“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Luke 2:52
This year at Dare 2 Share’s Live it up tour we are going to unpack what it means to live it up in the Quad. What is “the Quad”? It represents four key areas of what it means to be human: intellectual, physical, spiritual and relational.
When Jesus got back from what was his first trip to Jerusalem as a teenager he grew in each of these areas. He grew “in wisdom.” The Greek word for wisdom here is “sophia” and means “wisdom, insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence.” Jesus most likely went to school (like other Jewish boys of his time) and excelled. He listened, learned and studied hard.
Jesus wasn’t born with a built in omniscient chip that allowed him not to have to study. He studied like any other red-blooded Jewish boy. He just did it unencumbered by sin and solely focused on His Father’s glory.
Teenagers who follow Jesus need to follow him to study hall and do their homework with diligence, precision and focus. It matters more than you might think!
Jesus grew in “stature.” This means that Jesus grew physically. He ate good food (bread, fish, lamb, veggies) and avoided fast food (because there was none!) and I’m sure got plenty of sleep. As a carpenter’s son he didn’t have to worry about sit ups, pushups and pull-ups. He was most likely sitting up in bed before the sun started shining, pushing trees down the hill to cut up for lumber and pulling hammers out to swing as he built whatever it was that carpenter’s built in those days. Jesus didn’t have gym rat strength but working man strength. Walking everywhere meant his cardio was strong and the fact that he survived such a vicious beating by the Roman soldiers proves he was in top physical shape.
Believing teenagers need to get their sleep (turn the music off, keep their phones out of the room at night or at least turn down their notifications), eat mostly good food and, unless they’re teenaged carpenters, do their pushups, pull-ups and sit ups. Why? Because, according to 1 Timothy 4:8, “physical training is of some value.” When they take care of themselves they’re taking care of the temple God has given them to serve him in and through. And some teen temples need a good cleaning and a little brick work.
Jesus grew in favor with God. This means that he grew spiritually. That’s right! The Son of God had his prayer time and quiet times on a consistent basis. I’m sure it was part of his daily rhythm because you see that rhythm continue into his adulthood. Jesus was always escaping to pray and spend time with the Father. Helping our teenagers find a quiet place and regular time to spend with the Father is vital. It will give them then fuel they need to live and lead THE Cause throughout the rest of the day!Jesus grew in favor with man. This simply means that his relational equity grew as he grew up. He had strong relationships from friendships to family to others. He knew how to listen well and deeply. As evidenced by how he interacted with the rich young Ruler, the woman at the well and countless others he could read the little signs, get around the relational roadblocks and speak deeply into their souls.
In Luke 2:46, 47 we see that even as a 12 year old Jesus knew how to ask great questions and listen deeply, “After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.”
Helping teenagers to ask great questions and listen well is a skill that will unleash them to build deep and lasting relationships. And, like with Jesus, will prepare them to share the good news in a relational and powerful way.
Bring your teenagers to the “Live it up!” Tour this year and we’ll dive deeper into helping them live it up in The Quad. This will prepare them for a life-time of healthy and well-balanced service to the King of kings for the rest of their lives!