Monday, April 16, 2012

Jesus as a Child

Most of my life I have been aware of the fact that Jesus lived a humble life. He was not born with status or wealth or beauty. We know that from scripture.

Then this week I saw a documentary about the life of Jesus, and I realized how many details are missing. This documentary dug into history and used anthropology and archeology to really tell us more than we have ever known about what Jesus' life really looked like.

His home, family, culture, and those things that shape us as humans, they were all detailed out as factually as possible using modern-day technology and research.

Out of everything I learned, Jesus' childhood is what stands out to me the most. I learned things that will forever increase my respect of Jesus as a boy and a man, and every word he ever said concerning the poor.

Jesus, to put it plainly, according to all the evidence, was the least of these.

Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, was at the time a fairly small village. From studying bones of people who lived in Nazareth during the same time as Jesus: his friends, neighbors and family, Nazareth was a place of extreme poverty. Famine, starvation, disease, malaria, and drought plagued the region. A mere 50% of children survived to the age of 10.

I also learned that because of Mary's pregnancy outside of marriage, that Jesus was most likely the victim of extreme bullying and grew up living as an outsider among his peers.

Jesus saw death and hurt and pain beyond what most of us could imagine, and he lived in it all his life. He was a victim of abuse and famine. So when Jesus is saying that what we do to the least of these we do to him, we can know he really was there. In their shoes. He has felt our human pain and suffering in every sense of the word.

And for those of you who are blessed enough to work with the least of these, take time to look them in the eyes and tell them that Jesus knows their pain. He knows what it's like to be looked down on and teased. He knows the hurt of losing people he loves. He knows the pain of hunger and disease. Tell them that they are so important and loved, that they have a Savior who not only died for them, but lived a life of suffering for them.

And for those of you who are blessed enough to work with the least of these, may the suffering you see and experience grow your compassion, mercy, and pursuit of justice, just as it did in Him.


melissa irwin said...

What is the name of the documentary, please? I'd love to watch it too!

Kayla said...

I often like to think of Jesus between him being born and him beginning to preach in his 30's.

I especially like to think of him as a teenager or college aged person. How he lived. Did he make any stupid young people mistakes like the rest of us did? Did he ever cave to peer pressure and have to apoligize to his father like the rest of us do?

Rebecca said...

Melissa- I found it randomly while channel surfing and got sucked in (didn't really look to see what it was called), but I will try to figure out the name of it for you! I don't believe it was a Christian production. It seemed as though it was more scientists and historians who didn't argue if Jesus was or wasn't the Messiah, but rather believe he did exist atleast as a person, and studied what his life most likely looked like, although from the majority of the show that I saw it all aligned biblically.