Now don't jump to the wrong conclusion! Jesus didn't make or enjoy a 50 gallon milkshake mixed with a real outboard motor. But I always think of this event when chewing on our next items on the POWER LIST of attributes in the growing life of teenage Jesus. I'll describe the milkshake and sticky gymnasium another time. Right now we have far more powerful things to look at.
The Gentile medical doctor, Luke, tailored his gospel about our Lord Jesus, to the Gentiles, in a fashion you'd expect from a doctor like him. It was so much centered around his humanity; what made Jesus much like you and I, and our every day challenges of growing. Though Luke didn't make any of the chapter divisions, it is, though like the frosting on the cake, that the best of the teenager Jesus descriptions were saved until now. Let's take a good look at them. They form a quartet; a wonderful group of four that becomes a four-part lesson for us to share with those troubled teens God has put in our field of ministry.
This quartet is simply listed in Luke 2 verse 52, as follows:
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
We see here the quartet that is so critical in giving meaning and order to every teenager, and Jesus too!
'Wisdom' we'll call MENTAL, 'stature' we'll call PHYSICAL, 'favor with God' is SPIRITUAL, and 'man' is SOCIAL. Got it? Mental, physical, spiritual, and social. If we leave any of the quartet out, or shoved into a corner, the teenage life becomes mixed up and prime territory for Satan to plant his seeds of sin and doubt.
I'll say here, that much of what follows, is adapted from my Youth For Christ training. (A.K.A. Campus Life – Balanced Life ).
It may be a small point, but one that nags me to include here, my '3 dash 4 principle' I see in scripture so often. I find trios; sets of 3, quite often representing simple STRENGTH and STRUCTURE. Foremost is the divine Trinity; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The structure of each of us is also a trio: Body, Soul, and Spirit. You can also see the strength in structures like the triangle bracing of bridges. I suppose you could think of the structure of water as liquid, ice, and steam. Ask the teen you are ministering to, for other examples to add to the list. Help them to begin tagging their thinking to strength and structure, that their lives so desperately need.
The other part of my '3 dash 4 principle', is the large number of quartets; the sets of 4 in our Bible. For me, they seem to always be presenting PROGRESS and PRODUCTION. We've already been getting glimpses of the 4 Gospels that produce the life and attitudes that please God and build up others. They have their own way to daily move us along toward greater challenges in serving our Lord; that's progress.
Some other quartets you might also discuss with your 'student' teenager, are the four purposes of scripture. Those were the rules, testing, discipline, and learning that are so vital to our progress in our following the Lord in trust and experiencing the FULL JOY we are promised, along the way.
Can you add some quartets from scripture?
God is not about just putting STRENGTH and STRUCTURE, PROGRESS and PRODUCTION in out lives. He wants to tie it all together with something the world and all its technology know nothing of. It's REAL JOY... even better than that, it's that FULL JOY we touched on earlier.
Next we'll take a look at each of the Luke 2:52 quartet.