JESUS CHRIST: The Solitary Years
One of the first, noticeable character traits of Jesus is His humility. We see this portrayed at the time of His birth. Even before He ever spoke a word, Jesus was born in the lowest form of poverty for the culture of that time. He was born a low-life, unknown but to a few, and rejected. A suitable place for an outcast to be born is among farm animals.
There was no palace, no royal welcome into the world prepared for the future Savior of the world. Why would God permit His Son to be born in extreme poverty? We cannot even touch the surface to answer this question. One reason for sure is that God wants to identify with our own level of poverty, especially our spiritual poverty.
Many people have a selfish habit of being self-centered, proud of themselves and their accomplishments without acknowledging God for their success. This develops a subtle type of arrogance and pride that usually disdains anything lower than their level of accomplishment. Poor and unsuccessful people are often disdained. I believe one of the main reasons Jesus is born into poverty is to remove this false facade of pride and security that many hide behind.
The apostle Paul accurately displays this point in his letter to the church at Philippi. Jesus certainly displays what makes a servant of love. Philippians 2:5-8 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
God had planned the birth of Jesus, foretold through the Old Testament prophets. A young, single virgin named Mary would become pregnant. This meant instant death according to Jewish law. Yet, Mary’s child would be named Immanuel (God with us) and Jesus (the Savior). God Himself was to live with us and save us from our sins. Two thousand years ago the world heard a baby cry and the world has never been the same.
God was not welcome into the world of His day except by a few individuals – foreigners (wise men) and a lower class of Jews (shepherds). King Herod would welcome Jesus by death. He refused to share his throne or step down for another king. King Herod was so envious that he authorized the slaughter of all boys born in Bethlehem two years or younger.
What type of baby was this Jesus whose birth would result in the slaughter of innocent children? This type of baby was God Himself in human form. God manifested Himself, born as the baby Jesus, into a world full of evil, hatred, sin, and suffering. Jesus was born to destroy the works of the devil, Satan. Jesus was born to set captives free – freedom for the captives to have a personal relationship with God.
Think about it:
GOD WAS BORN A BABY.
No wonder this baby Jesus was such a threat. He was a threat to Satan himself. Satan went into a panic to murder Jesus. He knew God came into his evil world to destroy him and his kingdom. So Satan tried to maintain control over this world and its inhabitants by attempting to murder Jesus. However, Satan failed every time. Even when Jesus was crucified, Satan thought he won. However, Jesus, being God Himself, rose from the dead and dealt Satan his final deathblow.
We see throughout the life of Jesus a constant threat on His life from Satan. This threat was consistently strong from the religious leaders of Israel. Yet, Jesus was persistent to fulfill the reason for His birth – to die on the cross for the salvation of the world.
This resistance to the love of God displayed through Jesus is still very prevalent today. Satan, knowing he lost at Calvary, is still in a panic and will sort to any means to confuse people from seeing the pure love of Jesus. Satan blinds the eyes of people to resist the gospel of salvation. Yet, Jesus is always persistent to pursue everyone for their love. In fact, Jesus is personally pursuing you right now.
If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, will you open your heart and let Him in? Will you give your life to Him? Do you want to be set free from the power of Satan?
If you have already given your life to Jesus Christ, will you open your heart more so the Holy Spirit can take over more areas of your life and defeat sin in those areas? Do you desire to walk a closer life of holiness and purity with Jesus?
The love, compassion, and mercy that Jesus displayed when He walked the earth are still available today. The work is accomplished through the person of the Holy Spirit. As we will see Jesus exhibiting this gentleness and tenderness in the gospels, place yourself back in those Biblical times. As you witness Jesus’ gentle and tender touch, see Jesus walking today the streets of 21st century society. Jesus begins to individually speak to each person. You observe that He spends different amounts of time with each person, from a few seconds to a few minutes. You even overhear a few of the conversations. One young mother is crying uncontrollably because her youngest child of three died last week in an automobile accident. Jesus places His arms around her and whispers in her ear. Her countenance suddenly changes to one of peaceful content. What gentle and tender words did Jesus say that generated such peace?
Now place yourself and your burdens before Jesus. He is approaching you. Jesus is reaching out His hand to you. What are you thinking? What are you feeling? How are you responding? We will leave this as food for thought.
The next blog will take a look at JESUS CHRIST: The Hidden Years. Be sure to tune in.