|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:36-40 There was much evil then in the church, yet God left not himself without witness. Anna always dwelt in, or at least attended at, the temple. She was always in a praying spirit; gave herself to prayer, and in all things she served God. Those to whom Christ is made known, have great reason to thank the Lord. She taught others concerning him. Let the example of the venerable saints, Simeon and Anna, give courage to those whose hoary heads are, like theirs, a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness. The lips soon to be silent in the grave, should be showing forth the praises of the Redeemer. In all things it became Christ to be made like unto his brethren, therefore he passed through infancy and childhood as other children, yet without sin, and with manifest proofs of the Divine nature in him. By the Spirit of God all his faculties performed their offices in a manner not seen in any one else. Other children have foolishness bound in their hearts, which appears in what they say or do, but he was filled with wisdom, by the influence of the Holy Ghost; every thing he said and did, was wisely said and wisely done, above his years. Other children show the corruption of their nature; nothing but the grace of God was upon him.
Verse 40. - And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. Another of this evangelist's solemn pauses in his narrative. In this short statement the story of twelve quiet years is told. From these few words St. Luke evidently understands the humanity of Jesus as a reality. The statement that "he waxed strong, filled with wisdom" (the words, "in spirit," do not occur in the older authorities), tells us that, in the teaching of SS. Paul and Luke, the Boy learnt as others learnt, subject to the ordinary growth and development of human knowledge; thus condemning, as it were, by anticipation, the strange heresy of Apollinarius, who taught that the Divine Word (the Logos) took, in our Lord's humanity, the place of the human mind or intellect. And the grace of God was upon him. The legendary apocryphal Gospels are rich in stories of the Child Jesus' doings during these many years. But the silence of the holy four, whose testimony has been received now since the last years of the first century by the whole Church, is our authority for assuming that no work of power was done, and probably that no word of teaching was spoken, until the public ministry commenced, when the Messiah had reached his thirtieth year. "Take notice here," wrote Bonaventura, quoted by Farrar, "that his doing nothing wonderful was itself a kind of wonder.... As there was power in his actions, so is there power in his silence, in his inactivity, in his retirement."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the child grew,.... In body, in strength, and in stature; which shows that it was a true body Christ assumed, and like ours, which did not come to its maturity at once, but by degrees:
and waxed strong in spirit, or in his soul; for as he had a true body, he had also a reasonable soul; the faculties of which were far from being weak, they were exceeding strong, and appeared stronger and stronger every day; his understanding was clear, his judgment solid, and his memory strong and retentive, his will, and the desires of it, were to that which is good, and his affections cleaved unto it. The Persic and Ethiopic versions read, "was strengthened in", or "by the Holy Spirit"; with the grace and gifts of it; but the former sense is best,
Filled with wisdom; and knowledge as man; for this is to be understood, not of his essential wisdom as God, nor of those treasures of wisdom and knowledge, which were hid in him as mediator, to be dispensed to his church; but of his created and natural wisdom, as man; in which he increased gradually, as his body grew, and the faculties of his soul opened under the influences of his deity, and the power of his Spirit,
and the grace of God was upon him; which designs not the fulness of grace that was in him, as mediator, for the supply of his people: but either that internal grace which was bestowed on his human nature, even the various graces of the Spirit of God, and which flowed from the grace of union of the two natures in him; or rather the love and favour of God, which in various instances was in a very singular manner manifested to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
40. His mental development kept pace with His bodily, and "the grace of God," the divine favor, rested manifestly and increasingly upon Him. See Lu 2:52.
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