Luke 2:39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
In verse 39 Mary and Joseph did all things that were required of them by the law. Jesus was brought to Jerusalem to be circumcised on the eighth day. Mary made the appropriate sacrifice for purification after the birth of a male first born.
Mary was subject to her husband’s leadership as a married woman. The uniqueness here is that Mary had an important role in being the vessel to give flesh to the eternal Son of God. Joseph was a God-fearing man who listened to the angel of the Lord in accepting what was happening to Mary even prior to their marriage. He was there to support her and to protect her as his wife. He accepted God’s will and plan. He was careful not to interfere with God’s design for this special child, Who was and is the Son of man as well as the Son of God.
We read that after they had fulfilled the law, they returned to Galilee and to Nazareth. We know that Nazareth was not their place of birth. They had to travel to Bethlehem for the census. Of course this decree was in order for God’s prophecy regarding the place of Jesus’ birth to be fulfilled. Luke recorded that Joseph and Mary went from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the census. We know that after the birth of Jesus Christ, in a stable, they moved into a house. When the wisemen arrived in Bethlehem, Mary and Joseph and Jesus were living in a house. We know as well that the wise men came to Bethlehem to worship the Lord Jesus Christ as a young boy. After their visit, Joseph was told to take his wife and Jesus and escape into Egypt for a time because Herod wanted to kill Jesus. After the death of Herod, God told Joseph to move them back to Israel. Joseph was afraid to move back to Judaea and thus they settled in Nazareth. All of this was under God’s direction. God will use our human thoughts at times for His eternal purposes. At times He changes our human thoughts to align with His will, if we are saved.
We know from verse 40, that Jesus grew. Jesus grew as a normal boy, to a degree. The difference is that Jesus was conceived without sin. He lived His life free from sin. We are told here that Jesus grew strong in spirit and was filled with wisdom. It is important to see a child grow and develop physical strength, etc. We know that Jesus was no weakling. He endured massive torture prior to His crucifixion. He also carried His cross for a time after being brutally beaten and whipped.
God shows us here that what was important was the spiritual development of a child. This should be important for every parent, regarding their child(ren).
In order to grow spiritually, a person needs to be saved first of all. Jesus Christ was born without sin because He is the eternal Son of God. He is unique. All other children are born as lost sinners. All other children need to be saved first of all. It is extremely important that children be taught the truth from conception. Parents need to be saved in order to teach their children properly. Children can be saved even if their parents are not, but the teaching will then come from other Godly adults.
We know that some of the men that were used to translate the Scriptures from their original languages into English, were well taught in the original languages as young children. Personal, physical development should never supersede spiritual development. No child can be forced into being saved. Each person must yield to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in order to be saved. However, it is important for parents to expose their children to Godly teaching from their youth.
As we have noted, Jesus Christ was unique. He was and is the eternal Son of God. He had no sin. He never lied. He never disobeyed His mother or Joseph. More importantly, He never disobeyed His heavenly Father.
We read as well that the grace of God was upon Him. The grace here is that strengthening grace that every true child of God needs to live by. Jesus Christ did not need to be saved, but He still needed the grace of His Father to guide and direct Him. Jesus Christ could stand strong and true to God even while on this earth because the grace of God was upon Him.
Jesus shows us that we cannot live the Christian life independently. We need God’s strength to live as God’s child after we are saved. Paul reminds us that it is Christ living in us that enables us to live the Christian life. Jesus, of course, was different. He is full of grace and truth as we read in John 1:14.
Jesus Christ was able to face intense temptations just prior to His public ministry. His response to the temptations was from God’s Word. He relied on His wisdom as the eternal Son of God. He did not sin as a man because His human nature was under the control of His deity. He honoured God in all things. No man could ever accuse Jesus Christ of sinning. There are myths out there as to what Jesus did as a child. Some talk of His healing wounded birds, etc. John 2 tells us that Jesus did His first miracle in Cana of Galilee. As a child He did not do miracles. He was obedient to His mother and Joseph in all things. He was not a stumblingblock to them or to anyone else.
His years living at home were no doubt a great blessing to His mother and to Joseph. They were also a great learning curve for Mary and Joseph because of the uniqueness of this son. We will see that further in this passage. No doubt there was quite a contrast between His nature at home, and that of his siblings who were born to Joseph and Mary.
There was no jealousy on Jesus’ part. There was no boastful nature on Jesus’ part. He submitted to Mary and Joseph, but ultimately HIs submission was to His heavenly Father.
It is important to know the Lord Jesus Christ. There are imposters out there. There are many who have accepted the distractions that are designed to interfere with Who Jesus is. Godly adults need to guard their children and teach them the unadulterated truth. That is what can lead to the salvation of children as well as to strong spiritual children and adults.