89. (iii) HE TOOK UPON HIMSELF HUMAN FORM IN ACCORDANCE WITH HIS DIVINE ORDER.
It was shown in the section on the Divine omnipotence and omniscience that together with creation God introduced order both into the universe and into all its parts, and that God's omnipotence therefore functions and works in the universe and all its parts in accordance with the laws of its order; these points were discussed in their proper sequence above (49-74). Now since God came down, and He is order, as was proved in that section, He had, so as to become really man, to be conceived, be carried in the womb, be born, be brought up and learn items of knowledge one by one, and by their means be brought into a state of intelligence and wisdom. Therefore in His Human He was a child like any other child, a boy like any other boy, and so on, the only difference being that He achieved that progress more quickly, fully and perfectly than others. It is evident from this passage in Luke that He advanced thus in accordance with order:
The boy Jesus grew and was strengthened in spirit; and He advanced in wisdom, years and favour with God and men, Luke 2:40, 52.
It is plain that He did this more quickly, fully and perfectly than others from the description the same Evangelist gives of Him, as for instance that, when He was a boy of twelve, He sat and taught in the Temple in the midst of the teachers, and all who heard Him were astonished at His intelligence and His answers (Luke 2:46-47 and later Luke 4:16-22, 32). This was done because Divine order prescribes that a person should prepare himself to receive God; and as he prepares himself, so God enters into him as into His dwelling and home. That preparation is accomplished by acquiring knowledge about God and the spiritual matters which concern the church, thus by means of intelligence and wisdom. For it is a law of order that in so far as a person approaches and comes near to God, which he should do entirely as if of himself, so far does God approach and come near to him, and link Himself to the person in his midst. It will be shown in the following pages that the Lord advanced in accordance with this order until He reached union with His Father.
Thanks to the Swedenborg Society for the permission to use this translation.