52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.
In verse 52 more than 18 years are summarized in on sentence. We are simply told that Jesus "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man". Jesus grew. How comforting and challenging it is to ponder that! In the incarnation, Jesus undergoes the same process that God has been using with human beings from the beginning. There are two arenas of growth mentioned. One is interior and the other exterior. Both would be essential for the the days ahead of Him.
Jesus grew in wisdom and favor with God. This was the wellspring of his life and ministry. Everything He would do proceeded from His relationship with the Father. So much so, that Jesus often speaks of his desire for the relationship with his followers to mirror that of his relationship with the Father (i.e. John 15).
He grew in stature and favor with men, which speaks to his ability, as we see earlier in this passage, to take what the Father had given him and share it with the world around him in a way that would both be both understood and received.
The implication is that both types of growth are cultivated over a long period of time. God the Father was taking Jesus through a process that would produce both the interior and exterior life He would need to accomplish the Father's will on the road ahead.
In what ways is God growing my interior and exterior life to prepare me to accomplish His will?
Heavenly Father, help us to grow as Jesus did. Let us nurture our relationship with you to such a great extent that our human relationships begin to take on a similar character. May others encounter you in their interactions with us. We pray that the byproduct our life in you will be the transformation of the world around us.