48 And when his parents[g] saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?”[h] 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart.52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature[i] and in favor with God and man.
Jesus grew?! I can understand the physical part of growing, but to consider that Jesus grew in wisdom is an odd thing to swallow. To think about the fact that He had to learn obedience to me is strange. Jesus had to grow into what the Father had for His life. He had to learn. He had to submit Himself to His Father in Heaven AND His father on earth. His incarnation involved giving and receiving…teaching and learning. Growing in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man was not just a box He had to check. It was a vital aspect of the plan.
Submission is an important part of growth, and Jesus submitted Himself! Jesus was about His Father’s business, while submitting Himself to His father’s business. Jesus at this point in His life probably knew more than many of the scholars of that day and His parents, and yet He still submitted Himself. That is because submission from a spiritual perspective has little to do with who knows more, and more to do with the heart of the person.
And so the more I think about it, for Jesus to have to humble Himself, become a man, grow, and submit Himself to others actually makes perfect sense. It is probably one of the greatest demonstrations, next to the resurrection, of who He was. It speaks to the purity of His nature and heart, and it speaks to the extreme love He had for His Father and for us.
We all must grow and learn and submit. I don’t believe we ever arrive at a place where this is not needed! As a matter of fact, when we find ourselves in an environment where we are no longer growing, learning, and submitting…I would venture to say we haven’t arrived at all, but instead, we are probably lost!