89. (3) GOD ASSUMED THE HUMAN ACCORDING TO HIS OWN DIVINE ORDER.
In the section concerning the Divine omnipotence and omniscience it was shown that God at the creation introduced order into the universe and all its parts; and accordingly that the omnipotence of God proceeds and operates in the universe and all its parts according to the laws of His order. This has been treated above in numbers 49-74. Now since God came down, and since He is Order itself, as is there shown, it was necessary, in order for Him actually to become Man, that He should be conceived, carried in the womb, and be born; and that He should be educated, acquiring in due course the knowledge by which He might attain to intelligence and wisdom. Therefore as to His Humanity He was an infant like any other infant, a boy like any other boy, and so on; but with this sole difference, that He passed through those progressive states sooner, more fully and more perfectly than others. That He advanced in this way according to order is manifest from these words in Luke:
"The child Jesus grew, and waxed strong in spirit; and increased in wisdom and age (A.V., stature), and in favor with God and man" 2:40, 52.
That He did so sooner, more fully and more perfectly than others appears from the account recorded of Him in the same Evangelist, that as a boy, twelve years old, He sat in the Temple in the midst of the doctors and taught; and that all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers 2:46-47; and also 4:16-22, 32.
This was done because the Divine order is that a man should prepare himself for the reception of God; and as he prepares himself so God enters into him, as into His own dwelling-place and home. Such preparation is effected by means of the knowledge of God and of the spiritual things belonging to the Church, and thus by intelligence and wisdom. For it is a law of order that so far as a man approaches and draws near to God, which he must do entirely as of himself, so far God approaches and draws near to him, and interiorly conjoins Himself to him. It will be shown further in the following numbers that the Lord advanced to complete union with His Father according to this order.