Who He Was

Who He Was 2

Who He Was                                                                 September 2018

When Jesus was here on Earth, he was fully man but also fully God. This article is about Jesus the man, his family, and how he conducted himself the first 30 years of his life. We know very little but based on his culture and who he came to be as an adult, we can pretty well guess how things went. He commented at one point, “My hour has not yet come.”   By this he meant his ministry was not officially started, and he was a regular fellow.

We know that Jesus, Mary, and Joseph fled to Egypt to escape the persecution prescribed by Herod who had all the children killed in the village where Jesus was born. The last time we read about Joseph is the trip to Jerusalem and the temple when Jesus was around twelve years old. As the whole family leaves in a large group of people, someone finally notices that Jesus is not with them.  Joseph and Mary go back to Jerusalem and find him talking to the learned members of the temple, who are frankly amazed at this young man’s knowledge. Jesus said “Would I not be in my fathers house?”

We do not read about Joseph after that, and it may be that he passed away. Certainly, if he did, Jesus would be a good son and take care of his widowed mother. We know he was a carpenter by profession. This part of his life occupies 15 to 20 years, until he was 30 years of age. I would love to have a piece of furniture that he made, but imagine like much of his life it had good purpose and a simple design. As a carpenter he would have had a light but strong frame. He was not a large man. The typical Jewish male during that period of time was about 5 foot four. Likely he was well tanned and may have had sun streaks in his hair which would have been dark brown, its natural color in keeping with his Jewish race.

Then his ministry started. He was a normal fellow and attended weddings, stayed in the homes of friends, and moved about by foot most of the time. Now a traveling rabbi with no home of his own, no wife, and no children, he relied for his few needs on the donations of those who believed his words.

He was courageous and completely unconcerned about what could happen to him with regard to the Romans who were in power in Israel at that time. He was only concerned about the religious elite of his home “church,” whose main job seemed to be the protection of their income and status in the community.  Jesus spoke the truth regardless of the consequences. The Romans and the leaders of the Jewish community could not stop him from preaching, but they knew they had to do something.

The innocent man Jesus was convicted and sentenced to death. His face was beaten until unrecognizable, body torn by iron-tipped whips, crowned with a wreath of thorns, laid down on his back and nailed to his cross of wood. It was lifted up, and after too many hours he died.   Thus ended the life of the man but not the life of Jesus the Son of God.

While he was here, he laughed, he taught, he cried, he ate, and he experienced all the emotions that each man has. He fully understood what it was to be completely human.   This is why He loves us in a way to no one else can. He knows us because He was one of us.

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