(May 17, 2015)
I have taken a new appreciation of the final verse of this chapter. We know so little about the Savior’s childhood – much of what records we have are so clearly false as to be absurd (for these very reasons, these records were not included in the New Testament). But in this final verse, we have four key areas of Christ’s development.
Christ grew in wisdom (intellectual development) and stature (physical development), and in praise of God (spiritual development) and men (social development). Four aspects, and He knew in His mission He would need development in all of those areas.
I have, from time to time, been tempted to abandon one or more of those aspects of life as I have felt they were irrelevant or unimportant. I have thought that spirituality was the most important, and thus neglected physical or social development (or, at times, both). I have stayed interested in intellectual development, but threatened to abandon those two.
When I have done this, though, it has always had negative consequences. The Lord does not want disciples who are incapable of carrying out the service that He wants us to render – either because we are physically incapable or socially inept. We must increase our capacity in those areas to better be able to carry out His work. Ultimately there is really only one type of important development (our relation to God), but if we abandon the others we abandon this one as well.