“Coming to His hometown, He began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. ‘Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?’ they asked. ‘Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t His brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Aren’t all His sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?’ And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.'” (Matthew 13:54-57)
A few years ago I tried to read a fictional novel about the boy, Jesus. But the story was so foolish and un-biblical that I had to stop reading it. What scripture tells us about the boyhood of Jesus is found in the book of Luke and basically comes down to three things: He had a zeal for God, He was wise beyond His years, and He was obedient to His earthly parents.
Beyond that, especially based on the verses above, there was nothing “spectacular” about Jesus until He began His ministry. What I mean by that is, Jesus did not stand out in the crowd based upon appearance. The guards needed the traitor Judas to pick Jesus out of a crowd for them.
Why do I make this point about the man of Jesus? We have a God who lived among us, as one of us, so we can be confident that He understands our trials and tribulations. When people learned that Jesus was preaching and healing, their reaction was not, “Oh, that doesn’t surprise me, you know that kid never so much as had a scratched knee, not a nosebleed, not even a cold? He was a miracle child.”
No, their reaction was more along the lines of, “You’ve got to be kidding me? Why, we know him, he’s the carpenter’s son, we know his brothers and sisters, there’s nothing special about Jesus.”
I’m very comforted by our “ordinary” Jesus. It would be poor comfort to have a God who had no understanding of humanity, of our aches and pains, fatigue, and thirst and hunger. We would always be able to argue, “You have no idea, God, what it is to be human. You don’t understand us at all.”
But to the contrary, the man of Jesus lived and breathed and died. He suffered and struggled. The man of Jesus was tempted by satan.
The scripture says: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)
So we can be confident in knowing that the man of Jesus knows full well what it is to suffer and endure the kinds of things we go through. We can draw comfort from the knowledge that Jesus lived as a man on this earth, and He can fully relate to sorts of challenges we face.
When we go to Him in prayer, we go knowing that this ordinary Jesus, this man who did not stand out in the crowd, is someone who relates to our misery, knows our pain, and feels compassion for what we suffer. This should give us confidence and boldness in bringing our very human problems to the one who is both man and God.
Perhaps you think no one understands what you are facing right now. You may feel that God is a million miles away and has no clue as to what you are going through. I would encourage you to remember the man of Jesus, the one who lived among us, the one who possibly scraped His knees, caught colds, knew aches and pains, hunger and thirst, weariness and great fatigue. This man, Jesus, now sits at God the Father’s right hand, interceding for you and me, telling the Father to be patient with us. He asks for the Father’s mercy and help for us, because He lived among us, loves us, and abides with us still.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for coming to live among us, and for understanding us, and for saving us. Amen.
About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. He takes great comfort in both the man and the God named Jesus.
Have you considered that Jesus walked the earth and suffered just as we do? Will you call upon Him to aid you in your difficult walk upon the earth?
Oh, how we love Jesus and there are tons of worship songs, like those we are sharing in our devotionals, that say this. But what about something that you can groove to just a little bit. Take a walk down memory lane (at least with some of us) and sing along to “Jesus is Just Alright” with DC Talk.