Saturday, January 28, 2017

Jesus grew in wisdom and in favor with God

St Cyril of Alexandria tells us today about Jesus completely emptying Himself when He became man today in A Year with the Church Fathers.

His emphasis is on how much Jesus emptied Himself. It must have been quite an emptying, it seems, for the One who is perfect and eternal to then grow. And it's hard to imagine the mind that once was omniscient having to learn anything.

But the thing that amazes me most is that He grew in favor with God. How can that be? Wasn't He already in perfect favor with God? Did He lose favor with God when He became man?

I think the answer is found in how parents feel about their children. A proud mom and dad are completely happy and pleased with their baby when it's born. But when it grows up and makes good choices and learns to help people and then perhaps has children of their own... well, the hearts of the parents swell with pride and love. They loved their child completely before. But now their love stretches their hearts to love even more.

Even so, maybe God loved Jesus completely and perfectly from all eternity... but when Jesus became man and lived a completely sinless life as one of us, it swelled the heart of God. Of course, anything we say about God the Father is going to end up being an anthropomorphism, since He's not a human like we are. But I think maybe this gets at the fact of how Jesus could have grown in favor with God.

God, please help us to grow in favor with You as well.