HOW DID CHRIST LEARN LINE UPON LINE?
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Luke 2:52
I cannot fathom how our Savior knew from childhood how to live, being free from all sin, as a boy growing into adulthood. We do not have much of a record about his growing up years. We do know that he had very special earthly parents who were wise, patient and righteous. I am certain their divine characteristics influenced his ability to grow up making perfect choices; they taught him in the ways of the Lord.
In Luke 2:52, it records, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” His parents taught him the dealings of God among man. Those teachings were so planted in his gentle heart that he lived by them from his beginning. I would like to have just a bit of their wisdom.
In Doctrine & Covenants 93: 11-12, John witnessed the Savior’s early years in vision. He recorded, “11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;
13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;
14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.”
As Joseph and Mary lovingly taught him about his heavenly home and how to worship and honor God by keeping the commandments, he would have had a sure foundation to build on. We too can teach our families after the same pattern. D&C 50:24 says, “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.”
The Savior was raised after this pattern, line upon line, growing in light and receiving more until he did gain the fulness of His Father and was ready to begin His divine mission. He was taught the scriptures from his wise parents. He was taught to work hard at their sides and to hear the voice of God in quiet moments, pondering his own place in the Lord’s kingdom.
The Redeemer of the world was born to us as a babe, grew from childhood to young manhood and on to perfection. He set the perfect example of how we are to live but included the pattern to follow. President Joseph F. Smith said, “If Jesus, the Son of God, and the Father of the heavens and the earth in which we dwell, received not a fulness at the first, but increased in faith, knowledge, understanding and grace until he received a fulness, is it not possible for all men who are born of women to receive little by little, line upon line, precept upon precept, until they shall receive a fulness, as he has received a fulness, and be exalted with him in the presence of the Father?” 1
I know we can follow his footsteps, learning grace for grace, choosing to act as he would every day until we reach the end of our lives with his image in our countenances.
- Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith(1998), 153.