“Jesus increased in… stature.” – Luke 2:52
One of the most amazing creations God has made is your body. It produces 25 million new cells each second, which mean every 13 seconds you produce more cells than there are people in the United States. If your brain were a computer, it could perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second. The world’s most powerful supercomputer, BlueGene, can manage only .002% of that. An adult is made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms. For perspective, there’s a ‘measly’ 300,000,000,000 (300 billion) stars in our galaxy. With the 60,000 miles of blood vessels inside the average human body, you could circumnavigate Earth two and a half times. And, interestingly, humans are bioluminescent and glow in the dark; the problem is that the light that we emit is 1,000 times weaker than our human eyes are able to detect. All that to say, your body is pretty cool.
However, our bodies can also be a source or pain, frustration, embarrassment, and weirdness, especially during middle school. Body hair, voice change, sudden weight or height gain, body odor, acne – all that stuff happening to you and all the people around you can be intimidating and uncomfortable. We’ll look at a lot of different body issues over the next weeks and hopefully we’ll see lots of answers from the Bible on how to make sense of it all.
Once again, Jesus can connect with us in this area. In the verse above, it tells us Jesus increased in stature. Stature means his overall appearance – height, build, physical maturity. In Philippians 2:7-8, we read that Jesus was “born in the likeness of men” and was “in human form.” That means he grew up physically just like you do. Jesus went through puberty! Weird, right? But it’s true. That means he experienced all the odd, new, and exciting things that your body is doing now and will go through the next few years. Maybe there were times Jesus thought his ears were too big or felt like his biceps weren’t as big as the kid next door. Maybe his cousins all grew taller faster than him. Or, maybe he was the fastest kid on the block. We really don’t know, but we can assume that puberty wasn’t any less awkward for Jesus than it is for you. That means that as you go through the good times and frustrating times with your physical changes, you can know that Jesus has been there and he’s there to help you. You can also know that God has created you in love and excellence, and he will see you through the physical changes ahead.