Increasing in Wisdom!

Luke 2:40

The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him. 

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52 

Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men. I Samuel 2:26 

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.  Proverbs 3.3,4 

Jesus’ Development

I have a couple of questions related to the two passages about Jesus’ development: 

  1. I understand about Jesus’ growth in stature. He took on a human body from birth so his body developed as he aged. Got it. That’s the human side of God the Son. But how is it that Jesus grew in wisdom? God doesn’t learn or mature. He’s God. 
  2. How is that one gains favor with both God AND Men? In the book of John, Jesus warns that the world will hate the disciples and hate anyone who follows Jesus. 

My journey through the Bible has a simple structure to it.

  1. Read progressively through Bible books.
  2. Reflect and ask straightforward questions.
  3. Find other verses in the Bible that relate to the passage being studied such as in this case, I Samuel 2:26 and Proverbs 3.3,4 (use cross reference tools)
  4. Start writing and attempt to answer the questions. That’s really all I do. You can do it too. The discoveries are exhilarating.



How is it that God the Son, Jesus increased in wisdom? Let’s start with what we know to be true. Jesus was fully God so He possessed all the attributes of God. He didn’t relinquish any of His Deity.  

We also know that (most of the time) He choose not to use and express His attributes while living within His human body. 

In Philippians 2:5-8, you can read how Jesus humbled Himself and didn’t grasp or cling to His right to use, or exercise or show forth all His attributes. He didn’t give them up but He did choose to not fully exercise them. 


Here’s a simple illustration  

A wealthy man follows a calling to be a missionary in a poor village in Africa. He chooses to live among them in humility. His wealth remains in multiple investment accounts back in the states. He can access and use his money whenever he wants.  

He knows that if he uses his wealth to build an elaborate house for himself in this poor village, he will alienate himself from the very people he wants to share the gospel with. Also, if he floods the village with his money, it will cause more harm than good. At times, he may use a small portion of money to help the people in the village. But he does very sparingly. (At times, Jesus used His power to do miracles when they were needed). 

He becomes part of the village and he adds value to the community by working so that he can make some money to live in the village as one of them. He never gave up his wealth, but he chooses not to cling to it or use it. He chose not to use his wealth out of humility and a heart to serve others.  

I’m sure you can see how this simple illustration helps us understand a complex theological issue.  Theologians call it the ‘kenosis’; a Greek word meaning ‘to empty’. (I’m an amateur theology geek). It is from Philippians 2:7; 

Although He existed in the form of God, He did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself… 

So, when Luke tells us twice (2:40 and 2:52) that Jesus increased in wisdom, I can see now what he is teaching us; that Jesus progressively, as He grew in stature, revealed His wisdom more and more as He grew older and as time progressed. As God, He possesses ALL KNOWLEDGE and WISDOM. But He went through the same educational process that his brothers and sisters went through as Jewish children. He revealed His wisdom progressively as He matured and grew into a young man. 

Are we increasing in wisdom as followers of Jesus? 

Wisdom is the application of knowledge. We must first learn the truth. We apply ourselves to the Word of God; the truth. As we learn the truth (knowledge), we grow in wisdom by applying the truth to our daily lives. This is growing in wisdom. This is living scripture daily!  

Let us apply our minds to learn the truth and then apply ourselves, heart, soul and body, to living out the truth. Let’s be like Jesus; increasing in wisdom!!! Living Scripture Daily!

Next time we’ll consider the principle of ‘gaining favor with God and Men! 

Father God, praise You for Your wisdom and kindness to send Your Son to earth. Jesus, thank You for leaving the comforts of heaven to dwell among us. You came not to be served, but to serve, and to give Your life as a ransom for each of us. May we follow You with a heart to increase in wisdom, to live and serve for Your honor and Your glory. Amen!