April 22, 2018
We continue with the Growth of Jesus from my Book "Did Jesus Just Happen"
The third aspect of the growth of Jesus is that He grew in favor of man. This part suggests that Jesus also grew from the standpoint of social relationships. The word "favor" carries that idea of becoming or looking beautiful. To have favor with men is to look good in the eyes of men. In this respect Jesus grew. This does not mean that He was looked upon with favor by everyone He met, but it does mean that He developed the art of getting along with people. He learned how to live with people. He learned how to work with people.
This does not come accidentally; it must be cultivated. Happy is the person who has learned how to get along with his neighbor and to work with his fellow man. Jesus cultivated friendships and developed good will among men. We are not to suppose, however, that Jesus sought to be popular with men at any cost.
Good social relationships can be cultivated without compromising convictions. The man who is willing to compromise any conviction in order to gain popularity is only committing social suicide.
There is a difference between sound social relationship and shallow popularity based upon sentimentality.
We must learn how to get along with people and at the same time maintain the convictions which are essential to Christian living at its best. This is what it means by developing socially. We live in a world of people and we cannot draw a circle about our lives and cut ourselves off from all contact with others. We cannot help but have relationships with other people. Our problem is in learning how to live with people without compromising our convictions. This can be done by the proper care and concern as we develop. To be socially successful one does not have to feel that everyone likes him or that everyone is his friend. Not even Jesus accomplished this goal. He had His bitter enemies, but this did not mean that He had not learned the art of getting along with people generally. Jesus warned His disciples of the danger of having all men speak well of them. If a man stands for that which is right, he will encounter opposition and ill will from some, no matter how hard he tries not to do so. In spite of this fact, following the example of Jesus, we can and ought to develop social relationships which are in the main mutually pleasant and edifying.
Wayne McDoanld, Pastor