Women, especially, may think about Christmas and the birth of Yeshua Mashiach, the Lord Jesus Christ, and may think how wonderful it would have been to have seen Him and held Him in that sweet little baby body. Wouldn't it have been amazing to have been able to burp Him and rock Him to sleep?
Yet, He did not stay a baby. He grew up. We can read of a brief episode in His life when He was twelve years old. For some of us, age twelve is a delightful age for our children and grandchildren to be. At age twelve, most children are able to discern between good and bad, right and wrong, assuming that they have had correct teaching and nurturing. At twelve, Yeshua knew many things--so many, in fact, that He amazed the teachers of Israel.
Then He grew, increasing "in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2: 52), and the record of Him picks up again when He was thirty years old. For three years, He preached, did mighty miracles of healing and deliverance, multiplied fish and bread to feed thousands, forgave sins, ministered to the outcasts of society and to noblemen alike, and raised three people from the dead—one after four days in the tomb.
At age 33, He was crucified by the Roman government (representing all non-Jewish people of the world), having been rejected by the officials of Israel (His own people). But there was a reason for this rejection and crucifixion—to benefit Gentiles and Jews forever. John's gospel declares, "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But, as many as did receive Him, to them He gave authority to become children of God, to the ones believing into His name, who were born not of bloods (nationalities), nor of the will of the flesh (self-effort), nor of the will of man (parental desire), but were born of God" (John 1: 11-13).
Jesus later says that this birth is a spiritual birth; it takes place when a person puts his faith and trust in Jesus as Savior.
This is possible because Jesus rose from the dead, as prophesied, and was seen by many on many occasions for forty days before ascending into heaven, from where He will come again to receive believers, and then to set up the nation of Israel as head of all nations. He is now ageless and timeless—eternal, as He was before He came to earth to live as one of us.
What age Jesus do you have a relationship with? His desire is that every believer would know Him in His fullness and become mature in Him in all things (Ephesians 4: 15). Peter encouraged believers to "grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3: 18). Just as Jesus started as a baby and grew to maturity, so are we to start as baby believers, born again through faith in Him, and grow to maturity.
We will mature only as we appreciate His maturity. May you grow "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" and "no longer be infants" (Ephesians 4: 13b-14a).
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Lessons from My Garden - Part 5
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Lessons from My Garden - Part 4
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Lessons from My Garden - Part 3
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