God’s plan all along has been to have grown sons to take care of the family business. He created Adam in his likeness and told him to “be fruitful, multiply and have dominion over all the earth.” It seems to me that when Adam sinned it stunted his growth. It’s as if the whole human race had to grow up in order to be responsible, mature sons. A mature son is one in which the Spirit of God dwells. Adam ate from the wrong tree and started a race of humans that were incomplete. It isn’t until Christ came that we are enabled to mature or become complete in our humanity. He is the finishing touch.
If we look through the letters of the Apostle Paul we will discover he talked about us growing up into mature faith quite a bit. In fact I would say it is what is behind most, if not all, of his teaching. In Ephesians 4 he tells us God gave the church apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, for the very purpose of equipping the saints for maturity. That we might come to unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God until we grow into the “perfect” or full grown man. This is so we might finally take our rightful place as heirs.
In the 4th chapter of Galatians we read that even though the heir may be a child he may not yet be mature enough to handle all of what God has for him. It says, “But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Until we receive Christ we live under guardians and managers (The Law). Once we do receive him we have no need to be under such guardians.
If you are like me you may not have a clear understanding of what this word adoption really means. To us it usually refers to someone bringing a child into their family from another family. Here adoption is defined “son placement.” What this means is the son has come to maturity and is now responsible enough to take charge over the Father’s business. It isn’t until this stage that we are mature enough to handle it. For the Jew it was usually at the age of 30.
There are three stages of growth in the life of a Jewish male. First he is born of course, and on the eight day he is to be circumcised. This makes him a covenant man; his first step. Next he has his “Bar-Mitzvah” which means “son accountable.” This means he has become an apprentice of his father in the family business. Lastly he is “adopted” or placed as a son. This is when he is mature. He is able to run the Father’s business.
Jesus went through all of these stages. He was born and circumcised and at the age of twelve (adolescence) he was found in the Temple asking the Rabbi’s questions. Finally he went to the Jordan to be baptized by John the Baptist. Remember when he came up out of the water? The Spirit descended like a dove and the voice from Heaven said, “This is my Son in whom I am well pleased.” This was the Father’s way of saying this is my fully mature son, listen to him he knows what he is doing. Jesus was approximately 30yrs of age at this time.
Throughout the Bible it becomes very apparent that God wants a full house. He wants there to be many mature sons. In Romans 8 we read that we have been predestined to be conformed into the image of his Son so he would be the firstborn among many brethren. So we discover Jesus is to be the firstborn of many. In Colossians 1 we read that Jesus Christ is the firstborn from among the dead. I love this because it is telling us we too, that are born of God, will rise from the dead one day. If he is the firstborn from among the dead we are sure to be the 2nd, 3rd, and so on. Hallelujah!
How does this maturing happen you might ask? You may not really want to know when you find out. If we look at Hebrews 5:8 we will see. It says, “Although He (Jesus) was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which he suffered.” If Jesus learned obedience through suffering that’s the way we will learn it also. It seems we all would like to be in charge of something, but most of us don’t want to go through the training. Suffering is the school of maturity. Jesus, even though he was God, humbled himself and was obedient. He was obedient to death, even death on a cross. But notice the result. “For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Jesus’ obedience was never half hearted; therefore he sits at the Father’s right hand co-ruling the family business. He is always there to intercede for us that still have some growing up to do.
Thank you Jesus!!
Written by Louie