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Strength in Spirit

Filed Under: Luther's Devotions

Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with
God and man.

Luke 2:52

Some inquisitive people who are not satisfied with the information
given in the Scriptures have desired to know what
Christ did in his childhood, and have received their reward for
their curiosity. Some fool or knave has fabricated a legendary
book on the childhood of Christ, and has not been afraid to write
down his lies and frauds, relating how Christ went to school
and a great deal of absurd and blasphemous tomfoolery. Thus
with his lies he jests at the expense of the Lord, whom all the
angels adore and fear, and before whom all creatures tremble,
so that this rascal would have deserved to have a millstone
hanged about his neck and to have been sunk in the depths
of the sea, because he did not esteem the Lord of all more than
to make him an object of his buffoonery.

Christ never went to school, for no schools like ours existed
at that time. He did not even have an elementary education.
The Jews marveled, saying: "How knoweth this man letters,
having never learned?" Yet they were astonished at his wisdom.
They thought it strange that a layman and the son of
a carpenter should have such great knowledge, having never
studied. Therefore they were offended in him and thought
that he must be possessed of an evil spirit. Let us then be
satisfied with the narrative of the gospel, which tells us enough
of his childhood. Luke writes that he "increased in wisdom
and stature." Later on he writes that he was subject to his
parents. What else should he have related? He was brought
up like other children, with the exception that, as some children
excel others in ability, Christ was an extraordinary, clever child.
Thus no more could be written concerning him than is recorded
by Luke. The time for performing miracles had not yet come.
Some are perplexed by the words of Luke according to which
Christ, although he was God, "increased in wisdom and stature."
We must understand the words of Luke as applying simply to
the human nature of Christ, which was an instrument and
temple of the Godhead. As he grew in stature his reason developed,
and with the development of his reason he became
stronger in the Spirit and filled with wisdom before God, in
himself and before men.

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