imputing to Him the failings of childhood. His life showed no trace of childish faults, to be hereafter conquered. The words of John (Matthew 3:14) show, on the contrary, what impression was made by His moral purity when thirty years of age, and the voice from heaven (Matthew 3:17) sets the seal of the Divine approval on the now completed development of the Son of Man, a seal which the Holy One of Israel would only have offered to absolute perfection.

    3. It was effected by means--

    4. Normal, and so an example of what our development should be in fellowship with Him. (J. J. Van Oosterzee, D. D.)

    The growth of Jesus in wisdom

    Our Lord’s body grew in stature, so that, when He reached manhood, He had attained fair and comely proportions. And while the body grew, His human mind grew also; His human intelligence unfolded itself gradually into full blossom, in the same manner as the mind and intelligence of other children, only, doubtless, in a much greater degree. Perhaps you cannot understand how this could be. To grow in wisdom must imply that the person who grows is, at a more advanced age, wiser than when He was younger; knows something, understands something, which he did not know, and understand before. But how could this be in His ease? you may reasonably ask. Was He not God, you may say, even when He was quite a young child? And how can God be ignorant of anything, or fail to understand anything? Now it is true, doubtless--absolutely true--that our Lord, even while he was a child, was the everlasting God. But it is true also that He was “God manifest in the flesh,” God sinking Himself down to the low level of human nature. He became really and truly for our sakes an infant, a child, a youth, a man. He did not merely seem to be human, but He actually was human. Now in order that He might be really and truly a man, He consented, in His wonderful condescension, not to call into exercise those powers which He had as God. You can quite understand a person having strength, but not using it. A man might have the strength of a giant, who might choose to exert Himself very little, might never walk above a few yards, might not employ his hands in any harder work than turning over the leaves of a book or reeling off a skein of silk. And in like manner a man may have a perfectly strong and good eyesight, but he need not use it farther than he pleases. He may shut his eyes altogether, in which case he will see nothing. He may only half open them, in which ease he will see but dimly and confusedly; or he may go and live in a dungeon, where only a few straggling rays of light pierce the gloom; and then, however good his eyesight may be, he will for the first few seconds be able to see nothing; but when the eye has adjusted itself to the circumstances in which it is placed, he will begin to make out the forms of things around him, but will not see their colours, or have any power at all of examining them closely. This may help you to understand how our Lord, while He had in ]dis Divine nature all power and all knowledge, yet, when He made His appearance among us as man, was ignorant of certain things, and unable to do certain things. In coming into the world, He, by His own free will and consent, limited Himself to do the things which a man could do, and to know the things which a man could know. He came into our poor, narrow, dark nature, just as a free man might come out of the light of day into a narrow, dark, prison-dungeon, and there consent to be shut up. Such an one might have the power of walking miles, but in the dungeon he can only walk a few paces; he might have a very keen eyesight, but in the dungeon he cannot even see to read. Christ took a nature which, till He took it, was not His own, and accommodated Himself to the feebleness and ignorance of that nature--limited Himself, if I may use the expression, to the walls of it. (Dean Goulburn.)

    Christ’s increase in the favour of God

    We may compare our Lord’s period of growth, during which He was prepared for His work, to the gradual execution of some great piece of sculpture, a bust or a statue. Let us say that the marble chosen for the work is a piece without flaw, spotless white, without a single vein running through it. Thus our Lord’s human nature, unlike that which all of us inherit, was perfectly free from all tendency to evil; holy, harmless, undefiled at His very birth. But a white block of marble, though white when it is drawn from the quarry, can be made a more perfectly beautiful thing by being chiselled into an exquisite form. And a human nature, which was originally sinless, may be made a more perfectly beautiful thing by being disciplined through grace, and through the experience of suffering, into the perfect likeness of God. And you can quite understand how a sculptor, who is daily at work upon a statue, has an increasing satisfaction in it, as the work becomes more and more perfect, views it with greater pleasure and complacency to-day, when it has received so many flourishing touches, than he did some months ago, when it was a mere resemblance of the human form in outline. The work increases in favour with him daily; and when it is finished, he is then perfectly satisfied. Thus it was that Jesus, as a man, “increased in favour with God.” (Dean Goulburn.)

    On the education of children

    It is not, alas, according to this model, that the generality of Christians form their children. We behold them principally intent on procuring for them worldly accomplishments, while they totally neglect to make them acquainted with the great duties of Christianity.

    1. The human mind cannot be too early impressed with religious principles. The prudent will, indeed, be careful not to make that a burden which should be a pleasure; they will be content to unfold the gospel principles by degrees, as the youthful mind is able to receive them.

    2. Nature only requires a little gentle assistance to perfect all her productions. You have seen a tender plant springing upon a fertile soil, what though tall and straight, and promising to become the pride of the forest, since one unlucky stroke may have crushed its aspiring head, and forced it from its natural direction, from that moment it bended and grew downwards to the earth, instead of towering to the skies. Thus, the human mind while young and pliable, is in perpetual danger of growing luxuriant by too much indulgence, or losing all its strength by the unnatural restraint of too much severity, to be suppressed by misfortune, checked by disappointment, or chilled by penury. How liable is it to deviate from the straight line of rectitude and honour, by the fascination of example, and the influence of imitation; to folly, vice, and ruin. It is the pleasing but important task of parents and guardians, to direct and defend this young and delicate production; leading it from lower degrees of perfection to higher, from the nursery to the field of action, till it is adorned with the fairest honours, enriched with the most precious fruit, and ripe for transplanting to the paradise of God, where it shall bloom afresh under the immediate sunshine of heaven, and flourish for ever in immortal beauty and perfection.

    3. The prejudices received in youth are sometimes so violent and inveterate, that even maturity of years, the admonition of friends, the principles of hope, fear, honour, and religion, are unable too often to restrain them. Nay, the best of all teachers, experience, frequently attempts, but in vain, to cure the maladies of a wrong education. It is nonsense to expect a harvest, where the seed time has been lost, and you must be disappointed, who wish to reap where you have not sown.

    4. The least indulgence of the bad inclinations of children, sometimes produces the most fatal effects in society. Witness David’s indulgence of Amnon--it produced incest; of Absalom--it produced assassination and a civil war; of Adonijah--it produced a usurpation of the throne and crown. Observe, again, how God punished Eli, who neglected to correct duly the crimes of his children. Can you, O parents, hear these awful truths, and not shudder at the idea of indulging the least vicious propensity in your children? But let me turn from those gloomy images, to hold up to your view the picture of a parent’s care, rewarded in a wise and virtuous offspring. These will be your pride and glory in the day of your health and strength; but in the gloomy and melancholy season of sickness and old age, they will be the light of your eyes, and the cordial of your fainting spirits; and as once with tender care you watched their tender infancy, so shall they with pious duty support your failing strength, soften the pangs of a dying hour, close your eyes in peace, and eventually follow you to that world where love and bliss immortal reign. (B. Murphy.)

    God’s favour to be sought

    Jesus won the favour of man by seeking the favour of God. It is not so important that man should be pleased with us as that God should. But man’s favour is more likely to be won through seeking God’s favour than in any other way. If we are always asking how those about us will look at us; if we give large weight in our thoughts to the opinion of our fellows; if we endeavour to so shape our course as to win popular approval, we are by no means sure to have what we strive for; we may fall far short of the coveted favour of man; and, moreover, may utterly lack God’s approval, whether man likes or dislikes us. But if we are always asking how God will look at our course; if we give large weight in our thoughts to His opinion and His commandments; if we seek to shape our course to win His approval, we are sure to get what we most long for; and we are surer of having also the favour of man than we could be through any other course. If God is our friend, He can secure to us man’s approval. The best of human friends cannot win for us God’s favour. (H. C.Trumbull.)

    The secret of the growth of Jesus

    See the daisy. It opens its petals when the light dawns, and closes them at sunset. It is in the right place to absorb out of earth and atmosphere the nutritive forces it needs, and it grows. Go into a garden and ask what all these various plants are doing. They toil not neither do they spin; they have no visible machinery and yet they are all capturing sunbeams and converting them into fragrances, essences, flowers and fruits for the welfare of the world. Does your boy trouble about growth as he eats and drinks and plays? No! He takes no thought for the morrow’s growth. Flowers and children, rightly placed, grow. Get a piston and place it where the steam is and it will go. Put your water-wheel in the stream, and it turns. Man takes advantage of the energies close to hand and multiplies his forces a million-fold. So long as we are in the wrong place we cannot grow. The secret of the growth of Jesus is that He starts in the right place and keeps in it to the very end; He lives in and for God; is bathed with the warm light, and refreshed by the pure breath and nourished by the sweet fellowship with, and work for, the Father. (J. Clifford, D. D.)

    The silent growth of Jesus

    It is perplexing to some of us that there should be eighteen years of unbroken silence in such a life as Christ’s. We have asked what was Jesus at 17, 20, and at 25? and though no audible voice responds to us, yet the silence, read in the light of the wonderful work accomplished in His brief ministry, is itself a sign of the depth, continuity, and fulness of the moral growth. All growth is silent. When nature is baptized in the fulness of spring forces, you hear not a rustle. The whole movement takes place secretly and silently, and the world comes up anew without the sound of trumpet or the message of herald: God builds His temples without the sound of hammer. His great moral structures go up from day to day without noise, His kingdoms come without observation, notwithstanding the moment of their arrival may be one of tempest and storm. Tyndall says” “All great things come slowly to birth. Copernicus pondered his great work for thirty-three years; Newton, for nearly twenty years, kept the idea of gravitation before His mind; for twenty years also, he dwelt upon his discovery of fluxions; Darwin, for twenty-two years pondered on the problem of the origin of species, and doubtless he would have continued to do so had he not found Wallace upon his track.” So Jesus stayed in His place, did His carpentry, was obedient to His parents, accepted the restraints of His position, silently devoured the many chagrins of His lot, met His cares with a transcendent disdain, drank in the sunlight of His Father’s face, and possessed His soul in perfect patience, though urged by deep sympathy and throbbing desire to save men. No boasting, no hurry, no impatience, but a quiet maturing of power, and then so clad was He in strength that He never lost an opportunity through delay or marred a bit of His work by haste. When Perseus told Pallas Athene that he was ready to go forth, young as he was, against the fabled monster Medusa the Gorgon, the strange lady smiled and said, “Not yet; you are too young, and too unskilled: for this is Medusa the Gorgon, the mother of a monstrous brood. Return to your home and do the work which awaits you there. You must play the man in that before I can think you worthy to go in search of the Gorgon.” It is hurry that enfeebles us. (J. Clifford, D. D. )

    The three ages of Christian life

    God in Christ has appeared among men to raise up again fallen humanity. In order to do this, He laid hold upon it, in the cradle, and left it only at the tomb; passing through all the stages of its growth, traversing in succession all the ages of life, sanctifying our nature at all periods of our existence, and causing us to see in His person, from the moment when He came into the world till that of His exaltation in glory, the perfect type of innocence and holiness. It is thus that He became in turn an infant, youth, man; an infant, obedient and submissive; a young man without reproach and keeping Himself pure from all defilement of the flesh and of the world: a full-grown man showing us in His character and in His conduct the model of absolute perfection. He stopped there; for He by whom and for whom are all things ought: not to fail; it was necessary that He should offer Himself a sacrifice in all the vigour of age and in all the fulness of life: it was not becoming that He should present to us the picture of decrepitude and old age. But as there has been a birth of the Son of God in the Man Jesus, a growth of the God-man in the person of the Redeemer, so there has been, there is, and there will be, to the end of time, a birth and growth of Christ in all the souls belonging to Him. Christ is truly born. He grows up, He developes Himself in His people. There is in turn, in their case, the infant, the youth, and the grown-up man, and He completes in them the work of His grace till they come to the height of His perfect stature. (J. H. Grandpierre, D. D.)

    The humanity of Christ

    That Jesus was really a man. Here it may be observed,

    I. That He was really man BECAUSE HE HAD A HUMAN BODY. It was formed and fashioned in His mother’s womb by the great Parent of all flesh. So it was, says the inspired writer, that while His mother was at Bethlehem, “the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

    II. He was really man BECAUSE HE HAD A HUMAN SOUL AS WELL AS A HUMAN BODY. This is necessarily implied in what is said of Him in the text. He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Here both His wisdom and piety are asserted; and we know that these are properties of the soul, and not of the body.

    III. That Christ was properly a human person will appear, if we consider THE STATE AND CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH HE WAS PLACED WHILE HE LIVED IN THIS WORLD. For--

    1. He was fixed in a state of dependence.

    2. He was placed under law, which implies that He was a human moral agent, and accountable to God like other men. We are told that “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.”

    3. That Christ was placed, like all other men, in a state of probation from His birth to His death.

    I now proceed to improve the subject.

    1. If Christ was really man, then the Arian notion of His pre-existence before He came into the world is entirely unscriptural and absurd. The Arians suppose that Christ was the first and noblest of created beings, and existed before the foundation of the world. For it is absurd to suppose that Christ had both a human soul and a super-angelic soul, and that both these were personally united with the Second Person in the Trinity, and so constituted Him a Divine Person. The true scriptural doctrine of Christ’s divinity is founded upon the true scriptural doctrine of Christ’s having a human body and a human soul, which was personally united with the second person in the Godhead. It is necessary, therefore, to believe the real humanity, in order to believe the real divinity of Christ. It has been found by observation and experience, that the denial of Christ’s humanity directly leads to the denial of His divinity.

    2. If Christ had a human body and a human soul, then we cannot account for the early depravity of children through the mere influence of bad examples, or bodily instincts and appetites. He was an infant, but He did not sin in infancy. He had a frail, mortal body, but it did not corrupt His heart. He lived in a wicked world, where He saw many bad examples, but they did not lead Him to follow them. He was a free moral agent, but He never chose to sin.

    3. If Christ was really a man, then there is no natural impossibility of men’s becoming perfectly holy in this life.

    4. If Christ was really man, then God is able to keep men from sinning consistently with their moral agency.

    5. If Christ was really man, then there is no absurdity in the doctrine of the final perseverance of saints.

    6. If Christ was really man, then there is no reason to suppose that men possess a self-deter mining power, or a power to act independently of the Divine influence and control.

    7. If Christ was really man, then His conduct is a proper example for all men to follow.

    8. If Christ was really man, then He is well qualified to perform all the remaining parts for His mediatorial office. In particular, to perform the part of an intercessor.

    9. If Christ be really a man, then they will be unspeakably happy, who shall be admitted into His visible presence, and dwell with Him for ever. (N. Emmons, D. D.)

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    Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Luke 2:52". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

    Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

    And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.

    The fourfold development of Christ: mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually is here affirmed, exactly the type of growth and development that is inherent in the very fact of the incarnation. He who "emptied himself" and became a man found it needful to pass through the helplessness of infancy, the ignorance of babyhood, and the incompetence of adolescence just like all men. The true humanity of our Lord is thus brilliantly presented by Luke, no less than his true deity. That this is the greatest mystery of all ages is a fact; but that has not prevented the full acceptance of it by the faithful of all ages.

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    James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https: Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    And Jesus increased in wisdom,.... As man; for neither his divine wisdom, nor the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him, as mediator, could admit of any increase; but as he grew in body, the faculties of his soul opened, and received gradually large measures of wisdom and knowledge, in things natural and spiritual, through the in dwelling of his divine nature in him, and the Holy Spirit that was, without measure, on him:

    and stature: the word signifies age also; and so the Vulgate Latin has rendered it: but that is not the meaning of it here, since it would have been entirely unnecessary to have observed, that he increased in age, which must be unavoidable: but the sense is, that as he increased in the wisdom and knowledge of his human soul, so he likewise increased in the stature of his body: and in favour with God and man: he appeared by the grace that was in him, and the gifts bestowed on him, to be high in the love and favour of God; and had a large share in the esteem and affections of all good men, who had the honour and happiness of knowing him, and of being acquainted with him.

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    Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    See on Luke 2:40.

    stature — or better, perhaps, as in the Margin, “age,” which implies the other. This is all the record we have of the next eighteen years of that wondrous life. What seasons of tranquil meditation over the lively oracles, and holy fellowship with His Father; what inlettings, on the one hand, of light, and love, and power from on high, and outgoings of filial supplication, freedom, love, and joy on the other, would these eighteen years contain! And would they not seem “but a few days” if they were so passed, however ardently He might long to be more directly “about His Father‘s business?”

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    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

    People's New Testament

    Jesus increased. Jesus grew up among a people seldom and only contemptuously named by the ancient classics, and subjected at the time to the yoke of a foreign oppressor; in a remote and conquered province of the Roman empire; in the darkest district of Palestine; in a little country town of proverbial insignificance; in poverty and manual labor; in the obscurity of a carpenter's shop; far away from universities, academies, libraries, and literary or polished society; without any help, as far as we know, except the parental care, the daily wonders of nature, the Old Testament Scriptures, the weekly Sabbath service of the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:16), the annual festivities in the temple of Jerusalem (Luke 2:42), and the secret intercourse of his soul with God, his heavenly Father.--{Schaff}.

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    Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

    Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "People's New Testament". https: 1891.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    Advanced in wisdom and stature (προεκοπτεν τηι σοπιαι και ηλικιαιproekopten tēi sophiāi kai hēlikiāi). Imperfect active, he kept cutting his way forward as through a forest or jungle as pioneers did. He kept growing in stature (ηλικιαhēlikia may mean age, as in Luke 12:25, but stature here) and in wisdom (more than mere knowledge). His physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual development was perfect. “At each stage he was perfect for that stage” (Plummer).

    In favour (χαριτιchariti). Or grace. This is ideal manhood to have the favour of God and men.

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    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https: Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    Stature ( ἡλικία )

    Which Rev. rightly retains. The word may be rendered age, which would be superfluous here.

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    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https: Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

    Jesus increased in wisdom — As to his human nature, and in favour with God - In proportion to that increase. It plainly follows, that though a man were pure, even as Christ was pure, still he would have room to increase in holiness, and in consequence thereof to increase in the favour, as well as in the love of God.

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    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

    The Fourfold Gospel

    And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men1.

    1. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. He did not "literally" grow in favor with God. This is a phenomenal expression. The favor of God and man kept company for quite awhile; but the favor of God abode with Jesus when man's good will was utterly withdrawn. Men admire holiness until it becomes aggressive, and then they fell an antagonism against it as great, or intense, as their previous admiration.

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    J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "The Fourfold Gospel". https: Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


    ‘Jesus increased in wisdom.’

    Luke 2:52

    The Gospels do not give us, nor do they attempt to give us, a detailed history of our Lord’s wondrous life. A few stories of the infancy, one lovely little narrative of the Child among the doctors, an outline sketch of the brief activities of the last three years—this, strangely enough, is absolutely all that our authorities supply. By far the greater portion of the life of our blessed Lord is a simple blank.

    And yet, after all, can we say nothing of those hidden years? May we not, at least with a reasonable probability, conjecture somewhat of the blossoming and unfolding of Christ’s perfect life? Is it not possible from His later words and actions to divine just a little of what went before?

    In following this path, we must tread with caution. We cannot believe that the mind of the Man, Who is also God, can have opened, enlarged, matured in precisely the way that merely human minds mature. We cannot admit that, even in the days of His flesh, the inner experience of Christ was exactly the same as ours. Surely from the very beginning He must have had some special, some Divine endowment—some consciousness at least of His unique relation to His heavenly Father—which it is not given to mere man to harbour. And yet, however carefully we may guard the statement, the indubitable fact remains that Jesus grew. There was nothing portentous about Him. Sin only excepted, He was perfectly human. Hallowing all the stages of our human progress, the Lord Incarnate, with the ripening of His years, ‘increased in wisdom.’

    ‘Jesus increased in wisdom.’

    I. Through intercourse with books.—He was not what the people of the period would have called a scholar. He never was sent to a rabbinic college, or sat, like St. Paul, as a regular pupil in ‘the House of the Midrash.’ He was only a poor countryman. Yet you must not conceive the fancy that our Saviour was untaught. The Jews of His day were exceedingly zealous in the cause of education. Some kind of instruction, therefore, Jesus surely had. And, moreover, He studied. He was thoroughly acquainted with the history, the law, the poetry of His people; He was not unversed even in the curious learning of the scribal schools. At a later time, indeed, men said to one another, in astonishment at His wisdom, ‘Is not this the Carpenter? Whence hath this Man these things?’ But let us go still further. Research can point out for our edification what were the very books the Master studied while he lived on earth. The beginning of His training was, undoubtedly, the law, and the first text that He ever learned was taken from the Book of Deuteronomy. As a very little child, almost as soon as He could speak, He was taught by His mother to repeat by heart that solemn affirmation of the unity of God and the absolute devotion that His people owe Him. ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.’ That was our Lord’s first text. As He grew older He mastered other passages, and from the age of twelve He was accustomed, like every other pious Jew, to recite each morning and evening a portion of nineteen verses, selected from the Books of Deuteronomy and Numbers. But the books ascribed to Moses were not the only ones that Jesus knew. He must have been familiar with the earlier histories of the Bible and with several of the prophets—with Jeremiah and Hosea, with Jonah and Zechariah and Malachi. But the favourites of all—the books which our Lord pre-eminently studied and most dearly loved—appear to have been three. The first was the hymn-book of the synagogue, the Psalms. And the second was Isaiah, particularly that part which tells of that innocent Servant of Jehovah Who ‘hath borne our griefs,’ Who ‘was bruised for our iniquities,’ and by Whose ‘stripes we are healed.’ The third was the prophet Daniel. These three—so far as it is possible to form a judgment—were the chosen books of Jesus.

    II. Through intercourse with nature.—His eyes were continually open to the glories of nature round Him, and His mind was peculiarly sensitive to the truths that nature taught. The wholesome air of the hills and fields of Galilee breathes ever in His utterance. Nor shall we wonder at it when we recall the fact that Nazareth itself, no doubt, was a mean enough place, yet spreading all round were lands of such rich fertility that an old-time traveller likened them to Paradise. Here were green gardens and luxuriant cornfields. Here was abundance of olives and fig-trees and vines. Here, too, were streams, and variegated flowers, and herbs of sweet perfume. Above and behind the town there rose a hill, which Jesus in His youth must many a time have climbed. And from its summit one might gaze on a magnificent panorama of plain and vine-clad valley, of mountain-peaks and river gorge, and the blue of a distant sea. For thirty years it was the prospect of our Lord.

    III. Through intercourse with men and women.—Our Lord was not denied such means of self-education as companionship affords. He never was a solitary. He loved, indeed, the quietness of the deserts and the hills, but He also loved the breathing crowds, the eager populations of the villages and towns, the busy life of the streets. He was bred, you must remember, in a country town. At fountain and in market-place He mingled with the people, and with searching, questioning gaze He studied them. The farmer, the slave, the officer of justice, the dealer in pearls on the sea, the long-robed Pharisee and the anxious housewife, the labourer waiting to be hired, and the criminal dragging along his heavy cross—all the types He knew. And was it not fitting that He Who became pre-eminently the Friend of man should first Himself have gained experience of man? Was it not right that He Who became, as no other may become, man’s Teacher, should first have taught Himself by accurate observation what man’s spirit is? For thirty years Jesus sat patiently with open eyes and watched the world pass by. ‘He needed not that any should testify of man; for He knew what was in man.’

    IV. Other influences.—Let us notice two of the most important of these human influences on the growing life of Jesus.

    (a) The home. May we not imagine that the beautiful allusions which our Saviour later made to family life and family affection were tinged with the colour of a tender reminiscence? and, further, that His doctrine of service, of mutual subjection and subordination in love, embalmed some experiences of those early years, when He Himself was subject to His ‘parents,’ and was glad to do their will?

    (b) The synagogue. Here ruled the Pharisees. Sabbath by Sabbath Jesus would listen to their skilled disputes, mark their fantastic explanations of the law, hear them expound, with deep yet childish wisdom, their favourite dogmas of a resurrection, predestination, of the coming Messiah and the triumph of Jehovah. And as He listened to those earthly teachers, what trains of Divine ideas must have swept with an awful grandeur through the temple of His soul! Yet still He waited quietly for thirty years—listened, and learned, and pondered while the doctors taught. Then, at the very last, He went His way, sweeping aside the chaff and dust of Rabbinism, bursting the fetters of its forms outworn, and pouring from the depths of His immeasurable consciousness a doctrine fresh as the light, sublime as the heaven, Divine as God.

    Rev. F. Homes Dudden.

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    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Church Pulpit Commentary. https: 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

    Ver. 52. Increased in wisdom] Being παιδαριογερων, as Macarius was called, while a child, for his extraordinary grace and gravity. The exercise of his wisdom, as it was more enlarged, became more lovely in the sight of God and man.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    Luke 2:52

    The text naturally divides itself into four heads. There is a twofold development spoken of, and a twofold result or concomitant. We are called upon to observe the growth of Jesus: (1) in bodily stature; (2) in wisdom, and as a concomitant of these, to behold Him increasing; (3) in favour with men, and (4) in favour with God.

    I. We know that among the Jews no one was qualified to be a priest who had any bodily defect or blemish. It behoved the sacred historian therefore to show that our great High Priest had no bodily disqualification for His office. He was destined, after thirty years' spiritual obscurity, to lead a life of energetic labour and endurance of hardship for the space of three years. In this a frame capable of ordinary fatigue was surely necessary. Even for the toil of this daily employment, Jesus needed those bodily powers of which St. Luke briefly describes the increase.

    II. We may assume that, whatever the age of our Lord was, His wisdom corresponded to His age. There is a prescient wisdom, sometimes found in early years, which gives way to and is succeeded by the maturer wisdom of the man, just as that in its turn passes on to the grave and retrospective wisdom of the elder. Jesus increased in growth and in that wisdom which suited His years. He is represented to us, in the sacred narrative, not only as receiving wisdom from above, but as acquiring wisdom by communication with others. In the development of Jesus there was nothing like forcing, no hurry or impatience, no attempt either to produce a sensation, or to impress His brethren and neighbours with an idea of His extraordinary powers.

    III. We see the Child Jesus increasing in favour with men—all, that is, who came into communication with Him. The favour of men is a test of certain qualities, without which no Christian character can lay claim to even relative perfection. No selfish, or ill-tempered, or peevish, or morose, or arrogant, or deceitful person can ever secure the favour even of relatives, much less that of any mixed society. The Child Jesus commended Himself to all who knew Him by every amiable and lovely quality, and grew up like some tender plant in the quiet vale of existence.

    IV. And we are called upon to regard Him as increasing in favour with His heavenly Father. This is a sure concomitant of spiritual growth. We have to contemplate the Child Jesus, not as possessing at once the full favour of God, but as increasing in favour with Him. This shows the Saviour to be one of us. This marks His life on earth as progressive, passing through successive stages—each perfect of its kind, but one kind of perfection being higher than another.

    G. Butler, Sermons in Cheltenham College, p. 27.

    Silent Growth.

    I. Times come to all when the great realities of life and death stand out clear, if it is but for a moment, and the heart sees and feels what is of value and lasting and true. We want such times: the beginners want them to teach them how to begin; the older want them to encourage them to go on. But yet these critical times are as nothing compared to the daily, hourly, momentary appeal that is being made to everyone. Whether we know it or not, not a moment passes which does not add or take away something of our power of judging and seeing the things of God. This power of judging and seeing the things of God is a power of the Spirit, and is given by the Holy Spirit of God to those who open their hearts to God's truth, and live by it. This power of seeing, of putting the feeling in accord with higher feeling, of the getting the heart to thrill with the thrilling of Divine truth, and the mind to think out God's thoughts, is wisdom. It is the harvest gathered from life. God's world is all about us—God's world of created nature, fields and trees, rivers and sky; God's world of men and women, with all their hopes and fears; God's world of right and wrong, with all the strange permitted evil, and all the wonderful bringing out of good. To read God's thought in God's world is wisdom. "And Jesus increased in wisdom." The little valley and the country town, the lonely life, the quiet village amongst the hills, the grass beneath, the stars above, the life within the narrowing heights, the life views that streamed over them from outside,— gave all the material wanted for wisdom. To Christ the sower that went forth to sow was a presence touching the heart, the mustard-seed cast into the ground a message of heavenly power. Not a sparrow, but His eye knew it as a part of God's alphabet. The women grinding corn, the very leaven in the daily bread, all were to Him thoughts thought out and passed on to us, lighted up with the light of the everlasting.

    II. What a lesson of patient waiting this gives! The mind feels a sort of breathless awe when it tries to call up the idea of the Lord of lords, sitting a poor Man on the hillside, and day by day, for thirty years, holding within His heart the wondrous knowledge of a Divine mission, and all the time treated by the villagers as one of themselves. All the sense of inward power, the thoughts that pierced the secrets of the world, the reformer's eye that saw through the tangle of human life, of its sorrows and its sins, conscious of the Redeemer's power to heal; the gathering greatness, the danger and the sacrifice grew more and more distant day by day to the solitary unacknowledged King on the hillside; and yet He waited and waited, and gathered in new thoughts daily where others saw nothing, and grew in wisdom and was strong in spirit; and being strong in spirit did not move before His time.

    E. Thring, Uppingham Sermons, vol. i., p. 213.

    References: Luke 2:52.—S. James, Church of England Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 76; R. Heber, Parish Sermons, vol. i., p. 112; H. G. Robinson, Man in the Image of God, p. 167. Luke 3:1-23.—F. D. Maurice, The Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven, p. 37.

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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Luke 2:52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature The word signifies either age or stature; but the latter seems evidently to be here meant. Erasmus remarks, (nearlyin these words) that all the endowments of the Man Christ Jesus were owing to the divine beneficence, and that his Deity communicated itself in a gradual manner to that human nature which it had assumed. Some perhaps may wish to know the history of our Lord's childhood and private life; what early proofs he gave of his having the divine nature united to the human; what proficiency he made in knowledge, and the methods by which he advanced therein; in what way he employed himself when he arrived at man's estate; what notions his acquaintance formed of him; the manner of his conversation with them, and other things of a like nature,—which the Holy Spirit has not thought fit to explain. The following particulars only are left upon record:—that he had not the advantage of a liberal education, (John 7:15.) receiving no instructions, probably, but what his parents gave him according to the law; (Deuteronomy 4:9-10; Deuteronomy 6:7.) yet that at the age of twelve years, when carried up to Jerusalem, he distinguished himself among the doctors by such a degree of wisdom and penetration, as far exceeded his years:—that he very early understood the design on which he was come into the world;—Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?—That as he grew in years, he became remarkable for his wisdom and stature, advancing gradually in the former as well as in the latter; and that by the comeliness of his person, the sweetness of his disposition, and the uncommon vigour of his faculties, he engaged the affections of all who had the happiness to be acquainted with him:—that, as his mind was filled with wisdom, and always serene, being perfectly free from those turbulent passions which distract other men, his countenance no doubt must have been composed and agreeable, such as did betoken the strength of his understanding, and the goodness of his heart. This may be implied by the expression, the grace of God was upon him, Luke 2:40 unless it be thought an explication of the preceding clause, He waxed strong in spirit, and was filled with wisdom, Raphelius, Not. Polyb. p. 186 makes it probable, that the grace of God, in that passage, is the highest Hebrew superlative, being an expression of the same form with, the mountains of God, that is to say, exceeding high mountains,—and so is equivalent to the description which Stephen gave of Moses's beauty, Acts 7:20. He was αστιεος τω Θεω, fair to God,—exceeding fair. Besides, we find the word χαρις, grace, used in a similar sense by St. Luke 4:22 and all—wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, επι τοις λογοι ; της χαριτος, at the harmony and beauty of his diction, as well as the importance of his subject. However singular this observation concerning our Lord's form may appear, yet a nearer view of it will conciliate our approbation: for if his stature was so remarkable in his youth, that it twice deserved the notice of the evangelist, ver.40, 52 his comeliness might be so likewise. Nor is any thing which the prophets have said of him, as forinstance, Isaiah 52:14 inconsistent with this conjecture: for the meanness of the Messiah's condition, and the disposition of the Jews towards him, are described in that prophesy, rather than the form of his person. Just as Psalms 45:3 describes the triumphs of his religion, rather than the majesty and glory of his outward form. The evangelist tells us farther, that Jesus was possessed of an uncommon and prevailing eloquence, insomuch that his hearers were often amazed at the beauty of his discourses; (ch. Luke 4:22.)—and some of them made to cry out, Never man spake like this man, John 7:46.—That he remained subject to hisparents, and lived with them in humble obscurity,till he entered on his public ministry, which commenced about the thirtieth year of his age; the excellency of his divine nature having been for the most part vailed during the whole course of his private life:—and, that probably as soon as his strength permitted, he wrought with his father at his occupation as a carpenter, (Mark 6:3.) leaving us an admirable example both of his filial duty, and prudent industry. These are all the particulars which the Holy Spirit has thought fit to communicate to us concerning our Lord's life.

    Inferences drawn from Christ's sitting among the doctors.—Even the spring shews us what we may hope for from the tree in summer. In his younger years, therefore, would our Saviour give us a taste of his future excellence; lest, if his perfection should have shewed itself without warning to the world, it might have been entertained with more wonder than belief; If after this early demonstration of his divine graces, the incredulous Jews would nevertheless say, Whence hath this man his wisdom and his mighty works? Let us ask what would they have said, had he suddenly leaped forth into the clear light of the world?—The sun would dazzle all eyes, were it to break forth at its first rising into its full strength: now, it has both the day-star to go before it to bid men look for the glorious day, and also the lively colours of the day to publish its approach. The eye is comforted, not hurt, by its appearance.

    The law of the passover extended only to the males; I do not find the blessed virgin bound to this annual voyage; the weaker sex received indulgence from God; but she, knowing the spiritual profit of the journey, takes the voluntary pains of measuring that long way every year. Piety regards not, any more than God's gracious acceptation, the distinction of sexes. They who would go no farther than they are dragged in their religious exercises, are not at all of kin to her, whom all generations shall call blessed.

    In all his examples the blessed Jesus meant our instruction; this pious act of his youth was intended to lead our first years into timely devotion, and set us on our way to Jerusalem. The first liquor seasons the vessel for a long time after. It is every way good for a man to bear God's yoke even from his infancy. He that sets out betimes in the morning, is more likely to dispatch his journey, than he who lingers till the day be spent.

    This holy family came not to look at the feast only, and be gone; they duly staid out all the appointed days of unleavened bread: their worldly business, their secular concerns, could not either keep them from Jerusalem, or send them away immaturely. Worldly cares must give way to sacred; and unless we will depart unblessed, we must attend God's service till we may receive his dismission; and can indeed say with Simeon, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.

    The feast ended, what should they do but return to Nazareth? God's services may not be so attended, as that we should neglect our particular callings. They are grievously mistaken, to their own hurt, and the dishonour of the Almighty, who think God cares for no other trade but devotion. Piety and diligence must keep due interchange with each other; nor does God less approve of our return to Nazareth, than of our going up to Jerusalem.

    We cannot think that the blessed virgin, or the good and solicitous Joseph, could be so neglectful of their divine charge, as not to call him to them on their setting forth from Jerusalem; but their back was no sooner turned on the temple, than his face was towards it. He had business to do, and meat to eat in that place, when their services and their feasts were ended. He in whom the Godhead dwelt bodily, could do nothing without God: his true Father led him away from his supposed parent: sometimes the affairs of our ordinary vocation may not grudge to yield unto spiritual occasions.

    The parents of Christ knew him well to be of a disposition not strange, nor sullen, but sweet and sociable. They supposed therefore that he had spent his time on the way in the company of their friends and neighbours; and when evening came, they go to seek him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. He had not been sought among them now, had he not been accustomed to converse with them heretofore. Neither as God, nor man, does he take pleasure in a stern, froward austerity, and wild retirement; but in a mild affability, and amiable conversation.

    Gracious Saviour! who can miss, and not mourn for thee? Just is that sorrow, and seasonable are those tears, which are bestowed upon thy loss. Of what comfort are we capable, while we want thee? O let thyself loose, my soul, to the fulness of sorrow, when thou findest thyself bereaved of him, in whose presence is fulness of joy; and refuse to receive comfort from any thing but his return.

    In vain is Christ sought among his kindred according to the flesh. So far, alas! are they still from giving us their aid to find the true Messiah, that they are but too apt to lead us from him. Back again, therefore, must Joseph and Mary be gone, to seek him in Jerusalem, whom their soul loved. At last, on the third day, they find him in the temple. He who could rise again the third day, and be found among the living, would now also the third day be found of his parents, after the sorrow of his absence.

    But where wert thou, and how tended, O blessed Jesu, for the space of these three days? I know, if Jerusalem should have been as unkind and niggardly to thee as Bethlehem, thou couldst have commanded the heavens to harbour thee; and if men did not minister unto thee, thou couldst have commanded the service of angels:—but further I inquire not,—for further thou revealest not. This only I know, that hereby thou intendedst to teach thy parents that thou couldst live without them; and that not out of any indigency but out of a gracious dispensation alone, thou choosedst ordinarily to depend on their care.

    In the mean time, thy divine wisdom could not but foreknow all those corroding thoughts wherewith the heart of thy mother must needs bleed:—yet wouldst thou leave her for the time to sorrow, and visit her who bore thee with this earthly affliction. None ever sought thee with a sincere desire, of whom thou wert not found; and where should we rather hope to find thee, than in the temple?—There is the habitation for the God of Israel; there is his resting-place for ever.—O all ye who are grieved with the want of your Saviour, see then where you must seek him: in vain shall you hope to find him in the streets, in the taverns, in the theatres: seek him in his holy temple; seek him with piety; seek him with faith; there shall ye assuredly meet and recover him.

    While children of that age were playing in the streets, Christ was found sitting in the temple, to hear and converse with the doctors of the law. He who, as God, gave them all the wisdom they had, as the Son of man, hearkens to the wisdom that he had given them. He who sat in their hearts, as the author of all knowledge, sits in the midst of their schools a humble disciple, that, by learning from them, he might teach all the younger sort humility and due attendance on their instructors: he contents himself to hear with diligence, to ask with modesty, and to teach only by insinuation. Behold him, that could have taught the angels, listening, in his minority, to the voice of men. First, he hears, then he asks, (Luke 2:46.) after that he answers. How much more then does it concern us to be hearers, ere we offer to be teachers of others? He gathers that hears; he spreads that teaches. If we spend before we gather, no wonder if we soon prove bankrupts.

    What wonder was it that these great rabbins all wondered at the understanding and answers of this infant tutor? Luke 2:47. Their eyes saw nothing but human weakness; their ears heard divine sublimity of matter. And why then did ye not remember, O ye Jewish teachers, that to us a child was born, that to us a son was given, whose name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace? Why did ye not now call to remembrance what the star,—the sages,—the angels,—the shepherds,—Zachary, Simeon, Anna had pre-admonished you? Fruitless is the wonder, that endeth not in faith. No light is sufficient where the eyes are held through prejudice or unbelief.

    The doctors were not more amazed to hear so profound a childhood, than the parents of Christ were to see him among the doctors, Luke 2:48. And now, not Joseph,—he knew how little right he had to that divine offspring,—but Mary breaks forth into that loving expostulation, Son, why hast thou dealt so with us? Wherein she evidently meant to express rather grief than correction and reproach. Herein, only, the blessed virgin appears to have offended, in that her inconsideration did not recollect, that some higher respects than could be due to flesh and blood, must have called away the Son of God from her, who was the daughter of a man. How naturally are we all partial to ourselves! how prone to the regard of our own supposed rights! Questionless this gracious saint would by no means wilfully have preferred her own attendance to that of her God: through heedlessness, however, she offends. Her Son and Saviour is her monitor. How is it that ye sought me? Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

    Immediately before, the blessed virgin had said, thy Father and I had sought thee with heavy hearts. The Son of God stands not upon contradiction to his mother in this case; but leading her thoughts from his supposed father to his true, from earth to heaven, he answers, Knew ye not that I must be about my Father's business? It was honour enough for her to hear, that he had vouchsafed to take flesh of her. It was his eternal honour, that he was God of all, the everlasting Son of the heavenly Father. Good reason therefore was it, that the respects of flesh should give place to the God of spirits. How well contented was holy Mary with so just an answer! How does she now again in her humble heart renew her reply to the angel, Behold the servant of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word! We are not worthy to say we have a Father in heaven, if we cannot steal away from these earthly distractions, and employ ourselves in the service of God, in the all-important business of our heavenly and eternal Father.

    REFLECTIONS.—1st, The morning-star being arisen, the sun of righteousness cannot be far behind: in the fulness of time God sends forth his Son, born of a woman. We have,

    1. The time of Christ's birth; in the reign of Augustus Caesar. When he had extended the Roman monarchy to the greater part of the known world, and was now in perfect peace throughout his vast empire, he orders a general enrolment to be made through the provinces, that every man, according to his ability, might pay a suitable tax: and this was done under the inspection of Cyrenius, the governor of Syria, with which Judea was joined as one province; so that it evidently appeared the sceptre was departed from Judah, by this badge of servitude, Genesis 49:10 the fourth monarchy was now risen to its glory. Daniel 2:44 and therefore in this time of peace was the proper and appointed period fixed by the ancient prophesies for the appearing of the Prince of Peace, the Messiah.

    2. The place where Jesus was born; at Bethlehem; whither his parents were obliged to go, on account of this enrolment, they being of the lineage of David, and therefore called to appear at the seat of their ancestors. Augustus only meant his own glory and advantage in this matter; but God had designs to serve by him which he knew not: it was thus evident that our Lord sprung from David, and the scripture was fulfilled which fixed his going forth from Bethlehem, Micah 5:2. By such mysterious ways does God work, accomplishing his own gracious purposes, and making those who least intend it, subservient to his own designs.

    3. The wretched circumstances in which Christ came into the world. Though a first-born son, and of royal extraction, not to mention his divine honours, yet was he born in the stable of an inn, and his cradle a manger. Thus did the everlasting Father become an infant of days; he who bound up the deep in swaddling-bands, was himself swashed as a babe; he, whom the heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain, was hid in a manger; He, who in uncreated glory on his eternal throne, was the object of adoration to all the angelic hosts, is thrust into a stable to dwell among the beasts of the earth: so low did he humble himself, when he became man for us men and for our salvation; and took the form of a servant as a prelude to his submitting to the death of a slave.

    2ndly, Amid the deeper humiliation of Jesus, some bright displays of his uncreated glory still broke forth, that we might not stumble at the meanness of his appearing in the flesh, but be made to confess, Truly this is the Son of God. We have,

    1. The appearance of an angelic minister to notify the birth of the Prince of Peace; not to the mighty monarchs of the earth, that they should come and pay their homage before the King of kings, and Lord of lords; but to poor shepherds, who were by night watching their flocks. They were employed in their honest calling, and were then favoured with this unexpected visit from above: God will put this honour upon industry. The angel stood over them in the air, and the earth shone with his brightness; a divine glory compassed him about and fear seized their minds at the presence of this celestial messenger. Visits from the unseen world to men, conscious how ill they have deserved at God's hand, may well alarm us, and make even gracious souls afraid.

    2. The heavenly visitant soon quieted their troubled minds, saying, Fear not, no danger is near, no evil portended, but the very contrary; for behold (with wonder and delight attend my message) I bring you good tidings of great joy; the happiest news that ever reached the sinful sons of men, and which shall be to all people; not to the Jews only, but to the Gentiles also, alike interested in this message. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord, the long-expected Messiah, the Lord of life and glory, the Saviour to the uttermost, unto all those who come to God by him, who without him must have been for ever undone. And this shall be a sign unto you, whereby you may assuredly know him, and a strange sign indeed it was; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, the last place surely where they would ever have sought the Messiah, after such a glorious herald had proclaimed his birth and titles; but the most eminent distinction of God incarnate was his deep humiliation. Note; (1.) If there be a Saviour born, we must seek him for ourselves, that we may obtain an interest in him. (2.) None perish in their sins, but they who will not come to him that they may have life; for he is able to save to the uttermost all who come to God by him, seeing that he is Christ the Lord.

    3. Suddenly a multitude of the angelic host joined this celestial messenger, to celebrate the divine glory, and to congratulate the sons of men on this auspicious occasion. The morning-stars that sang together, and all those sons of God who shouted for joy to see the world's foundation laid, now join with greater transport to adore this more transcendent display of the divine benignity in the redemption of sinners by the incarnation of Jehovah. (1.) They ascribe to God glory in the highest; all his divine perfections are to the uttermost exalted; his infinite mercy, that moved him to pity sinners; his surpassing wisdom, that contrived, and his almighty power and grace, that accomplished the wondrous means of man's salvation; his adorable justice; his matchless love; his unchangeable faithfulness to his promises, all shine with peculiar lustre in the redemption which is by Jesus Christ. (2.) They congratulate the sinful sons of Adam on the peace sent down from heaven to earth:—Peace with God, as reconciled through his Son; peace in the believer's conscience now undisturbed with fears of guilt; peace between the discordant sons of men; and all these blessings purely flowing from God's good will; not for the sake of any merit in us, but to the praise of the glory of his grace. If angels sing, shall men be silent? How ought we to echo back the sound; for us, and not for them, is this salvation wrought; to us this mercy is extended; most bounden are we for ever to bless and praise the God of all grace for this inestimable gift, the Son of his love.

    4. No sooner had these angelic ministers finished the heavenly song, and returned to their shining realms of bliss, than instantly the shepherds resolved to go and see this wondrous child, fully persuaded of the truth of what they had heard, and acknowledging the distinguishing mercy of God in having thus revealed it unto them: hasting therefore to Bethlehem, they found every circumstance as it had been told them, and the babe lying in the manger. Note; When God sends us on his errands, we should make no delay: all must be left to go where he calls.

    5. Fully confirmed in the persuasion that this was the promised Saviour, they failed not to spread the glad tidings, relating all that they had seen and heard from the angel, or Mary, concerning this child. And as they were plain and undesigning men, concurred in the same report, were eye and ear witnesses of the facts which they asserted, it exceedingly amazed all those to whom they gave the account; they knew not how to question the truth, and yet—that the Messiah should be born in a stable; that his parents should be persons so obscure; that poor shepherds only should be favoured with the notice of his birth, and not the chief-priests and rulers of the nation; all these circumstances staggered them. Thus the report was the wonder of a day, and soon died away, and was forgotten; but Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart, comparing them with what had before passed; confirmed thereby in her faith and hope, and silently storing up every circumstance in her memory against some future occasion. Meantime the shepherds returned to their former occupation, blessing and praising God for what they had heard and seen, so exactly correspondent with all that the angels had told them; and waiting, no doubt, in hope for the day when this child should come to manhood, and publicly appear as Israel's Saviour.

    3rdly, He who was made under the law for us, submitted not only to all the moral precepts, but to the ceremonial institutions.

    1. He was circumcised the eighth day, binding himself thereby to the observance of the law; humbling himself to this painful rite, as born in the likeness of sinful flesh; owning himself of the seed of Abraham, and wearing this badge of the children of God, as under the instituted seal of the covenant devoted to him. At this time, as usual, his name was also given him, and he was called Jesus, having been so named of the angel before his conception, to signify his glorious character as a Saviour from sin, Satan, death, and hell.

    2. He was, at the end of the time appointed for his mother's purification, or forty days, their purification as some copies read, Leviticus 12:4 presented in the temple as holy to the Lord, Exodus 13. God having reserved to himself the first-born of Israel, in commemoration of his sparing them when he slew the Egyptians; while his mother also brought an offering for herself, according to the prescription of the same law, a pair of turtle-doves, or young pigeons, which in case of poverty were accepted instead of a lamb and a dove, Leviticus 12:6-8 the one as a sin-offering of atonement, in testimony of her unworthiness of the mercy that she had received; the other as a burnt-offering, expressive of her thankfulness.

    4thly, Amidst all the meanness and poverty of Jesus, very glorious were the testimonies borne to him from heaven and upon earth. We have,

    1. The public declarations of Simeon; a man, it seems, of distinguished note in Jerusalem, who just then came, by divine direction, into the temple.

    [1.] The account given concerning him is greatly to his honour. He was just towards men, and devout, eminently religious toward God, waiting in faith and patience for the consolation of Israel, the promised Messiah, whose coming in the flesh was to be the great joy of all believers, Gentiles as well as Jews; the time of whose appearing, fixed in the prophetic writings, was now at hand: and the Holy Ghost was upon him, not only as a Spirit of holiness, but as a Spirit of prophesy: And it was revealed unto him by the secret inspirations of the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ, whom his eyes should behold before they were closed in the dust. And accordingly, just at that instant, he came by the Spirit into the temple, under some divine warning of what was doing there: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, to present him to the Lord, and pay the price of redemption, then took he him up in his arms, in a transport of joy, as having found him whom he had so long and so earnestly expected; and blessed God, and broke forth into the following prophetic song of praise; Note; (1.) We must not be weary of waiting; though the Lord may for a while exercise our patience, all his promises are sure to persevering believers. (2.) Christ is the consolation of his Israel; he makes all those happy who by faith embrace him. (3.) They who have Jesus in their arms, in their hearts, can look death in the face with confidence.

    [2.] His discourse on this occasion, was solemn and joyful. He said, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, farewel life, welcome death! He is now content to be gone, since God has thus graciously fulfilled his promise to him; and cheerfully resigns his soul in confidence of exchanging a perishing world for an eternity of glory: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, that Messiah, who is come to be the author of eternal salvation to all the faithful; which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, and now manifested in the flesh to accomplish the glorious work; a light to lighten the Gentiles, who have long sat in darkness, ignorance, and idolatry, but now shall be made partakers of the light of truth and the grace of the gospel; and the glory of thy people Israel, among whom his personal ministry was employed; who were spectators of his miracles; from whom he descended after the flesh; by whom, as his apostles and evangelists, he first propagated the knowledge of his salvation; and, in him all the spiritual Israel are justified, and in him they glory. Isaiah 45:25. Note; (1.) A believing sight of Christ, and of the great things that he has prepared for the faithful, will not only enable us to overcome the terrors of death, but to triumph in its approach. (2.) We may not leave our post till the Lord grants us our dismission; our time is in his hand; while he has work for us to do, we must be content to be here, till he calls us to depart, and be with him; which is far better. (3.) Christ is the Sun of righteousness; there is nothing but darkness and death in the spiritual world, till he arises with healing in his wings.

    [3.] Simeon concludes with his benediction on the parents of Jesus, and a prediction for their notice. They marvelled at these transcendently glorious testimonies which were borne to their infant Son; while Simeon congratulated them on their distinguished felicity, and prayed that the best of blessings might descend upon them. He blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, as more especially the parent of Jesus, and interested in what he was about to say; behold, with wonder, and with confidence in the truth which I declare, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; he will be to many native Jews a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, Isaiah 8:14-18 while by his power and grace others will be raised up to newness of life, even many who at first were offended at him; and he shall quicken all believers in Israel and throughout the world, and bring all those who perseveringly cleave to him unto eternal glory; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; his humiliation and sufferings will give a handle to his persecutors to blaspheme and revile him; yea, and so bitter will the enmity be against him, that it will extend to all his relations and friends, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, such anguish and pain you will endure from the view of his insults and sufferings, and from those which you may be called to endure for the profession of your faith in him; that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed, these times of persecution most effectually serving to discover the faithful disciples from the hypocrites and apostates. Note; (1.) The same gospel is to some the savour of death unto death, which to others is the savour of life unto life. (2.) They whom Jesus raises, must first be laid low in the dust of humiliation. (3.) Most of our comforts in this world have some crosses annexed to them.

    2. Anna the prophetess confirms, just at the same instant, what Simeon had spoken concerning the glory of the child Jesus.

    [1.] Her person and character are described. Her name was Anna, whom the Lord had endued with a spirit of prophesy. She was the daughter of Phanuel, a person probably of some note, and of the tribe of Asher; a very aged woman, having lived seven years with a husband, and ever since continued a widow of about eighty-four years, a great age, if comprehending the whole of her life; but if reckoned as her years of widow-hood, will carry her age at lowest to above a hundred years. Yet though so old, she constantly attended the stated worship of the temple morning and evening, and on all solemn occasions; and was much in fasting and prayer, a singular instance of piety and devotion.

    [2.] Her testimony concerning Jesus is recorded. Just at the instant that Simeon was discoursing concerning him, she came in; and, with thanksgiving and praise to the Lord, confirmed what he had spoken concerning the child. And among all her religious acquaintance, who were expecting the Messiah's appearing, and looking for his redemption, she spake of the Son of Mary, as the person raised up of God for this great design. Note; (1.) They who are constant at the temple, and careful to keep up communion with God, will find many a blessed and happy visit from him, which they perhaps hardly expected. (2.) They who know Jesus themselves, are in duty bound to spread that knowledge far and wide, and to endeavour to bring others to an acquaintance with his salvation.

    5thly, Our curiosity might have tempted us to wish for some more large and particular accounts of the infancy and childhood of Jesus; but as till his public appearance in the character of the Messiah we had no particular need of it, all that the Holy Ghost has been pleased to record of the first twenty-nine years of his life, is contained in a few verses; where some beams of his glory, even from his earliest days, are seen to break forth, as presages of his future greatness.

    1. After he was presented in the temple, he for the most part, till twelve years of age, lived with his parents at Nazareth, whither they were directed to go after their return from Egypt, Matthew 2. There he grew up as other children do; and as his stature increased, and reason began to dawn, he displayed the most uncommon natural abilities; was endued with wisdom far beyond his years; and instead of that foolishness which is bound up in the heart of all other children, and immediately begins to discover itself with the first dawnings of sense, in him nothing was seen of folly or perverseness. The grace of God eminently governed his spirit and conduct from his tenderest years, and the favour of God towards him appeared most evident and singular.

    2. At the age of twelve, he gave some amazing evidences of his extraordinary wisdom, and some intimations of the great work that he had in view.

    [1.] At this time he went up to Jerusalem with his parents to the passover, where all the males from that age were commanded to appear to celebrate this solemnity. Note; it is highly incumbent on parents to acquaint their children betimes with their covenant-relation to God, and to endeavour to engage them early, with their own free choice, to surrender themselves up to him as his willing servants.

    [2.] When they had stayed during the seven days of the feast, and then had set out on their return for Nazareth, the child Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem: probably when they went up to worship on the morning before they proceeded on their journey, he left them in the temple; and as the men and women travelled in different companies, each of his parents supposed that he had been with the other, or with some of their relations, great numbers of whom travelled together; till, at even, when they met, to their surprise they missed their son; and after a fruitless search among all their relatives and acquaintance, they turned back to Jerusalem in the morning to seek for him. (See the Annotations.) Note; Our relatives and acquaintance are too often unable to direct us to Jesus; we must go farther for our information.

    [3.] At last they found him on the third day in the temple, in one of the chambers, probably where the Sanhedrim sat, or where the wise men instructed their catechumens; there Jesus was, among other young persons, hearing their discourses, answering their questions with the most amazing acuteness, and proposing others to them, which shewed uncommon wisdom and penetration; insomuch that they were all astonished at the sagacity of his replies, and the depth of his understanding, so exceedingly beyond his years, and such as made him appear worthy a place among the highest rabbis, instead of a seat at their feet as a catechumen.

    [4.] Having found him, they were amazed to see him thus admired and esteemed by the doctors; and his mother began tenderly to expostulate with him on his stay, which had given them such anxiety and grief: but he gently rebuked her solicitude, who, after all that had passed, ought not to be surprised at finding him there. Where should he be so properly as in the courts of his Father's house? and what so fit an employment for him, as to be thus about his Father's business? but they understood not his meaning: his regal office, as the Messiah, the son of David, they believed; but of his prophetical character, and the nature of his spiritual kingdom, they seem not yet to have had clear ideas.

    3. He returned to Nazareth, submitting to his parents in every instance of filial duty; and his mother stored up his sayings in her mind, expecting, that though she now but little understood them, hereafter they would be explained more fully. Till he was thirty years of age, he continued in this obscure abode, and under the government of his parents, probably working as a carpenter for their maintenance and his own: and as he advanced to manhood, his attainments in wisdom and understanding were amazing, his faculties most enlarged, and his soul filled with all those gifts and graces which the human nature, by its union with the Divine, was prepared to receive. Thus he grew highly in God's favour; and admired and esteemed by all who were acquainted with his singular excellencies. Note; (1.) Let children, when grown up, learn of Jesus subjection to their parents; that is a duty which we must ever pay. (2.) Though the truths of God, which we are taught, may not at first be understood by us, yet the knowledge of them will prove highly useful, when afterwards God gives the spiritual understanding. (3.) Those children are indeed their parents' glory and joy, whose wisdom and graces increase with their years, and exceed them.

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    52.] ἡλικ., probably not only ‘stature’ (as in ch. Luke 19:3), but age (ref. Matt.), which comprehends the other: so that σοφ. κ. ἡλ. would be wisdom, as well as age.

    During these eighteen mysterious years we may, by the light of what is here revealed, view the holy Child advancing onward to that fulness of wisdom and divine approval which was indicated at His Baptism, by ἐν σοὶ εὐδόκησα. We are apt to forget, that it was during this time that much of the great work of the second Adam was done. The growing up through infancy, childhood, youth, manhood, from grace to grace, holiness to holiness, in subjection, self-denial, and love, without one polluting touch of sin,—this it was which, consummated by the three years of active ministry, by the Passion, and by the Cross, constituted “the obedience of one man,” by which many were made righteous. We must fully appreciate the words of this verse, in order to think rightly of Christ. He had emptied Himself of His glory: His infancy and childhood were no mere pretence, but the Divine personality was in Him carried through these states of weakness and inexperience, and gathered round itself the ordinary accessions and experiences of the sons of men. All the time, the consciousness of his mission on earth was ripening; ‘the things heard of the Father’ (John 15:15) were continually imparted to Him; the Spirit, which was not given by measure to Him, was abiding more and more upon Him; till the day when He was fully ripe for his official manifestation,—that He might be offered to his own, to receive or reject Him,—and then the Spirit led Him up to commence his conflict with the enemy. As yet, He was in favour with man also: the world had not yet begun to hate Him; but we cannot tell how soon this feeling towards Him was changed, for He alleges (John 7:7), “Me the world hateth, because I testify of it that its deeds are evil;” and we can hardly conceive such testimony, in the years of gathering vigour and zeal, long withheld. The incident of ch. Luke 4:28-29 can scarcely have arisen only from the anger of the moment.

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https: 1863-1878.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    Luke 2:52. Comp. 1 Samuel 2:26.

    ἡλικίᾳ] not age (so Vulgate, Luther, Erasmus, and most expositors), which would furnish an intimation altogether superfluous, but growth, bodily size (Beza, Vatablus, Grotius, Er. Schmid, Bengel, Ewald, Bleek, and others). See on Matthew 6:27; Luke 19:3. Comp. ηὔξανε καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο, Luke 2:40. “Justam proceritatem nactus est ac decoram,” Bengel. Luke expresses His mental ( σοφίᾳ) and bodily ( ἡλικίᾳ) development.(64) In favour of this explanation we have also the evidence of 1 Sam. l.c.: ἐπορεύετο μεγαλυνόμενον, which element is here given by ἡλικίᾳ.

    χάριτι] gracious favour, as at Luke 2:40. But here, where one twelve years old is spoken of, who now the longer He lives comes more into intercourse with others, Luke adds καὶ ἀνθρώποις. Comp. 1 Sam. l.c.: וָטו ̇ ב נַּם עִם־יְהֹוָה וְנַם עִם־אֲנָשִׁים; Test. XII. Patr. p. 528. Observe, moreover, that the advancing in God’s gracious favour assumes the sinless perfection of Jesus as growing, as in the way of moral development. Comp. on Mark 10:18. But this does not exclude child-like innocence, and does not include youthful moral perplexities. Comp. Keim, geschichtl. Chr. 110 ff. It is a normal growth, from child-like innocence to full holiness of the life. Comp. also Beyschlag, Christol. d. N. T. 47 ff.

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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https: 1832.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary


    Reader! how little did the Roman Emperor Augustus, or his deputy Cyrenius, conceive, that the over-ruling power of God so arranged the taxation, that the chief object to which it should minister, should be to bring the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem, and mark the precise period of the birth of Christ! How unconscious were the Jewish shepherds, when keeping watch over their flocks by night, until the message from heaven informed them of the wonderful event of the arrival of the Savior! And oh! the astonishing mystery, when God, who hath recorded from all eternity the names of his redeemed in the book of life, brings them acquainted with the unspeakable mercy, and manifests himself to them otherwise than he doeth to the world. Reader! can You and I mark down our personal knowledge of these things, so as with Simeon or Anna declare, our eyes have seen Christ's salvation; and speak of the Lord Jesus to all them that look for redemption in Jerusalem?

    Precious Lord Jesus! when I behold thy obscure birth, thy low circumstances and mean accommodation, a manger only to receive thee in thine entrance into this our world, and no room for thee in the inn; oh, what a lively representation was there in this, of all the future circumstances of thy life. Truly didst thou say, and the truth holds equally good in all ages; Blessed is he whosoever is not offended in thee! My soul! delight thou more and more in the sweet testimonies of thy Lord's humanity, while beholding him at the same time possessing all the proofs of Godhead. For by both only could Jesus be suited for thee as thy Surety, Husband, and Savior. Oh! the preciousness of that mystery, which without controversy is great, God was manifest in the flesh.

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    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https: 1828.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    Luke 2:52. προέκοπτε, He progressed) In accordance with [or in respect to] human nature, and the wisdom of human nature; and that in actual fact, but far above the measure of an ordinary man.— σοφίᾳ, in wisdom) in the soul.— ἡλικίᾳ) in stature of body in proportion to His years. Therefore He must have reached the due and proper height of a man.— χάριτι, in grace) in favour, owing to the endowments of soul and body, which come from grace, the more tender years are especially commended.— παρὰ θεῷ, with God) John 8:29 [The Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him].— ἀνθρώποις, with men) The world is more ready to feel anger towards adult men, than towards youths who are not yet engaged in any public office or duty.

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https: 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    If any ask how he, who was the eternal Wisdom of the Father, (who is the only wise God), increased in wisdom, they must know that all things in Scripture which are spoken of Christ, are not spoken with respect to his entire person, but with respect to the one or the other nature united in that person; he increased in wisdom, as he did in age, or stature, with respect to his human, not to his Divine nature. And as God daily magnified his grace and favour toward him, so he gave him favour with the neighbourhood, and people of Galilee, so as that when he came forth to be a public minister, he came forth as a bishop (the chief Bishop of souls especially) ought to do, having a good repute even of those who were without. And thus we leave our Saviour’s history, for about eighteen years of which the history of the gospel tells us nothing.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Increased in wisdom; this is spoken of Jesus as man. See Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Family Bible New Testament". https: American Tract Society. 1851.

    Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

    52. προέκοπτεν, ‘advanced.’ (Galatians 1:14; 2 Timothy 2:16, &c.) The word is derived from pioneers cutting down trees in the path of an advancing army. Comp. 1 Samuel 2:26, and the description of an ideal youth in Proverbs 3:3-4.

    σοφίᾳ. In spite of the attempts, from the days of Athanasius downwards, to explain this word away, it remains one of the great Scriptural bulwarks against the Apollinarian heresy which denies the perfect manhood of Christ.

    ἡλικίᾳ. Perhaps ‘age’ (as in Luke 12:25?), though the word sometimes means stature (Luke 19:3; Ephesians 4:13), and it is so understood in this place by Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Ewald, Bleek, Meyer, &c. The Vulg[69] has aetate.

    ἀνθρώποις, ‘men.’ Proverbs 3:4, “So shalt thou find favour and good success (marg.) in the sight of God and man.” Pirke Avôth, III. 10, “In whomsoever the mind of men delights, in him also the Spirit of God delights.” It is not said of St John that he grew in favour with men, because even from childhood he shewed the stern and reserved spirit which took him to the wilderness.

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    "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https: 1896.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    52. Jesus increased—Compare this with Luke 2:40, which closes the account of his last being in the temple as this does the present. Also Luke 1:80, which describes John’s growth. Higher attributes are ascribed to Jesus than to John.

    Increased in wisdom—His, then, was a finite, limited mind, capable of growth and development.

    Favour with God—For though his entire being was in the favour of God, yet as that being increased in amount, the amount of favour increased proportionately.

    And man—Even the rude Galilean highlanders of Nazareth, it would seem, felt softened towards his gentle, expanding nature. And that even in spite of his want of a true Galilean’s fierce and fiery spirit, betokening that he would make no figure in the world. So when he came at a subsequent period, once and again, to present his Gospel to Nazareth, Nazareth adhered to her first impression that the boy of Joseph the carpenter, though a child of singular omens, could never come to any thing great.

    Thankful should we be that this beautiful fragment gives us a glimpse of that long period between the Saviour’s infancy and the commencement of his ministry. It is embosomed deeply in the natural texture of eastern life; it is perfect in its fitness to the human-divine character of the youthful Jesus; it bears in its clear simplicity the signatures of historic truth.

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1874-1909.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.’

    Meanwhile Jesus continued to grow in wisdom and in physical strength, and in favour with God and men. He did not at this stage need to go into the wilderness for He was guided in a way that even John did not know, and His goodness protected Him. All acknowledged His godliness, and loved Him for His open-heartedness and genuine kindness. The people loved Him and God was with Him. For John it was a harder struggle. He had to fight himself.

    Note that this description is based on 1 Samuel 2:26, but that here we have the addition of ‘wisdom’. Jesus grew like Samuel, but with the addition of special wisdom. Luke probably expects his readers to notice the addition and interpret accordingly.

    We can add further that by the time He was ‘about thirty’ His father had died, and He Himself was a carpenter following in His father’s footsteps; He had a number of brothers and sisters; and He had for some time probably been mainly responsible for providing for the family. Once, however, He had been able to train up His brothers, He would be able to leave the welfare of the family to them.

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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https: 2013.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Luke 2:52. Advanced, not ‘increased.’

    In wisdom and stature, or, ‘age;’ see Matthew 6:27. The former sense is included, if the latter be accepted.

    In favor (or, ‘grace’) with God and men. The favor with God found expression at His baptism, and that expression implies sinless perfection. The innocence of childhood, free in this case from all childish faults, developed into complete holiness of life, in the way of positive obedience. During this time of youthful obedience and subjection, was performed a large part of that work which the second Adam must do as fulfilling the law for others. This work found ‘favor with God’ The favor with men was probably not complete. Even in youth He must have testified by His life against the worldly people of Nazareth (comp. chap. Luke 4:28-29). The exercise of His passive virtues must have been constant and increasing. His patient waiting has a lesson never more needed than in this bustling age.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https: 1879-90.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    Luke 2:52. προέκοπτε, steadily grew, used intransitively in later Greek.— ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ και ἡλικίᾳ, in wisdom and (also as, the one the measure of the other) in stature, both growths alike real. Real in body, apparent in the mind: growth in manifestation of the wisdom within, complete from the first—such is the docetic gloss of ecclesiastical interpreters, making the childhood of Jesus a monstrum, and His humanity a phantom.— χάριτι π. θ. καὶ ., in favour with God and men: beloved of all; no division even among men while the new wisdom and the new religion lay a slumbering germ in the soul of the heaven-born boy.

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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https: 1897-1910.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Luke 2:52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature — In the perfections of his divine nature there could be no increase; but this is spoken of his human nature, consisting of a reasonable soul and human flesh; his body increased in stature and bulk, and his soul in wisdom and in all the endowments of a human spirit. It received distinct and gradual illuminations as he advanced in years: for though the eternal Word was united to his human soul from his birth, or even conception, yet the divinity that dwelt in him manifested itself to his humanity by degrees, ad modum recipientis, as that humanity was capable of receiving those manifestations; and as the faculties of his human soul opened more and more, larger communications of knowledge, wisdom, and other gifts were made to it. And he increased in favour with God and man — That is, in all those graces that rendered him acceptable both to God and man. All this was suitable to his state of humiliation; for as he condescended to be an infant, a child, a youth, so the image of God must have shone brighter in him when he was grown up to be a youth, than it did or could do when he was an infant and a child. Let young people observe, that as they grow in stature they should grow in wisdom and grace; and then, as they grow in these, they will grow in favour with God and man.

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https: 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    that he was wiser at any future period of his life, that he was at the moment of his conception, but this is said, because he chose to manifest increasing signs of wisdom as he increased in years. --- In the same manner also he increased in grace, by displaying, as he advanced in age, the gifts of grace with which he was endowed; and by this excited men to the praise of God, from the consideration of favours God had bestowed upon him; and thus he conduced to the honour of God, and the salvation of men. (St. Gregory) --- The sun, always equally brilliant in itself, is said to increase in splendour, till it has reached its meridian brilliancy.

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    increased = advanced, in wisdom. See App-117.

    stature = maturity in all respects.

    with = from beside. Greek. para. App-104.

    man = men. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

    And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature. So our translators have rendered the word [ heelikia (Greek #2244)], with Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Meyer. But it may be rendered 'age'; and so the Vulgate, Erasmus, Calvin, DeWette, Olshausen, Alford, Webster and Wilkinson, Van Osterzee, and the best interpreters. Probably this latter idea is the one intended; as filling up, by a general expression, the long interval until the age at which He emerged from this mysterious privacy.

    And in favour with God and man. (See the note at Luke 2:40.) This is all the record we have of the next 18 years of that wondrous life.


    (1) Those who love the habitation of God's house and the place where His honour dwelleth, will not be ready to take advantage of permitted absence from it, but, like the mother of Jesus, be found there at all stated seasons when necessary duties allow.

    (2) The children of Christian parents are the children of the Church; they should be early taught to feel this, and-like the Child Jesus-trained to early attendance on its public ordinances and more private arrangements for instruction and edification.

    (3) One of the most decisive marks of early piety is a delight in the gates of Zion. And if we cannot attain to all that was in the mind of Jesus, when in language so remarkable He gently rebuked His earthly parents for their anxiety on His account (Luke 2:49) let us imbibe and, manifest the spirit of His words.

    (4) Let us realize the glorious identity with ourselves of the Infant Saviour, the Child, the Youth, the Man, Christ Jesus.

    (5) What an overpowering Example of filial obedience have we here! That the Child Jesus, so long as He was a Child, should be subject to His parents, though He was Lord of all, is not so wonderful; but that after, His glory broke forth so amazingly in his Father's house, He still "went down with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them;" continuing so, as we cannot doubt, until, at the appointed time, He emerged into public life-this is that marvel of filial obedience which even angels cannot but desire to look into.

    (6) Is it asked how "that holy thing," which was born of the Virgin, the sinless Seed of the woman, could increase "in wisdom, and in favour with God and man"? This is but to ask how He could become an Infant of days at all, and go through the successive stages of human life, up to full-grown manhood. But a simple illustration my perhaps aid our conceptions. Suppose a number of golden vessels, from the smallest conceivable size up to the largest, all filled to the brim with pure water, clear as crystal, so full that the least drop added to anyone of them would make it to run over. Of all these vessels alike it may be said that they are quite full; and yet there is, in point of fact, less in the smallest than the largest, and each of them has less in it than in the next larger one. Such was Jesus. The golden vessels of all different sizes are His human nature at each successive period of His life up to the age of thirty, when He came to full maturity; and the crystal-clear water in them is the holy excellences and graces with which He was filled. He was never otherwise than full of these to the whole measure of His capacity. His understanding was ever as full as it could hold of intelligence and wisdom; His heart ever as full as it could hold of grace. But as it could hold more and more the further He advanced, so He might be said to become more and more lovely, more and more attractive, as He advanced, and so to "increase in favour with God and man." True, the favour of men was afterward turned into frown and rage, when His fidelity irritated their corruption and dashed their expectations. But at this early period, there being nothing in Him to prejudice them against Him, His ever-unfolding loveliness could not fail to be increasingly attractive to all who observed it.

    (7) See the patience of Jesus, who, though doubtless conscious of His high destination, yet waited thirty years, not only for the entire development and maturity of all His powers and graces, but for the appointed time of His public appearance. Not so Moses, who, burning with the consciousness of his divine destination to deliver Israel, waited not his full time and the manifest call to act, but took this into his own hand, and was punished for it by having forty years longer to wait, far from the scene of his future work. Yet such patient waiting has unspeakable reliefs and consolations. The conviction that the best things ever take the longest to come to maturity would doubtless minister quiet satisfaction. But besides this, what seasons of tranquil meditation over the lively oracles, and holy fellowship with His Father; what inlettings, on the one hand, of light, and love, and power from on high, and on the other, what outgoings of filial supplication, freedom, love, joy, and what glad consecration to the work before Him, would these last 18 years of His private life embrace! And would they not "seem but a few days" when thus spent, however ardently He might long to be more directly "about His Father's business."

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (52) Jesus increased in wisdom and stature.—Here again we have nothing but a normal orderly development. With Him, as with others, wisdom widened with the years, and came into His human soul through the same channels and by the same processes as into the souls of others—instruction, e.g., in the school of Nazareth, and attendance at its synagogue—the difference being that He, in every stage, attained the perfection of moral and spiritual wisdom which belongs to that stage; there being in Him no sin or selfishness or pride, such as checks the growth of wisdom in all others. In striking contrast with the true record of the growth of the Son of Man, is that which grew out of the fantastic imaginations of the writers of the Apocryphal Gospels. There the child Jesus is ever working signs and wonders; fashions into shape Joseph’s clumsy work; moulds sparrows out of clay, and claps His hands and bids them fly; strikes a playmate who offends Him with dumbness, and so on ad nauseam.

    In favour with God and man.—This, it will be noted, is an addition to what had been stated in Luke 2:40, and gives the effect while that gave the cause. The boy grew into youth, and the young man into manhood, and the purity and lowliness and unselfish sympathy drew even then the hearts of all men. In that highest instance, as in all lower analogies, men admired holiness till it became aggressive, and then it roused them to an antagonism bitter in proportion to their previous admiration. On the history of the eighteen years that followed, see Excursus on Matthew 2.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
    40; 1:80; 1 Samuel 2:26
    or, age. and in.
    Proverbs 3:3,4; Acts 7:9,10; Romans 14:18

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

    The Bible Study New Testament

    And Jesus grew. Jesus grew up in a remote province of the Roman Empire, a province conquered by occupation troops, in a little country village whose name was a "proverb" for futility, in poverty and manual labor in a carpenter shop. Perhaps this is God's "SENSE OF HUMOR" (compare 1 Corinthians 1:27-28). But Jesus had the supervision by Mary and Joseph, the Old Testament scriptures, the worship in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:16), the Feasts in the temple at Jerusalem (Luke 2:41), and the constant communion of his spirit with God, his heavenly Father. Gaining favor. Eighteen years of silence are covered in this verse. Some have questioned how Jesus could gain favor, if he was pure and sinless already. But since he shared our human nature (Romans 8:3), he would be expected to grow and gain favor as humans do. Note that one of Jesus' favorite names for himself was "SON OF MAN."

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    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 2:52". "The Bible Study New Testament". https: College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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