God became a child. At every age, children can relate to Jesus, because Jesus was their same age at some point. Jesus was a baby who had to learn to walk and talk. Jesus was a young child who had to learn to read and write. Jesus went through puberty where his voice started to deepen and he started to grow a beard. Jesus had to take out the garbage, do the dishes, obey his parents, and get along with his siblings.
What is also curious is that Jesus needed parents. Yes, Jesus is perfect and was the perfect child while on the earth. However, even a perfect child apparently needs a mom and dad. His mother Mary and father Joseph were hardworking, godly, rural, teenage peasants. If Jesus needed parents, your children do too–even more so. And, if Mary and Joseph could raise Jesus with limited resources, God will help you to do the same.
We know very little of Jesus’ early life as a child. The Scriptures are nearly altogether silent, although there are a few short passages that reference his childhood. We read in Luke 2:39-40, “And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.” Luke 2:51–52 adds, “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. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
How did Jesus grow in every way? By the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what is described as being filled and living in God’s favor. This is a theme throughout Luke’s Gospel: “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14) and said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” (Luke 4:18). The power of the Holy Spirit is the key to raising a child. Ideally, a child would be filled with the Holy Spirit from a young age and grow in the grace of God as they age. This was the pattern with Jesus. As parents and caregivers, helping our child understand the ministry of and relationship with the Holy Spirit can help them live by the same power and grow in the same sort of character as Jesus Christ.
How is your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit? How is your child’s personal relationship with the Holy Spirit?