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Author Topic: Increase In Wisdom and Favor  (Read 2551 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: November 12, 2008, 11:30:53 PM »

"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man." - Lk. 2:52

What does it mean to say that "Jesus increased in wisdom and stature"? Do we Orthodox take this literally, meaning that he actually learnt like other people? Also, how could Jesus increase in favor with God? Doesn't that imply that God became more pleased with Jesus as time went on?
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2008, 11:52:25 AM »

I often wonder about this, myself.  Was Christ a perfect baby/toddler/child who never cried all night long, never acted up, never tried to run across the road in front of a speeding chariot, potty trained perfectly the first day, etc. etc.?  Was he born remembering that he was God and the Messiah?  Was he born remembering everything and never had to go to school?
   
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 12:11:19 PM »

The "self-emptying" of the Logos into humanity allowed Him to be limited by every human aspect as He wished.  So, yes, He went through a whole learning process as deemed fit for His own humanity.  He could have learned everything from day one, just as He could avoid hunger and suffering, but He did not.  He "emptied Himself" so that He can experience all things human.  He even confessed ignorance of the end of days, not because He was ignorant in His Divinity, but in His humanity.

Here's a commentary by St. Cyril:

http://tertullian.org/fathers/cyril_on_luke_01_sermons_01_11.htm#C5
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 12:25:53 PM »

I often wonder about this, myself.  Was Christ a perfect baby/toddler/child who never cried all night long, never acted up, never tried to run across the road in front of a speeding chariot, potty trained perfectly the first day, etc. etc.?  Was he born remembering that he was God and the Messiah?  Was he born remembering everything and never had to go to school?
   

Ha!  I don't think so: my son was toilet trained in a day, and although a good kid and I couldn't ask for better (father says with the most recent straight A report card on the desk  Grin) that  fact that at two I caught him several times looking around on the sly before going to play with the VCR (which he was forbidden to touch) tells me he's not sinless, even at that age.

Although parents might think potty training is a result of the Fall, I'm not so sure it is.
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 03:05:44 AM »

minasoliman

Thanks for the explanation and the link. Any idea what it means to increase "in favour with God" though?
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2008, 08:34:42 PM »

I take it to mean that, as a man, the eternal Logos had to be tempted in every way we are, to progressively obey where Adam did not, at every stage of human life, to redeem and glorify all people regardless of age.  Heb. 4.15

He could have just been considered all-holy as He truly is, but then again, what would be the point of His incarnation?

Edit:

He wasn't Superman.  He was true God and true man, at every stage of weakness and development in which we progress.  He took on our limits as souls and bodies created in a womb, circumscribed beings.  Of course He was sinless since His conception, but man's union with God requires the deification of every stage of life, especially for Jesus to be a new home for us all.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2008, 08:41:02 PM by ignatios » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2008, 08:45:29 PM »

minasoliman

Thanks for the explanation and the link. Any idea what it means to increase "in favour with God" though?

I think the proper word is "grace."  He Who is the Wisdom, Strength, and Grace in humanity also experienced the increase physically, mentally, and spiritually, leaving no part of humanity behind to grow, that He is like us in ALL things except sin.  This all leads to the amazing Theophany at the Jordan River witnessed by St. John the Forerunner, where the humanity of Christ is now anointed and ready for the fulfillment of the mission of salvation.

Like St. Cyril said, "God the Word gradually manifested His wisdom proportionably to the age which the body had attained."  One can also understand this when it comes to "favor with God and man" as to the stage of readiness in which the Word Incarnate would proceed to fulfill God's plan and man's salvation.

Did that help?
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Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2008, 09:09:49 PM »

Yes, the answer that both of you gave was helpful, thanks!  Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2008, 09:22:33 PM »

Interesting ideas. Thanks!
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