Luke 2:40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
In order for the Lord Jesus to provide redemption for his people, and to present himself to them as a merciful and faithful High Priest, he had to be made like unto his brethren. Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. And his brethren, (the entire elect of God), must trust God by faith on a daily basis. For they are instructed to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Therefore, in the above verses we see that the Eternal Son of God veiled his glory and his omniscience, and rationed out to himself progressive physical growth, along with progressive maturing in wisdom! For he would not just be their pattern and example, but also the author of their faith! (Heb. 5:9, 12:2).
The Benefit of Miracles
One of the things that was used to aid the maturing of the man Christ Jesus, were the miracles that the Father gave him! Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: He was to show himself “approved of God” by doing those supernatural things that only God could preform.
But being human, we tend to only look at his miracles from a viewpoint of their effect upon man. And they did had a very wide effect upon men, and still do.
But read John 2:23 – 3:3 and you will quickly learn that the effect of miracles upon a large portion of humans was to give them the strong deception that they were actual believers in Christ! But you can readily see in verse 24 that the Lord Jesus did not “commit” (same word, “believed,” in verse 23), to them, because he who looks on the heart, “knew what was in man!” Therefore, when the one “man,” Nicodemus gave his confession of faith, based on his witnessing of Jesus’ miracles, the Lord told him immediately that he wasn’t born again! Miracle ‘belief’ without God granted faith is heart damning!
Also in John 12 we see the same thing. In verse 37 we read, But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not (into) him: Here it finally appears, that as the excitement of the miracles wore off, these came to the realization that their excited ‘feelings’ were not indeed salvation! For in verse 34 of John 12 we find them even blaspheming the Lord Jesus in denying that he was “the Son of man!”
Then we have a very ‘telling’ word in John 12:42. It is the first word of that verse and ties the content of verse 42 back to verse 37, listed above. It reads, “Nevertheless among the chief rules also many believed (into) him;” And even though we read the next verses to learn that these were “smoking flax” and “bruised reed” believers (Matt. 12:19-20), yet we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit that these, compared with those in verse 37, did believe “into him!”
Jesus’ Personal Benefit
But let us return to our statement that these miracles were used to mature the humanity of the Son of man, our Lord Jesus Christ. We do read that in the latter part of the Lord’s ministry, his humanity came to a full maturity of knowing all things! John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Now consider the very words of instruction from the lips of our Savior. John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. 36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
Before we ever attempt to comment on these glorious thoughts of our great Savior, we must acknowledge the words of the Apostle Paul. 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. Attempting to speak of the Humanity of God is to peer into the greatest of mysteries! But one thing we learn from this verse is that the Humanity of God was “justified in the Spirit!” And that is what we are seeing in the above listed verses!
It was only at the inner, spiritual revelation of the Father’s will and purposes that our Savior came to act! And of course, this was always in perfect relation to the Scriptures! For the Spirit never leads one apart from the revelation of the printed word of God! He could do nothing of himself, but that which he ‘saw’ his Father do! For he stated in verse 20 of our John 5 passage that his Father showed him all things that he, the Son, should do! We would say, “We never saw the Father raise the dead, heal the lame, or give sight to the blind! But the Lord would answer, “If you have seen me doing these things, you have seen the Father! For I and the Father are one!”
And no matter how great a witness John the Baptist was to Christ as his forerunner, our Lord says that these works revealed to him by the Father were greater witnesses! So he who was the author of faith (Heb. 12:2), came to sire that faith by himself believing the Father’s inner revelations and acting them out in his miracles. His faith in his own Person, that is, that he was the Christ, came from hearing the Father! For faith cometh by hearing. And his hearing came by the Father’s voice within the Spirit of his Godliness! For hearing cometh by the word of God! (Rom. 10:17).
The miracles that our Lord did brought some to a hardening of their hearts (John 12:39-41). But they brought others to believe in him (John 2:11). And they also brought confirmation and maturing to the Holy Humanity of the Son of man! John 10:25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh! (Luke 6:45). And the very heart of the Savior is manifested by the glorious words that came forth from his mouth! John 12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
He has provided so wonderfully well for the children of faith, not only giving natural bread for their physical strength, but also his effectual word, proceeding out of the mouth of God! For man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God!(Matt. 4:4). And he has provided the gift of the Holy Spirit, not just to be with us, but also to be in us! So that we also may hear His words within our soul and act them out by faith! Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
And just as the Father showed the Lord Jesus all things by inner revelation, and by the outward voice of the Scriptures, that he was to act out by faith, so he has sent another Comforter, unto whom he hath committed all believer’s care, for the accomplishment of their faith! John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Coming to the glory of God in eternity depends on coming to the glory of God on earth. And the glory of God on earth depended on Jesus’ doing the works given him of his Father! John 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
And now he leaves with us that which was of use to sanctify his own self in the maturing of his human nature! John 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. He was “justified in the Spirit,” and “sanctified” through the truth!
Pastor Gene Breed