04 Jesus Style: Humble (Humility Part I)
Born in a Barn and Raised in Nazareth
Luke 2: 4 & 7 - Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was the house and lineage of David. And she brought forth her first Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room at the inn for them.
1. Who has a Nativity Scene in their house at Christmas or has seen one put up outside a church or house?
a. Does it smell like manure?
b. Are there animal droppings on the floor.
c. Are there bits of chewed up food in the manger (feeding trough)?
d. Are the animals grunting or bleating?
e. Not very accurate then?
2. Has anyone ever laid in a bed of straw. Its prickly and itchy and not comfortable
3. There would have been no privacy and the inn employees would have needed to go in and out to care for the animals.
4. Hospitals are sanitary, barns are not
5. If this was your mother and father do you think they would have been embarrassed and ashamed of how you were brought into the world and that they could not provide you better?
6. On top of that He was born in a city that boasted nothing special about it. It was so small some people would not have even heard of it.
If Bethlehem Weren't Bad Enough - Nathaniel meets Jesus of Nazareth
John 1:47 - Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
1. It is possible that moral and religious reputation of Nazareth was so bad that it was hard for Nathaniel to believe that something good, let alone the Savior of the world, could come from there.
2. Village rivalries were also culturally common. This may be a personal opinion of the little town of Nazareth rather than a wide spread opinion. Even today we make judgments upon a city or area with no intimate knowledge of its inhabitants.
a. I have heard people refer the area around 6th and Federal as being "kinda ghetto" and dangerous. In my experience it's just an older part of town that has seen better days. Most of its inhabitants are minorities while the people who consider it a dangerous place are mostly white who have not spent any real time there. It does not compare to my experiences in LA where I grew up or Haiti which give the word ghetto a much more real meaning.
3. Those of us born on "the wrong side of the tracks" cannot be intimidated by such a humble beginning.
Matthew 1:19-20 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make he a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wire for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
1. We believe in the Virgin birth now but not at the time of Christs birth.
2. Jesus would have been called a bastard and grown up with the stigma of being born out of wedlock.
a. This is still considered a bad thing by today's standards but back then it was much worse
b. A bastard and his descendants to the 10th generation would have been excluded from the assembly of the Lord
c. Would not have had the same rights and privileges as legitimate children.
d. They would not be in line to inherit anything from their parents
e. He would have been treated badly by friends, neighbors and religious leaders who believed Mary was crazy and He a product of sin.
3. If a young girl of our own church would become pregnant and claim the father was the Holy Spirit we would call her crazy and we would scorn her. Mary was no different.
The Family Tree - David sees the woman Bathsheba and wants her for his wife but she is married to Uriah
2 Samuel 11:14-15 - Then, in the morning it was so that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand if Uriah. And he wrote in the letter saying set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle and retreat from him that he may be struck down and die.
1. Everyone has that crazy cousin that always embarrasses them or that weird aunt that always brings the nasty vegetable filled Jell-O to family events.
2. Jesus' family tree was far worse.
a. His "Jewish Purity" that the Pharisees cared so much about was tainted by his ancestor Ruth the Moabite.
b. As well as Rahab the Canaanite who was also a prostitute
c. Jacob cheated his brother Esau out of his inheritance
d. Judah was a womanizer
e. Joseph was a "son of David" as our two previous scriptures indicate.
i. But David was an adulterer and murderer
ii. The son he had with Bathsheba, Solomon, who, in spite of his wisdom, had hundreds of wives and concubines and turned his heart away from God
3. Anyone of us who has a less than picture perfect family could not be intimidated by Christ's family tree.
What's in a Name?
1. So far everything about Jesus seems very common. But what about his name?
2. What are some common names?/What are some that evoke power?
3. Jesus is actually Greek for Joshua. I don’t know about everyone else but I personally have known at least a half dozen Joshua's in my lifetimes.
4. Joshua is Christ's true Jewish name and even in his time it was a common name.
5. Not exactly a name that would intimidate the common man?
Birth Announcement Jesus Style
Luke 2:15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
1. Shepherds lived in the middle of nowhere with only their sheep to keep them company. They weren't exactly part of mainstream society and did not have the communication tools we have today. It would have taken them some time and effort to find another person let alone a lot of other persons to tell their story to.
2. Shepherds also did not have the best reputations. They were considered unclean and rough and known for being thieves and sometimes even dangerous.
3. Can you imagine the local gang banger running down the street yelling "Josh has been born, Josh has been born!"
4. For those of us who have sorted pasts and things we are not proud of these guys are a good reminder of how Jesus can use even us.
Looks aren't Anything
Isaiah 53:2 - He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
1. How do you feel when you are around someone who is incredibly beautiful or handsome?
2. Jesus was so common in his looks he was able to lose himself in crowds.
3. His looks in no way separated him from the common, poor people he was sent to save.
4. He would not instill any of these feelings or intimidate the people he was surrounded by.
Not a Penny to His Name
Matthew 8:20 - Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
1. Jesus never owned more than what he carried on his back
2. Jesus consistently found himself identifying with those who had the least in life
3. His decision to remain uninvolved with the world's goods freed him from the hidden agenda of jealousy
4. He was thus able to direct all of his energy and sensitivity towards the real needs of the people he was ministering to
5. He was able to act out of love alone.
6. His life lacked worldly goods so that no one who found themselves poor or in need would be intimidated by him.
Everyone Has that Crazy Cousin - John the Baptist was in fact Jesus' cousin and was chosen by God to announce Jesus as the Savior to the world.
Mark 1: 4 & 6 - And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. John wore clothing made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.
1. God could have chosen someone of noble birth, someone with political or social influence, someone who had money and power
2. Instead he used a raving, rough-hewn man who dressed inappropriately for a minister and ate bugs.
3. To top it off he closed his services by doing a most undignified thing - dunking in water those who were brave enough to respond.
His Motley Crew
NIV 1 Corinthians 1:26-27 - Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards,; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
1. John the Baptist wasn’t the only outlier Jesus chose to associate himself with.
2. Jesus again chose to surround himself with outcasts and outliers when he chose his disciples.
3. He had a Zealot and a Roman tax collector.
a. A Zealot was member of a radical, warlike, ardently patriotic group of Jews in Judea, particularly prominent from a.d. 69 to 81, advocating the violent overthrow of Roman rule and vigorously resisting the efforts of the Romans and their supporters to heathenize the Jews.
b. As a tax collector, Matthew, would have been collecting money from the Jews to pay Rome.
4. Fishermen that had rough hands and probably didn't smell all that great.
5. These were not men of eloquence and charisma.
6. Jesus sees people far differently than we do and patiently calls the best from him.
7. With friends like His it would be easy for those of us that lack the qualities that the world looks for to fit in with Jesus' crowd.
The Way He Died
1 Corinthians 2:2 For I resolve to know nothing while I was with you except Joshua Messiah and him lethally injected.
1. His name was Joshua and by today's standards being crucified was the equivalent of getting the death penalty here and dying by lethal injection. In fact, it is considered to be more humane in comparison.
2. When you look at it that way it doesn't seem to have the same romanticism as saying Jesus Crucified
3. What if someone said "Neighbor, my best friend just died in the electric chair for you. If you will believe this and take up your electric chair and follow him, you will be saved." It probably would not have the same effect that Jesus' crucifixion story has.
4. But just like dying by lethal injection or the electric chair would have been a shameful death so was being crucified.
5. This was not a death worthy of medals of honor rather it was the death of a common criminal.
6. How better to reach criminals and sinners like us than to die a sinners death.
Let us recap:
Jesus - AKA Joshua, born in a barn, questionable parents, spotty ancestry, common name, misdirected announcement, unattractive looks, reared in a bad neighborhood, poor and owning nothing, surrounding himself with shady people and dying a shameful death.
1. This lesson has described Jesus' humility in how he lived his life. What comes to your mind when you hear the word humble?
2. In what way do you most relate to how Jesus lived his life?
3. In what way can you make a change in your life to live more humbly like Jesus did?