My family and I have been blessed to be members of a vibrant, growing, missional church for the past 16 years. During this time, we've seen many of our children's peers grow up to become missionaries and ministers in the Kingdom.
I sat and talked last night with one such man. He was an adolescent when I first met him, a typical teenager. He has since finished his BA and has his MDiv. As a matter of fact, he's teaching my NT Survey course at NOBTS's Mid-South Extension Center. During our discussion, we talked about hermeneutics and eschatology. As we talked about the variant camps of interpreting Revelation, I was struck by how much he had not only grown in knowledge, but God had matured him greatly. I had to mentally re-adjust my view of him a smidgen more, as the goofy teen had been replaced by a man of God.
The Bible records several instances of this happening:
Consider David, when he came to the battle front to check on his brothers. His older brothers scoffed at him and did not treat him with respect. Remember, though, at this point, David had already killed a lion AND a bear while defending Jesse's flocks.
What about Timothy? Lois and Eunice, who watched their grandson and son become a leader in the early church, had to accept him as such.
Then, remember how the people of Jesus' region received Him? "Isn't this the carpenter's son?" Luke 2:52 tells us how Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, but those around Him refused to see Him with clear eyes and to recognize Him for who He was, instead of who they viewed Him to be.
We must be careful to allow our views and opinions of those around us to grow and mature. The neighbor's idiot son could be the next Billy Graham or Adrian Rogers.
Even more so, we must continue to allow our view, opinion and understanding of Jesus to grow. He is not a good teacher. He is not a great man. He is God incarnate, the atoning sacrifice for those who confess and believe, and the grand example of how we should live in obedience to the Holy Spirit.