Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
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(52) Jesus increased in wisdom and stature.—Here again we have nothing but a normal orderly development. With Him, as with others, wisdom widened with the years, and came into His human soul through the same channels and by the same processes as into the souls of others—instruction, e.g., in the school of Nazareth, and attendance at its synagogue—the difference being that He, in every stage, attained the perfection of moral and spiritual wisdom which belongs to that stage; there being in Him no sin or selfishness or pride, such as checks the growth of wisdom in all others. In striking contrast with the true record of the growth of the Son of Man, is that which grew out of the fantastic imaginations of the writers of the Apocryphal Gospels. There the child Jesus is ever working signs and wonders; fashions into shape Joseph’s clumsy work; moulds sparrows out of clay, and claps His hands and bids them fly; strikes a playmate who offends Him with dumbness, and so on ad nauseam.

In favour with God and man.—This, it will be noted, is an addition to what had been stated in Luke 2:40, and gives the effect while that gave the cause. The boy grew into youth, and the young man into manhood, and the purity and lowliness and unselfish sympathy drew even then the hearts of all men. In that highest instance, as in all lower analogies, men admired holiness till it became aggressive, and then it roused them to an antagonism bitter in proportion to their previous admiration. On the history of the eighteen years that followed, see Excursus on Matthew 2.

Luke 2:52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature — In the perfections of his divine nature there could be no increase; but this is spoken of his human nature, consisting of a reasonable soul and human flesh; his body increased in stature and bulk, and his soul in wisdom and in all the endowments of a human spirit. It received distinct and gradual illuminations as he advanced in years: for though the eternal Word was united to his human soul from his birth, or even conception, yet the divinity that dwelt in him manifested itself to his humanity by degrees, ad modum recipientis, as that humanity was capable of receiving those manifestations; and as the faculties of his human soul opened more and more, larger communications of knowledge, wisdom, and other gifts were made to it. And he increased in favour with God and man — That is, in all those graces that rendered him acceptable both to God and man. All this was suitable to his state of humiliation; for as he condescended to be an infant, a child, a youth, so the image of God must have shone brighter in him when he was grown up to be a youth, than it did or could do when he was an infant and a child. Let young people observe, that as they grow in stature they should grow in wisdom and grace; and then, as they grow in these, they will grow in favour with God and man.

2:41-52 It is for the honour of Christ that children should attend on public worship. His parents did not return till they had stayed all the seven days of the feast. It is well to stay to the end of an ordinance, as becomes those who say, It is good to be here. Those that have lost their comforts in Christ, and the evidences of their having a part in him, must bethink themselves where, and when, and how they lost them, and must turn back again. Those that would recover their lost acquaintance with Christ, must go to the place in which he has put his name; there they may hope to meet him. They found him in some part of the temple, where the doctors of the law kept their schools; he was sitting there, hearkening to their instructions, proposing questions, and answering inquiries, with such wisdom, that those who heard were delighted with him. Young persons should seek the knowledge of Divine truth, attend the ministry of the gospel, and ask such questions of their elders and teachers as may tend to increase their knowledge. Those who seek Christ in sorrow, shall find him with the greater joy. Know ye not that I ought to be in my Father's house; at my Father's work; I must be about my Father's business. Herein is an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father's business, and make all other concerns give way to it. Though he was the Son of God, yet he was subject to his earthly parents; how then will the foolish and weak sons of men answer it, who are disobedient to their parents? However we may neglect men's sayings, because they are obscure, yet we must not think so of God's sayings. That which at first is dark, may afterwards become plain and easy. The greatest and wisest, those most eminent, may learn of this admirable and Divine Child, that it is the truest greatness of soul to know our own place and office; to deny ourselves amusements and pleasures not consistent with our state and calling.In favour with God - That is, in proportion to his advance in wisdom. This does not imply that he ever lacked the favor of God, but that God regarded him with favor in proportion as he showed an understanding and spirit like his own. Happy are those children who imitate the example of Jesus - who are obedient to parents who increase in wisdom - who are sober, temperate, and industrious, and who thus increase in favor with God and people. 52. See on [1542]Lu 2:40.

stature—or better, perhaps, as in the Margin, "age," which implies the other. This is all the record we have of the next eighteen years of that wondrous life. What seasons of tranquil meditation over the lively oracles, and holy fellowship with His Father; what inlettings, on the one hand, of light, and love, and power from on high, and outgoings of filial supplication, freedom, love, and joy on the other, would these eighteen years contain! And would they not seem "but a few days" if they were so passed, however ardently He might long to be more directly "about His Father's business?"

If any ask how he, who was the eternal Wisdom of the Father, (who is the only wise God), increased in wisdom, they must know that all things in Scripture which are spoken of Christ, are not spoken with respect to his entire person, but with respect to the one or the other nature united in that person; he increased in wisdom, as he did in age, or stature, with respect to his human, not to his Divine nature. And as God daily magnified his grace and favour toward him, so he gave him favour with the neighbourhood, and people of Galilee, so as that when he came forth to be a public minister, he came forth as a bishop (the chief Bishop of souls especially) ought to do, having a good repute even of those who were without. And thus we leave our Saviour’s history, for about eighteen years of which the history of the gospel tells us nothing.

And Jesus increased in wisdom,.... As man; for neither his divine wisdom, nor the treasures of wisdom and knowledge in him, as mediator, could admit of any increase; but as he grew in body, the faculties of his soul opened, and received gradually large measures of wisdom and knowledge, in things natural and spiritual, through the in dwelling of his divine nature in him, and the Holy Spirit that was, without measure, on him:

and stature: the word signifies age also; and so the Vulgate Latin has rendered it: but that is not the meaning of it here, since it would have been entirely unnecessary to have observed, that he increased in age, which must be unavoidable: but the sense is, that as he increased in the wisdom and knowledge of his human soul, so he likewise increased in the stature of his body: and in favour with God and man: he appeared by the grace that was in him, and the gifts bestowed on him, to be high in the love and favour of God; and had a large share in the esteem and affections of all good men, who had the honour and happiness of knowing him, and of being acquainted with him.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Luke 2:52. Comp. 1 Samuel 2:26.

ἡλικίᾳ] not age (so Vulgate, Luther, Erasmus, and most expositors), which would furnish an intimation altogether superfluous, but growth, bodily size (Beza, Vatablus, Grotius, Er. Schmid, Bengel, Ewald, Bleek, and others). See on Matthew 6:27; Luke 19:3. Comp. ηὔξανε καὶ ἐκραταιοῦτο, Luke 2:40. “Justam proceritatem nactus est ac decoram,” Bengel. Luke expresses His mental (σοφίᾳ) and bodily (ἡλικίᾳ) development.[64] In favour of this explanation we have also the evidence of 1 Sam. l.c.: ἐπορεύετο μεγαλυνόμενον, which element is here given by ἡλικίᾳ.

χάριτι] gracious favour, as at Luke 2:40. But here, where one twelve years old is spoken of, who now the longer He lives comes more into intercourse with others, Luke adds καὶ ἀνθρώποις. Comp. 1 Sam. l.c.: וָטו̇ב נַּם עִם־יְהֹוָה וְנַם עִם־אֲנָשִׁים; Test. XII. Patr. p. 528. Observe, moreover, that the advancing in God’s gracious favour assumes the sinless perfection of Jesus as growing, as in the way of moral development. Comp. on Mark 10:18. But this does not exclude child-like innocence, and does not include youthful moral perplexities. Comp. Keim, geschichtl. Chr. 110 ff. It is a normal growth, from child-like innocence to full holiness of the life. Comp. also Beyschlag, Christol. d. N. T. 47 ff.

[64] In this place he prefixes σοφίᾳ, because he has just related so brilliant a trait of the mental development of Jesus.—What shifts, moreover, have been resorted to, especially since the time of Athanasius and Ambrose, to fence with reservations the progress of Jesus in wisdom in such a way as to leave no progress, but merely a successive revealing of His inherent wisdom, or else only a growth in the wisdom to be attained through human experience (scientia acquisita)!

Luke 2:52. προέκοπτε, steadily grew, used intransitively in later Greek.—ἐν τῇ σοφίᾳ και ἡλικίᾳ, in wisdom and (also as, the one the measure of the other) in stature, both growths alike real. Real in body, apparent in the mind: growth in manifestation of the wisdom within, complete from the first—such is the docetic gloss of ecclesiastical interpreters, making the childhood of Jesus a monstrum, and His humanity a phantom.—χάριτι π. Θ. καὶ ἀ., in favour with God and men: beloved of all; no division even among men while the new wisdom and the new religion lay a slumbering germ in the soul of the heaven-born boy.

52. increased] Rather, advanced. The word is derived from pioneers cutting down trees in the path of an advancing army. Comp. 1 Samuel 2:26, and the description of an ideal youth in Proverbs 3:3-4.

stature] Rather, age (as in Luke 12:25), though the word sometimes means stature (Luke 19:3).

favour with God and man] Rather, men. Proverbs 3:4, “So shalt thou find favour and good success (marg.) in the sight of God and man.” Pirke Abhôth, III. 10, “In whomsoever the mind of men delights, in him also the Spirit of God delights.”

Luke 2:52. Προέκοπτε, He progressed) In accordance with [or in respect to] human nature, and the wisdom of human nature; and that in actual fact, but far above the measure of an ordinary man.—σοφίᾳ, in wisdom) in the soul.—ἡλικίᾳ) in stature of body in proportion to His years. Therefore He must have reached the due and proper height of a man.—χάριτι, in grace) in favour, owing to the endowments of soul and body, which come from grace, the more tender years are especially commended.—παρὰ Θεῷ, with God) John 8:29 [The Father hath not left Me alone; for I do always those things that please Him].—ἀνθρώποις, with men) The world is more ready to feel anger towards adult men, than towards youths who are not yet engaged in any public office or duty.

Verse 52. - And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Another of these little word-paintings of St. Luke in which the work and progress of long years is depicted. The purpose of this brief statement is clear. The evangelist would teach us that, with Jesus, bodily development proceeded in the same orderly fashion as it does with other men, while wisdom - deepening with the years - passed into his soul as it passes into the souls of other men, by the ordinary channels of instruction, study, and thought. On the last words, "in favor with God and man," Dean Plumptre very beautifully writes, "The Boy grew into youth, and the young Man into manhood, and his purity and lowliness and unselfish sympathy drew even then the hearts of all men. In that highest instance, as in all lower analogies, men admired holiness till it became aggressive, and then it roused them to an antagonism bitter in proportion to their previous admiration." The Greek word in this verse translated "increased" would be more literally rendered "kept advancing." The word is used for pioneers hewing down trees and brushwood which obstruct the path of an advancing army. The word in the original, Englished by "stature" some scholars translate by "age;" either rendering is permissible, but the word used in the English Version is better fitted for the context of the passage.

Luke 2:52Stature (ἡλικία)

Which Rev. rightly retains. The word may be rendered age, which would be superfluous here.

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