ルカ 2:41-52

S: ルカ 2:52 イエスはますます知恵が進み、背たけも大きくなり、神と人とに愛された。

O: For once the Japanese simply lacks the expression that most hits me about this passage. In English, “growing” is often applied much more broadly than in Japanese, so it is very natural to apply the one verb, grew, to wisdom, physical height, and relationships with God and with people. I first memorized this verse as a young child myself as my parents and other adults tried to get me to follow Jesus' example. The simple fact that Jesus had to grow underscores the reality that He became, on one level at least, a very ordinary human baby. If He had miraculously matured right out of the womb and started walking and talking immediately, something very precious would have been lost. God understands immaturity, and it isn't a sin. If we refuse to recognize our immaturity then it can lead us into all sorts of sins, but in itself it isn't sin, and we need to remember that and take comfort in it. God is going to grow us, just as He grew the boy Jesus, and we need to trust Him and enjoy the process.

O: この節で私の心を打った表現が日本語では欠けていました。英語での「成長する」の語は、しばしば日本語より広い意味に使われます。それで、この「成長する」の動詞が知恵、身長、そして神様と人との関係の成長にまで応用して使われているのは納得がいきます。イエスの例にならわせようと、私の両親と大人たちが私がまだ幼いころにこの節を暗唱させようとしました。イエスの成長の単純な事実は、あるレベルでは少なくともイエスが全く普通の赤ちゃんと変わらなかった事を示しています。もしイエスが母の胎から出て奇跡的にも、すぐに歩き話をしたというのなら、とても大切なことを見失うことになります。神様は未熟を分かっていてくださり、未成熟は罪ではありません。もし私たちが自分の未成熟を認めないなら、それはあらゆる類の罪に陥ることになるでしょう。しかし、そのこと自体が罪ではありません。心に留め慰めをもっていましょう。神様は私たちを成長させてくださっています。丁度、少年イエスを成長させられたようにです。ですから私たちは神を信頼し、その過程を楽しんでいましょう。

A: Looking back from the perspective of 61 years I can certainly see how immaturity got me into trouble many times, and at the same time I can see that I still have plenty of room to grow in various areas. Like everyone else, I've got to deal with the immaturity of others, and that in itself is an area in which I have more room to grow. As a pastor I must not condemn people for immaturity, but I must encourage and enable them to grow. Sometimes my efforts in that direction aren't well received! I need the wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit in all my interactions, so that people will be enabled and not discouraged, affirmed and not disrespected.

A: 61年前の見方に振り返って見て、私が未成熟だったために何度も困難に遭ったことが、はっきりと分かります。そして様々な分野でまだ沢山、成長していかなくてはなりません。他の人と同じく、私も人の未熟さと関わらなくてはなりません。その分野もまた、ますます成長しなくてはいけません。牧師として人の未熟さを責めることはできません。ただ彼らが成長できるように励ますだけです。私のそうした努力もあまり受け入れてもらえません。私の関わりの全てに聖霊様の知恵と導きを求めます。それで人々が成長し、失望や軽視させられたりすることなく、確信を持っていられるためにです。

P: Father, You know how often I feel like telling people, Grow up! You have been amazingly patient with me when I have been slow to grow. Help me extend that same grace toward others. Help me remember how long it's taken me to get even as far as I am, and not put them down for failing to grow faster. At the same time, help me be a genuine encouragement to them to grow. Help me accept without excusing, and help me communicate that difference to those to whom I minister. The woman who called yesterday, offended that I had said she had lost a fight with the devil, is a good case in point. She wants to blame everything on “mental illness” and avoid all personal responsibility, and is offended that I won't accept that position. Help me be consistent in speaking Your truth in love, so that people will be encouraged and enabled to grow as You intend, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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