Summary: The Traits of Jesus. Develop Christlikeness by focusing on what Jesus learned and how He learned.
Your example is Jesus. “That you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). You can develop Christlikeness by focusing on what Jesus learned and how He learned. You can become like Jesus and develop a disciplined character as He did. Even though these lessons will emphasize the human growth of Jesus, understanding His deity is essential for a perfect picture of the Lord Jesus Christ.
1. People call Jesus a man, yet deity was always evident. John the Baptist – “After me comes a man, who is preferred before me; for he existed before me” (John 1:30, ELT). The woman at the well – “Come see a man who told me everything I have ever done” (John 4:29, ELT). The man born blind – “A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes . . . I see” (John 9:11, ELT). Pilate – “Behold the man” (John 19:5).
2. Jesus had human needs.
a. Tired – “Jesus . . . being wearied” (John 4:6).
b. Thirsty – “I thirst” (John 19:28).
c. Slept – “He (Jesus) was asleep” (Matt. 9:24).
d. Ate – “He (Jesus) eating with the tax collectors and sinners” (Mark 2:16).
C. HUMAN GROWTH
1. What can we learn about Jesus’ growth? “And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him” (Luke 2:40).
a. He grew physically as other children.
b. He developed a strong spirit/character. The spirit of a man must be strong enough to control the feelings or desires of a man.
c. He learned knowledge and wisdom. Proverbs instructs children to learn knowledge (facts) so they can gain wisdom (understanding).
2. Jesus grew according to the laws of human development. “I am not come to destroy the law . . . but to fulfill it” (Matt. 5:17).
3. In what four areas did Jesus grow? “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52).
a. Mental development.
b. Physical development.
c. Social development.
d. Spiritual development.
4. How was Jesus’ life a test? “Yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Heb. 5:8). Jesus was tested to do what He could do.
D. INFLUENCES ON JESUS’ GROWTH
1. Small town. Removed from the legalism of Jerusalem, from the vice of big cities, from the impersonalization of the masses, from big business, from Roman militarism, from sophisticated society, from literary speculation and everything the world thinks is important.
2. Wonders of nature. The beauty of the Galilean mountains, Lake Galilee, fields, and nature.
3. Poor. Mary’s offering (Luke 2:24).
4. Working family. Joseph, a carpenter.
5. A godly home. “Joseph was a just man” (Matt. 1:19).
6. Attended church. “As his custom was, he went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day” (Luke 4:16).
7. Was taught scriptures. “Sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46).