Luke 2 Continued

25. And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

Now we are introduced to a new character, this man Simeon. This name is the Hebrew Shimeon, and means “hearing.” He is described in a most impressive manner as a man who was “just and devout.” Much like Zacharias and Elizabeth, this man was one who kept God’s law to the best of his ability. We must not think that all Israelites were bad people, just because of the shameful behavior we see on the part of their leaders. It is true that many of them were confused and misled. Yet God had His faithful among them, and Simeon was one such man.

Simeon is the picture of a faithful Israelite, longing for the promised blessings upon his nation. This phrase “Consolation of Israel” is a most interesting one. Bullinger says that “May I see the consolation of Israel” was a Jewish formula of blessing. Ultimately, any consolation that Israel is to receive finds its personification in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In this case, the phrase “Holy Spirit” has no article “the” before it. Thus, it indicates the power of the Spirit, not His Person. What this tells us, then, is that Simeon had been blessed with God’s power.

26. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Simeon had indeed heard the voice of the Lord, as his name suggests, and had received this amazing revelation from the Holy Spirit. In this case, this truth was given to him by the Person of the Holy Spirit, since the articles are written in the Greek. What a marvelous promise this was! For four thousand years generations had lived and died, and none had seen the Messiah. Yet now this man knew that he would see this One in his lifetime. Many wish today that they could receive a similar promise, and that they could know that the Lord will return ere ever they see death. Yet no such promise has been given to anyone today. We can only hope and pray that the time will come in our day when God will bring an end to the dispensation of grace and speak again at last to this dark and sinful world, saying once more, “Let there be light.”

Otis Q. Sellers suggests that the words “Lord’s Christ” should better be translated “Christ, Jehovah.” He thinks that the word “Lord’s” is the genitive of apposition, and that Christ and Jehovah are the same thing here. This could well be, and reminds us once again of Who the Lord really was.

27. So he came by the Spirit into the temple.  And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law,

Simeon was directed by the Person of the Spirit to go into the temple courts just as the Lord’s parents were bringing Him in to do the rite of purification. This man’s actions were dictated for him by the Holy Spirit of God. This is very similar to the way things will be in the Kingdom of God, when we know that a man will hear a voice behind him telling him where God wishes him to go!

“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
‘This is the way, walk in it,’
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

28. He took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

This must have been a surprise to Miriam and Joseph, who were probably expecting to dedicate this baby like any other baby in the temple. Now, their forty-day-old Child is taken up by this venerable old stranger, who blessed God to see Him. Once again, they are witnesses to a powerful testimony regarding Jesus Christ.

29. “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word;

I do not think that this means that Simeon’s life had been hanging on by a thread, and now that he had seen the Lord, he expected to keel over dead any moment. Rather, he knew that he could not die until this promise was fulfilled. Now that it was fulfilled, and God had given him the opportunity He had promised, he knew that the Lord was released from His promise, and now his death could come any time.  Indeed, he would be satisfied to die, knowing that the Savior had come to bring light to the world he was leaving behind.

30. “For my eyes have seen Your salvation

This was the fulfillment of the promise Simeon had received. Now that this had happened, he knew that he could depart in peace.

The word “salvation” here is a bad translation of the Greek word soterion, for this word is not a noun like “salvation,” but rather is an adjective. If Simeon had meant to say “salvation,” he would have used the word soteria, which means salvation. Soterion means “saving,” or we might say “salvation-bringing,” understanding that these two words are a translation of one word in Greek. So the verse should read, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation-bringing.” But this sentence is now an ellipsis, and the noun that the adjective “salvation-bringing” modifies must be supplied from the context. The question is sure to arise, then, “Salvation-bringing what?”

To answer this question, we need only look at the context. Simeon is declaring the fulfillment of the promise made to him. That promise, according to verse 26, was that, “He would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Now, he had seen the Lord Jesus, and that fulfilled this promise made to him, as he proclaims here. Thus, his proclamation is that he has seen the Lord’s Christ. I believe the verse should read, then, “For my eyes have seen Your salvation-bringing Christ,” remembering that the Greek “Christ” and Hebrew “Messiah” are the same word. He had seen the Lord’s salvation-bringing Messiah. That was the fulfillment of the promise made to him, and is how this sentence should read.

31. “Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

This salvation-bringing Messiah which Simeon now held in his arms he knew to be the One Whom God had prepared before the face of all peoples. This One was not just prepared for Israel. He was prepared for all. God’s plan goes far beyond just the nation of Israel to take in the entire world.

Notice that all along the blessing of the Gentiles was planned by God. It was only that they would be blessed on an equal basis with Israel that was kept secret. This is what the “mystery” of Ephesians is all about, not merely the salvation of the Gentiles.

32. “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”

The Lord Jesus was the Light Who would bring revelation to all nations. Many believe a theology that makes the Messiah be related to none but to the people of Israel. They use the un-Scriptural phrase “Israel’s Messiah.” Yet nowhere in the Bible is the Lord Jesus described as “Israel’s Messiah.” The Samaritans’ testimony regarding Him was right. “We know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” John 4:42b. The Messiah is the world’s Savior, not just Israel’s Savior. He brings light to the world, not just to Israel. Oh, for the day when He sends forth that light!

The word “revelation” here is apokalupsin, and means “unveiling.” It has to do with making a thing known that was unknown before. The world lies in great darkness now, as we well know. There is little true knowledge of God, or of His Son, Jesus Christ. Someday, that darkness will be broken by a great light that goes out from God and enlightens the world. That light will center in this One, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the One Who will unveil the truth for the nations, and Who will bring light to the world.

Then, Simeon declares that the Lord Jesus is the glory of the Lord’s people Israel. Their greatest claim to fame is in the One Who was born in Bethlehem all those centuries ago!

33. And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.

We can only imagine how parents would feel after such a pronouncement was made about their baby! They knew, of course, the strange circumstances of His birth, but this was a pronouncement that was probably beyond what they ever would have expected.

Some of the Greek texts have “His father” before Joseph. The Syriac does not contain this, however. The paying of the five shekels redemption money according to the law in Numbers 3:47 and 18:16 would have given Joseph the legal right to be called His father. Yet this would seem to be contrary to the usual custom of the Narrator, Who calls God His father, though unbelieving men referred to Joseph this way. We would side with the Syriac, and omit the words “His father,” as the New King James has done.

34. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against

Now Simeon blesses the parents, and speaks especially to Miriam. In such a circumstance, we would have expected Simeon to speak to the Child’s father. Notice this, for Simeon should have had no way of knowing that this child was Mary’s but not Joseph’s. No way, that is, if he were not inspired to know this by the Spirit of God. Yet Simeon knows that only one of these is the parent of this One, and he speaks to her therefore by the Lord’s prompting.

Notice that Christ not only brings the rising of many, but the fall of many as well. There were many who were powerful in Israel who would fall because of the Lord, and many who would be promoted far beyond what they ever were in the past because of Him. Also, many who were wicked in Israel will be destroyed in the coming Kingdom of God by Him. No Israelite will be saved simply because of his nationality, but all will be saved upon the basis of their faith.

Moreover, the Lord was to be a sign. Yet this sign would not be accepted by all in Israel, but would be spoken against. How often do we see this happening in the record of the gospels that takes place after this!

35. “(yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

It could be that Simeon knew the sword that would pierce through Miriam’s soul when she saw her Son dying on the cross. This sword was not destined to pierce Joseph’s soul, for he apparently was dead by the time the Lord began His ministry at thirty years of age. He was probably older than Miriam, and perhaps was considerably older. Even if he was not, life in Israel was hard, and many things could have arisen to cause him to die before thirty years had passed. Thus Miriam stood alone and felt the sword pierce her soul when she saw what happened to the Lord Jesus.

Yet it could also be that Simeon is referring to the testing of Miriam’s heart, and that the thoughts of her heart will be revealed as well. We have it written consistently throughout this passage that Mary treasured these things up in her heart. She may not have known what they meant, but she kept them in mind. We see her at a particularly low point, however, when with her other sons she tries to take the Lord away, thinking He had gone out of His mind, as we see in Mark 3:21 and 31-25. Yet eventually she came to understand the truth about her firstborn Son, and the last we see of this faithful handmaiden of the Lord is her in prayer with the disciples in Acts 1:14. She did fall in faith, and yet rose again. The thoughts of her heart were revealed, and we last see her as a prayerful servant of the Lord.

Simeon ends his pronouncement by proclaiming that, through this One, the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed. “Revealed” here is apokalupto, and means that these thoughts would be unveiled and made plain to all. We can see that this happened, as the Lord proclaimed in John 15:22-24.

“22. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23. He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.”

Yes, the inward thoughts of many were revealed by the Lord, and some of them were ugly thoughts indeed!

36. Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.  She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;

Now we are introduced to another Godly character, this woman Anna. Her name is actually Hannah (Hanna in Greek,) and thus we are reminded of the faithful woman who was the mother of Samuel in the Old Testament. The name means “He was gracious.” Hannah is described as a prophetess. This means that she was able to speak forth the words of God. You could have come to her for a word from the Lord, and, if the Lord chose to answer you, He would speak that answer through this woman. This was a privileged position indeed.

This woman is described as the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. Asher is one of the supposed “ten lost tribes.” However, Asher is not lost here. These ten tribes were never lost. The Israelites knew right where they were at this time, and they stayed there until they were driven out of the land with the rest at the destruction of Jerusalem. Those who imagine that ten tribes were lost teach this in order to find them somewhere, whether in Europe, in Africa, or in some other place. Whatever the significance that they think there would be in finding these “lost tribes,” for those of us who know the mystery, we would know that, in this dispensation, this would make very little difference indeed. Yet these theories are all useless, for there never were ten lost tribes. This woman was of the tribe of Asher almost half a millennium after this tribe was supposed to be lost. There is no such thing as ten lost tribes.

This woman was a widow who had lived with her husband seven years from her virginity. Unlike our society, women in particular married young, and so this probably put her at not much more than twenty years old when her husband died. She had been without a husband for a long time indeed!

37. And this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

We learn Hannah’s age here, as about eighty-four years old. This means she had likely been a widow for more than sixty years! This is a long time indeed to live with the sorrow of a lost partner, although, of course, we do not know how close she was to her husband. At this time, it was very rare for a woman to remain a widow, particularly one widowed at such a young age. It would seem, though, that this woman had recovered from this tragedy not by remarrying, but rather by dedicating her life to God. It seems she never even left the temple at this point, spending both night and day there in fastings and prayers. Remember, the temple was a complex of buildings, and there were places there where one could sleep. Thus this woman was serving God even to this extent. And God had honored this gift, and had apparently rewarded her by blessing her with the gift of prophecy.

38. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Those who dwelt at Jerusalem were often in the temple, which was certainly an advantage they had over those who lived in the other parts of the land of Israel. At any rate, this woman was probably well known to all who lived in Jerusalem, and she would have known those among them who looked for the redemption that they knew God had promised to send. With the kind of reputation this woman had, her recommendation would have held great weight with the people, as would that of Simeon.

Otis Q. Sellers suggests that Hannah represented the faithful ones that remained from the ten tribes that had formerly made up the northern kingdom, and that Simeon represents those who were faithful from the former southern kingdom of Judah. Since we are not told what tribe Simeon was from, this is just speculation, yet it seems to make sense. God still had His faithful ones in Israel.

39. So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.

So we have followed them from Nazareth to Bethlehem, to Jerusalem, and now back to Nazareth again. Notice that they did not return to Bethlehem. Joseph had left his hometown long before, and his trip there was not meant to be a move back, but rather was to fulfill Rome’s requirement for the census. It could be that there was no work for a carpenter in Bethlehem, or that Joseph had a brother who had taken over the carpentry business from their father, and so, there being no need for two carpenters, Joseph had gone elsewhere. At any rate, Joseph returned to the place he was living and where apparently there was work, the town Nazareth. That is not to say that Nazareth was a much larger town than Bethlehem, for it was not. Joseph was no doubt the carpenter in Nazareth.

We say that Joseph was a carpenter, yet this seems rather unlikely. This Greek word, tekton, means, in all likelihood, a builder. Translating this word in England, where builders generally use wood, the King James translators picked the word “carpenter” in Matthew 13:55 and Mark 6:3. However, in Israel stone was used to build much more prominently than wood, and so it is doubtful that woodworking would have been the primary skill of anyone, particularly in a small town like Nazareth. Joseph was more likely a builder with stone rather than with wood, and the tools of his trade more likely the hammer and chisel rather than the hammer and saw. Ultimately, this Greek word can be used for any craftsman, and so what Joseph’s exact occupation was is hard to pin down. Tradition might insist upon “carpenter,” but all we can really say for sure is “craftsman.”

40. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

We read here of the Lord’s growth, and the strengthening of His spirit. Remember that your spirit is connected with your mind, your thoughts, and your beliefs. Thus, connected with His strength in spirit is His filling with wisdom.

Then, we read that the grace of God was upon Him. We would seem to have a problem here, since the Lord was perfect and sinless, and so would seem to be well-deserving of God’s favor. If grace is love and favor to the undeserving, how could the Lord Jesus need God’s grace?

Yet grace is not strictly always undeserved favor, but indicates favor apart from any consideration of whether or not that favor is deserved. The Lord may well have deserved such favor, yet God rained this favor upon Him without any consideration of this at all, but merely because of Who He was. Grace can sometimes indicate connection to and fellowship with God, since that is what undeserved favor from God usually results in, which the Lord certainly enjoyed. All God’s favor was His, and He most certainly was deserving of it.

41. His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.

Notice again that the Lord’s parents, and as we will see of the Lord Jesus Himself, followed God’s religion that He gave to the people of Israel. They had nothing to do with the man-made religion of Christianity. That Divine religion they followed has passed away now, since even an Israelite cannot keep it without a temple and priesthood in the land of Israel. Thus, no God-given religion remains today. What we enjoy in Christ is not a religion, but a relationship with God, offered to us freely through His grace and our faith in His Son.

42. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast.

This was when the Israelites would have considered Him as being of age. In Israel, coming of age had to do with responsibility under the law, and meant that He was now personally responsible to keep it, rather than His parents being responsible to see that He did so. Even today in traditional and orthodox families Jewish boys are considered adults at the age of 12. Thus, the Lord Jesus was going with His mother and foster-father to the feast God had appointed no longer as a child, but as what they would have considered a man. As such, He was able to take His part in the feast of Passover as an adult. Certainly, though, He would have been considered a very young Man, and we can hardly blame His parents for not yet trusting Him off on His Own.

43. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem.  And Joseph and His mother did not know it;

The story takes us to the point where the feast is now ended, and the people of the land are returning to their homes. Their family would have traveled in a large company with many friends and relatives, and no doubt there was much visiting and socializing as they went, since they only would have seen many of these people three times a year at the feasts. Joseph and Mary had quite a few other children of their own by this time, and certainly we must believe that the Lord Jesus was the most trustworthy and dependable of children, and so it seems that they had both assumed that He would be dutifully following along in their company. They were wrong, however, and the Lord had stayed behind.

44. But supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances.

As I said above, no doubt the Lord Jesus was such a well-behaved Boy that no thought passed between them that He would not do as they thought He was supposed to do until an entire day’s journey had passed. Finally, they looked for Him that evening when the journey was ended, Bullinger suggests, at Beeroth, six miles north of Jerusalem. When He did not appear as they expected Him to, it seems they started to be alarmed. They looked for Him among their relatives, where they had probably figured He was all along, perhaps with some of His cousins. When they did not find Him there, they looked among their friends and acquaintances, but found that He was not there either. Any parent who has ever, hopefully temporarily, lost a child, can certainly sympathize with the mounting fear and panic they must have felt as they found Him not.

This statement about supposing Him to be in the company is interesting. Many men in our day march on in their processions assuming the Lord has joined them on the way. They start big ministries, they build huge churches, they institute large programs, all the time assuming the Lord will join them and walk in step with the company they have gathered and appointed. Unfortunately, I believe that many of these assume far too much, and if they could see the reality of it, they would find that the Lord has not joined their company. Before you take it upon yourself to join some church, become a part of some program, or join up with some ministry, perhaps it would be best to look first and see if the Lord is indeed in your company. Otherwise, you may end up finding yourself far on the journey, and realizing the Lord was never with you after all.

Yet perhaps a better question to ask ourselves than, “Is the Lord in my company?” is “Am I in the Lord’s company?” Again, all too many assume that they are where they need to be, and yet have they ever truly come by faith to join that company of believers in and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? We all need to ask ourselves this question. Do I really know the Lord Jesus Christ? Am I His sinner, and is He my Savior? Have I joined the Lord’s company?

45. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.

Once they had completed their search and confirmed that He was not in their company, it seems they had little choice left but to return to Jerusalem and look for Him there. They were seeking Him all the way as they went back to the city. We can only imagine how upset they must have been at this point.

46. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.

Jerusalem was a big city, and they probably had many places to look, such as where they had stayed the night, and other places they might have visited. All the time they would have been imagining what evil might have happened to Him. Finally, after three days, it seems they thought to look in the temple. Here we see a problem in their understanding of the Lord, for if they had known Him as they should, that should have been the first place they looked.

When they found the Lord, they did not find Him in trouble, as they had probably imagined. Nor did they find Him engaged in mischief, as they also might have wondered. Instead, they find Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, the learned and Godly men of Israel. He had hardly gotten in with the wrong crowd! Moreover, it seems that He was rather the center of attention, as He was both listening to them in their teaching and asking them questions.

47. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.

The Lord was very young, and we can only imagine hearing a 12-year-old teaching as the Lord Jesus taught, with pointed questions asked with all the authority of God Himself. I have taught 12-year-old boys myself for many years in a Sunday school class, so I have some knowledge of what they are like. I can only imagine what it would be like to have the Lord Jesus in my class! I dare say the teacher would quickly be shown up, and the instructor would become the one taught. I know I would be astonished at such a child, even as these men were. What a privilege was theirs, to have such a Student!

48. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us?  Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.”

Certainly this was the last thing His parents expected to find, and they were understandably amazed by it. If they had found the Lord anywhere else, we can only imagine the sharp words they would have used in reproving Him for causing them such time, heartache, and anxiety. Yet how could they reprove Him too sharply when He had been in the company of the most venerable and respected men in Israel? Yet Miriam, though no doubt relieved, still reproved Him. Perhaps she was so distracted by her former fears that she did not comprehend the great work that the Lord was doing before her eyes. Or perhaps, in spite of this, all she could think of was how much worry He had caused her. Certainly she must have the right to some words of rebuke directed at Him for all the trouble He had caused her!

In the same way our own fears and worries can blind us to what God is doing before our very noses. It is hard to get on His program, especially when we come upon it suddenly and unexpectedly, and when we have been worried about something else.

Unfortunately, the New King James incorrectly renders teknon, which means “child,” by “son” here. Miriam did not refer to the Lord so respectfully in this case.

49. And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me?  Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

It is a principle with me that the Lord never expects something of someone that is unreasonable or impossible for them to do. As illogical and unreasonable it may seem to us that He expected His parents to know and simply expect, when they found their Son missing, that He was off doing God’s work, He must have had a good reason for expecting this of them. The Lord would not have scolded them for something they couldn’t have helped if they had had faith. Perhaps He had more or less told them what His Father had for Him to do, and they had not paid attention. Perhaps they had had some hint of what He was going to do that should have clued them in. At any rate, it is clear that they had not given Him the respect they should have. Imagine how hard it would be to think of your twelve-year-old as Yahweh, your Master and your God! Yet they had little excuse for thinking of Him as just another twelve-year-old, after all they had seen and been told. Whatever it was that should have let them know that everything was all right with the Lord, no doubt the reason they missed it is because of a lack of faith.

Bullinger points out that these are the first recorded words of the Lord after His birth in the Scriptures. They set the stage for all that comes after, and assure us that in all He did, He was ever going about His Father’s business.

50. But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.

No doubt Joseph and Mary both thought of Joseph as Jesus’ father by this point, and so they probably totally missed this reference to His real Father in Heaven. As I said above, the Lord’s words give us reason to suspect that there was some reason Joseph and Mary should have known that the Lord would remain in the temple, although they were too blind to see it. Even now, it seems that they do not understand, although it seems they do not further reprove Him after this. They have had a reminder, at least, of Whose Son this was they were raising, something it would have been all too easy for them to forget.

51. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.

The Lord Jesus acted in all ways as God would have wanted Him to. In this case, He brought to a close His ministry to the teachers of Israel in order to return with His parents in obedience, even if He could have done much good by remaining at the temple at that point. Yet we know that God had a set time for His ministry to begin. All too soon, perhaps, as he grew up more, Mary and Joseph must have taken the opposite side, wondering why He waited so long to begin the work God had promised He would do.

So the Lord returned to Nazareth with His mother and Joseph, and was subject to them, obeying what they told Him to do. Yet His mother, at least, learned from this, and kept this in her heart. She had been reproved, and she did not let the lesson go to waste. How Joseph responded is hard to say. Perhaps it is harder for fathers sometimes to be reproved by their children than for mothers.

52. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

This one verse covers a period of eighteen years, from the time the Lord was twelve years old until He began His ministry at about thirty years of age. We read that the Lord increased, which in Greek means advanced. He did this in wisdom. How does God advance in wisdom, we might ask? This is something that is hard for us to understand, but we know that He had limited Himself when He took on the form of a Man. Clearly, an unborn infant in its mother’s womb is limited, and the Lord had become that. So it could be that this refers to those limitations falling away as He came more into adulthood. Yet I believe that our God is a God Who is always advancing. He does not waste His time, but is always moving forward. He is in many ways the personification of wisdom, and it ever dwells with Him. Now, He advanced in that wisdom.

Then, He advanced in stature. This could refer to the fact that He continued to grow taller. Yet this word can also mean “age,” and it could merely be telling us that He advanced in age, using these words to bridge the gap between this verse and the next many years later. This could throw some light back on what it means that He was “increasing in wisdom.” It could be telling us that He was advancing or moving forward in wisdom, even as He increased in age. In other words, it could mean that every step He took He went forward in wisdom, not that His Own personal wisdom increased.

Finally, He advanced in favor with God and men. This word “favor” here is the Greek word charis, and is the word that is often translated “grace.” Since we already know that the favor or grace of God was upon Him (verse 40,) it could well be that this means He went forward in that grace, not that God was giving Him more and more of it. Certainly, it could be true of men that they looked on Him with ever-growing favor and grace. Yet God’s gift of the Spirit was not given by measure unto Him, as we know from John 3:34, and it would seem likely that the same was true of His grace.

Yet whatever it means, this certainly is a pattern that all children can seek to follow as they grow. Growing up for the Godly youth is not merely a matter of increasing age and stature, but also of increasing in wisdom and grace with God and men. These things are important, and are not to be neglected by one who wishes to grow up to truly please God.