4 Essential Christian Maturity Lessons from the Life of Jesus

christian maturity lesson

Christian maturity is a subject on which there are several opinions, both on its importance and on how to go about it.

However, a thorough look at the life and ministry of Christ as well as the emphasis on the apostle’s teachings shows the critical place of Christian growth and maturity. 

In this article, I’ll discuss the first step to Christian maturity, four characteristics that every living thing possesses, and then essential Christian maturity lessons as lived out by our Lord Jesus.

The pathway to Christian maturity

First thing first

However, talking about maturity implies that there is a growth process underway, and that maturity is achieved through this growth process.

It is important to note that for a thing to grow, fundamentally it must be said to be alive for growth is a quality only living things possess.

It, therefore, follows that for a person to come to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus” as Apostle Peter puts in 2 Pet 3:18 (KJV), they must have first been made alive unto God through the cleansing of sin and receiving of Christ’s forgiveness, but it doesn’t end there.

What follows

 It is expected that they begin their journey of growing into “the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 KJV). They must begin to employ the tools of growth, feed their spirit, and grow steadily. This is the pathway to Christian maturity. 

Biologically, no child stays an infant, toddler, or child forever. In the process of time, it is expected that this child grows to develop adult features (maturity) and begins to procreate (like a Christian would through evangelism). In fact, it is a condition that needs serious medical attention if a child’s growth process is stunted. 

Like no parent would be happy if a child remains an infant in features when well past the age, so would God if we remain stunted in our growth experience.

To bring our discussion to life, let’s look at it from this perspective. 

The new birth experience is a spiritual investment that God makes in man. To ensure a return on this investment, God, like any businessman, would expect His enterprise to grow. 

A small container can only contain so much but the moment you increase the size of the container, you automatically increase how much it can contain. This is the power of growth.

When we don’t grow, we make Christ small in our lives, but when we do, there is no limit to what God can achieve with us and through us because there is room for the same. 

Before we move on to the lessons on Christian maturity, let us take a brief detour to assess and apply to our topic four qualities that all living things, by extension, Christians universally possess. We will draw some insights from them to help us understand what the Christian growth process is like as lived out by Christ.

4 qualities that all living possess. 

1. Living things move: 

This is an obvious point. It means activity. There is always something ongoing in the life of a living Christian. They never entertain idleness and complacency. They are engaged in spiritual activity, personal development, and Christian service, and these are critical tools for growth. 

This, however, does not encourage a flurry of activity solely to be busy.

2. Living things feed: 

Food is necessary for life. Every living thing must feed to generate appropriate nutrients to grow and fund life’s many activities.

As physical food is essential for physical life, so is spiritual food essential for spiritual life.

If a malnourished child will have stunted growth, how do we think we will be strong and grow spiritually if we do not feed on the word of God and prayer, which are instruments of our spiritual nourishment? We must feed to grow.

3. Living things are irritable: 

In this context, irritability refers to the ability to respond to external stimuli or influences. This is crucial, but it is often overlooked.

An infant must rely on others to adjust to external influences such as weather, impending danger, and so on. However, as it grows, it must learn to be sensitive and responsive to what is going on around it, and failure to do so could mean the difference between life and death.

As Christians, we must grow in our ability to discern right and wrong and respond appropriately, as well as in our ability to distinguish and hear God’s voice. In addition, our obedience to God’s word must steadily increase.

4. Living things reproduce:

Whether biologically or spiritually, everything alive reproduces after its kind. Jesus commanded all believers to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20, KJV), emphasizing the importance of soul-winning in our Christian profession. 

The proof that we have life within us is that we would want to share it with others and replicate our experience, hence Christ, in the lives of others.

We shall now look at the four lessons on Christian M as drawn from the very life of Jesus.

The 4 Christian maturity lessons from the life of Jesus

Maturity is a byproduct of growth. Christ demonstrated this in his own life. He did not appear on Earth ready and made. He submitted to the process, matured, and thus excelled in God’s purposes for him.

The Bible tells us in Luke 2:46-52 (KJV) 
"And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man".

At this time, Jesus was 12 years old (Luke 2:42 KJV) and had begun to prepare for his earthly ministry. We can learn the following 4 Christian maturity lessons from his life, as contained in the above passage:

1. Jesus stayed back to listen to the Doctors of the law and ask questions: 

This shows the exalted position Jesus gave to God’s word. He was the Word, but He had to submit to learning from the doctors of the law and reading the Torah for Himself. We were told in His later ministry that it was His manner to read the book of the law in the synagogues on sabbath days. This appetite for and practice of reading the word of God is most probably the reason He knew the word so well, quoted.

If Jesus emphasized the word for growth, we must do likewise. Peter tells us in 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV) that we are to desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby. The word of God is central to our maturing into Christ because it transforms us, strengthens us, makes us wise, and preserves us. We must read it, study it, memorize it, to draw life from it, and we cannot de-emphasize it and expect to become Christ-like.

2. Jesus abandoned the old company and enjoyed new company: 

Jesus left the company of his family acquaintances and stayed back in the temple, where he could spend time with the doctors of the law.

This is striking to know because Jesus was just a boy and should naturally have enjoyed being around those of his age and status, but no. He preferred being around like-minded people. It is noteworthy that it was not just enough to change companies, Jesus enjoyed his new company.

Three days had passed without his parents, and there was no account of his complaining about food or amenities. It might have been very probable that he lacked these or that they were not sufficiently provided for where available, but this did not deter him. This practice of company continued even into his ministry, as he was always with the twelve who were also like-minded.

If we must mature into Christ, we must change our company and get around those who love the Lord as we do and who will challenge us to grow daily. This may include friends, acquaintances, and peers. Evil communication corrupts good morals, as we are told in scripture (1Cor 15:33 KJV).

We must also join and regularly attend a Bible-believing church. As we surround ourselves with people of the same passion, we will find it easier to live for Christ and grow steadily in our love for Him and obedience to Him.

3. Jesus was about His Father’s business: 

A critical look at this statement reveals two things: first, the zealous interest in the Father’s business, and second, an active occupation in the same. This connotes service.

From the young age of 12, Jesus wanted to be in His Father’s service and continued with the same arduous zeal in His ministry. He didn’t just participate in it, he was enthusiastic about it. 

John 9:4 (KJV), Jesus said “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work." 

Service in God’s vineyard is not just a means of pleasing God, it is a verified path for self-preservation and growth.

In 1 Timothy 4:16 (KJV), Paul told Timothy,

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee”. 

Paul knew that the service of preaching the word, in this case, had the power to save Timothy and help his profiting appear to all (verse 15).

As we serve God and others in His house, we strengthen our spiritual muscles through practice and develop capacity. Until you begin putting to use the abilities God has placed in you, they will remain crude and unrefined, and you will largely not be a blessing to anyone that way, and this will also retard your growth.

4. Jesus was subject to authority.

There are two references to this fact in our text. First, he resorted to doctors of the law who were properly schooled in the laws of Moses. Though Jesus later discredited them due to their hypocritical life, he did commend their soundness in the law by telling the people in Matthew 23:3 (KJV) thus about them; “All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.” Jesus, therefore, exemplified this in submitting to the authority of these teachers of the law.

The second reference was to the fact that he returned from the temple with his parents and was “subject unto them”. In principle, this is the practice of discipleship. 

Discipleship is not new nor strange to the body of Christ. It is simply the submission to an authority higher than oneself as a student or learner.

Discipleship catalyzes our growth process and hastens our maturity.

The disciples of Jesus under 3 and half years grew to become apostles, which is a feat many Christians cannot replicate on their own. However, in discipleship, you climb on the shoulders of a more experienced and take advantage of those experiences to circumnavigate your journey to Christian maturity.

We must however first be disciples of Christ before we become disciples of any man, for we follow men only as they follow Christ.

Christian maturity’s fruits in Jesus’ life

As a result of the practice of the above by Christ, He began to reap the fruits of maturity in the following areas as we see in Luke 2:52 (KJV):

He grew up in:

  1. Wisdom; connotes insight, knowledge, wise answers, excellent handling of people, solving problems, and the like.
  2. Stature; this implies authority, spiritual authority, capacity, tenacity, and faith.
  3. Favor with God; God grew fond of him and was well pleased with m as we see Him publicly certifying Christ’s ministry more than once.
  4. Favor with men; the common people and the multitude heard and received Him gladly. 


In light of the above principles lifted from Christ’s life, we must be methodical about our Christian experience and growth because we cannot neglect the principles of growth and expect to have the fruits of growth.

Maturity is a necessity for Christian life and work. Otherwise, we risk being nominal and may never know the depths of Christ.

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