Greetings of peace,

The physical growth of a baby to be an adult will happen naturally without being able to be prevented though consuming different food (nutritious or just simple meals); also in pursuing studies, students are obligated to follow tests of all the lessons to supervize the development of their knowledge.

In this matter, parents must notice the growth of their children and try to give the best until they are fully grown. But according to the topic mentioned above, some questions arise:
Is their spiritual growth also noticed?
For those who are physically matured, are they growing spiritually and have reached maturity in the fullness of Christ?

For Apostle Paul exhorted in Ephesians 4:13  16, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;  

The phrase no longer children... gives understanding:
Being mature (spiritually)  cannot be measured by age increasement, that the spirituality will by itself grow mature (compare with I Corinthians 3:1-4; Hebrews 5:11-14).
It is dangerous to stay as children - tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.

Therefore, those verses above give spiritual maturity target that must be achieved that is to be mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then the standard is only in the Person of Christ Jesus the Lord who is fully matured.

What about the physical growth of Jesus when He was on this earth? To know that, the most appropriate reference is His parents especially His mother, Mary, who provided her womb as a place for the godly seed to grow that Jesus could be born to the world. Do not ask others who may give wrong information!

Jesus personal growth was written in details in the Gospel of Luke. Who is the writer, namely Luke? He was not a Jew, nor Jesus disciple and his profession is a doctor/physician (Collossians 4:14). His name appeared when following the journey of Jesus apostles and repented, then he wrote after investigating all the incidents happenned by interviewing eyewitnesses and the doers of the Word (Luke 1:2; Acts 1:1-3)

What was written by doctor Luke concerning the growth of Jesus?
THE FIRST PHASE: Jesus was born (Luke 1:26 – 2:40) → The Altar of Burnt Offering
When Mary who was still a virgin received the tidings from the angel that she would conceive and give birth to a son to be named Jesus, at first she was shocked and did not believe it because she had not any husband but finally she obeyed the angels words and received it as Gods grace (Luke 2:30-38).    

As a baby, Jesus could not do anything but to rely on His parents role. When baby Jesus was 40 days old altogether with the cleansing of His mother, He was dedicated to God according to the Jews law (Leviticus 12:2-4) by offering sacrifices (blood sign) of pigeons (Luke 2:24). There was a miraculous event at that moment when Simeon welcomed baby Jesus and prophesied Him as the Messiah, also Hanna was talking about baby Jesus to everyone who longed for deliverance (Luke 2:29-32, 38). After the ceremony, Marys family returned to their city, Nazareth, and baby Jesus grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him v. 40).  

Application: our spiritual growth must be started with being born (anew) and life offering to the Lord. It was all Gods grace, not our own effort and do not forget to long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that we may grow thereby (1 Peter 2:1-3 compare to Luke 11:27-28).

THE SECOND PHASE: in the Temple of God  longing for His Father (Luke 2:41-53)
Every year, Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and when Jesus was 12 years old, He was taken to Jerusalem to do so. Jesus had been from early age witnessing His parents faithfullness, being obedient to the Law and joining every Celebration of the Jews.

What happened when Jesus joined to celebrate Passover for the first time? Without His parents’ notice, He did not go home together with them as the parents did traditionally. This matter made them confused then looking for Jesus and just found Him in the Temple of God after searching for three days. They were shocked to see their Son sat in the midst of the scribes listening and asking questions to them. And everybody who heard Him was amazed of His intelligence and of all the answers He gave.

The same applied when His mother asked a question to Him, Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us? Behold, Thy father and I sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house?  (vv. 48-49). It was truly a confusing answer and they did not understand what was meant by Jesus but Mary kept all the matter in her heart (v. 51). This was a prove that a 12 year old boy had (should) shown signs of spiritual growth.

Application: we should also be like that, after being born again we should long for pure and spiritual milk (the Word of God) then increase our longing and knowing toward the Heavenly Father as to the solid spiritual food (Collossians 3:1-4 compared to I Corinthians 3:1-2). Therefore, let us remind each other to be faithful and diligent in our godliness due to the condition of this end time that men love themselves and become servants of money, children rebelling to their parents, did not care for their godliness (religion), etc. Physically they were religious, yet denying its power (II Timothy 3:1-5).   
After that, Jesus returned to His physical parents care and every year (at least 13 times) they went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover until He turned 30 years old.

We did not find a record of what Jesus did during 17 years together with His physical parents and all those times He lived with them and helped His parents as a carpenter (Matthew 13:55). For sure, although Jesus had good understanding of the Word of God, He remained obedient, submissive and honor His parents who understood less of the Word of God.   

Application : a young man should know how to honor his parents and do not feel no longer in need for his parents for being an adult. Parents may be proud to see their children reaching high education, but should be prouder if they really love the Lord so that they grow spiritually as Christ did. The same applied to the congregation members who do not understand the expounding of the Word of God through a pastors sermon better not critisizing too much but having an attitude to keep it in their hearts. Why? Because a mans heart is more cunning then anything (Jeremiah 17:9) that needed to be infilled with the Word of God so that our spirituality shall grow and we will know the eternal Heavenly Father.  

THE THIRD PHASE: mature in ministry (Luke 3:21-23  28; John 2:1-12) → Brazen Laver & Gold Lampstand

Jesus started His ministry when He was 30 years old after being baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 3:23) and the first miracle He did was in a wedding in Kana (John 2:11). At that time, the host was out of wine and Mary, with her woman instinct (attentive and accurate) tried to help and told Jesus about this. But what did Jesus answer to her, ”Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.  It seemed like Jesus answer was impolite toward His parent but it did not mean He was being rebellious to His mother.

Jesus’ spiritual growth obligated Him to act as His Person in taking decision without being told/commanded by others including His own parents. Mary was a good mother and understood the condition at that moment. Jesus answer showed the limit exists between physical and spiritual matter. Remember, the plan and the way of the Lord is not our plan and way (Isaiah 55:8); then the Lords time is not our time. Jesus was not wrong, yet He still loved His mother, although Mary did not understand.   
The lesson: we must learn to honor the Lords timing. His help is never too late, so we must not force Him to solve problems as fast as it could to fulfill our needs. But this does not mean that we are free from the responsibility, but let us learn to surrender everything unto His sovereignty. Especially in marriage, men cannot solve it by themselves, but the Lord is the Creator of marriage and solution giver. 

THE FOURTH PHASE: the family of the Father in Heaven (Mark 3:20-35) → The Table of Showbread

After giving birth to Jesus, Mary gave birth to some children who became Jesus’ brothers (James, Joseph, Simon, Judas and some sisters; Matthew 13:55-56). Jesus must be wanting His entire family to experience spiritual growth as He did, but this is not an easy matter.

There were no problems at the beginning with Jesus ministry activities, but as time went by, they considered Jesus insane. What was Jesus response toward His physical family? Who is my mother and my brethren? And looking round on them that sat round about him, he saith, Behold, my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” 

Jesus answer was getting fierce, He was firm to face the reaction of His family who made a gap because of the ministry He did. 
The lesson : in family relations, we must be careful not to give bad influences toward the work of the Lord. Do not  provoke as it will enlarge the gap of our family and the work of the Lord. That was why Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians (also us) to be careful toward the mean fox and false prophets who came and said provoking word.

In this phase, Jesus was avoided by His brothers, but He showed that He was mature in accordance with His growth in family matters.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         THE FIFTH PHASE: the peak of Jesus maturity (John 19:25-27 compare to Luke 23:44-46) → The Veil – the separator of the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place
On the cross, Jesus saw His mother and some other women, also John, His loved disciple. This is the last encounter of Jesus and His mother and there He admitted Mary as His mother. 

Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold, thy mother! And from that hour the disciple took her (Jesus mother) unto his own home.
The words and submission without hesitation from someone who was dying but fully matured as the Son of Man in the world that it was Jesus who had united two persons (mother and son)  who was not blood related to be mother and Son in His Fathers Kingdom.

At first, Jesus mother did not understand (so was His brothers), but seeing her Son hanged on the cross suffering, made her understand the prophecy Simeon once said to her, Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against; yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed. (Luke 2:34-35)  

Which mother will not be broken hearted  as being pierced to the deepest soul -  to witness her Son innocently condemned and agonized tremendeously? There Mary understood that His Son is truly the Son of God, the Savior of sinners.

What was said by Jesus on the cross were not easy to say, especially after He received so many rejections including from His brothers and disciples. What were the words He said for the first time when He was crucified?Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

Why was Jesus willing to die and forgive? It was merely to save men from the condemnation of God because of their sins. That was why Jesus, The Word, must (be willing to) be equal to His brothers (=God given children to Him) and took part in their being so that by His death, He destroyed the Devil who has power over death. In this matter, he became the Great Priest who had compassion and faithful to God to reconcile sins of the whole nations (Hebrews 2:14-18).


In which level is our maturity compared to the fullness of Christ? Surely we will be disappointed and ashamed if we are still far from being spiritually mature!

THE FINAL PHASE: prayer fellowship as a family of God (Acts 1:14, 9, and so on) → The Altar of Incense & the Ark

The result of unity that Jesus did on the cross was proven after He died, risen and ascended to heaven, the apostles (11 people) returned to Jerusalem and they all in one accord continued steadfastly in prayer together with some women like Mary, Jesus mother, and Jesus brothers who were then filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Application: spiritual maturity would make someone long to have fellowship always with Gods family members and zealous to preach the Gospel of Christ.

Do we know that aside from being mature physically, we also need spiritual maturity by taking Jesus example that starts with offering our lives because of His grace, honoring parents, fearing the Lord, growing in knowledge and the Word of God, being patient in waiting for the Lords timing, being mature to face family problems, willing to sacrifice and love to forgive to be able to live in the fellowship with others that many will be saved in His name. Amen.

Lemah Putro, Sunday Morning, 
September 11, 2016
Rev. Paulus Budiono

The Bible verses are taken from ASV (Authorized Standard Version) Bible.

Translator.   : Sri Ayu D.U.

Proofreader : Team Interpreter


Post a Comment

Iklan Atas Artikel

Iklan Tengah Artikel 1

Iklan Tengah Artikel 2

Iklan Bawah Artikel