And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. Lk. 2:52
Recently a brother and I were watching the popular “Jesus” movie at home. This is the movie that is adapted from the Gospel of St. Luke, and it attempts to narrate the gospel word for word. It has been translated into countless languages, and here we were watching the Swahili version. It is very popular here.
When the narrator arrived at Luke 2:52 he said, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and was loved by both God and man.”
Immediately, the brother said, “Y’know what? The narrator there just removed the responsibility from Jesus.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
The brother replied, “’Being loved’ is not the same as ‘pleasing’. The Bible says that Jesus pleased both God and man. That suggests a responsibility. But here the narrator says Jesus was loved, which implies He had no need to be responsible to either God or man.”
It immediately hit me that what this brother had said was true. And I was stumped. I have been watching the Jesus film for as long as I can remember, and it has always been a favorite of mine. I believe also that it is the most loved Christian movie in the Swahili-speaking world.
But I had never noticed what this brother noticed on that day. And yet, this is probably one of the most important oversights in this film.
In the days we are living in, where Satan is slowly but surely raising the stakes in the spirit world, we must be very careful with what we are reading, hearing and watching, especially with regard to scripture. I am sure the first thing the devil would want to compromise is the Word of God.
Today, indisputably, there is “another Jesus… another spirit… another gospel” being preached, and the church must beware (2 Cor. 11:4). There is deception.
Through a simple twist of scripture, the message of the gospel has been changed. It has been watered-down to accommodate what man wants to hear.
And today, increasingly, God’s people want to hear this other gospel. They want to hear about about blessings. They do not want to hear about their responsibility to God and man. And yet, this was the very message that Jesus lived. Notice He did not preach it (since Jesus did not begin preaching until He was 30 years old). On the contrary, Jesus lived the message of responsibility toward God and man.
As I thought about what I had just heard from the brother, I realized that, throughout the years, countless millions have been hearing the wrong message through this very popular Jesus movie. I wondered very much where the producers got that scripture from. Most likely, from a modern translation of the Bible.
As children of God, we all have a responsibility towards God. We have a responsibility to deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Christ. That is what the Bible means when it says Jesus had “favour with God and man.”
That was the life that Jesus lived ever since He was a child
[Below: We have a responsibility toward God and man]