Thursday, October 1, 2015

What does god say about Jesus.. rich or poor.

We often hear through preachers and others, about the deity of Jesus and how we are to follow him spiritually. The Bible tells us that Jesus was fully God, and fully human. When we are not aware or ignore the human side of Jesus, we miss half of the full picture of who Jesus was. As God had writers of the New Testament speak often of the man Christ Jesus, God must have had a purpose for this. If it was important enough for God to have it written in Scripture, then it must be important for me. So who was this man Christ Jesus?

Let's start with the genealogy of Jesus. We have his lineage through Joseph in Matthew, and his lineage through Mary in Luke. If you are like me, you often skip over the lineages because they seem rather boring. But there are some very important facts in these lineages. If we look at his lineage through Mary, we see that she is a descendent of King David. This means Mary was of royal blood. Mary had to be a descendent of David, because God had promised that Jesus would be born through the lineage of David, and because he had no earthly father, Mary had to be of Royal lineage.

If we look at the lineage of Joseph, we see that Joseph also was a descendent of King David. Joseph was also royalty. In fact if we take a closer look at the names of Joseph's lineage we see that not only was Joseph royalty, but he was of a line of kings of Israel. He was an heir to the earthly throne of King David. Jesus, although he was not Joseph's biological son, was Joseph's legal son. He was also Joseph's legal firstborn son. This means he was an heir to all that Joseph had, including the earthly right to the throne of David.  Jesus was not only royalty by being the Son of God; Jesus was royalty physically through both Mary and Joseph as well.

Remember here, the Jews were well aware of the promised Messiah, they knew he was coming through the line of David. They expected this Messiah to be a physical earthly ruler, to reestablish the kingdom of Israel. They expected the Messiah to overthrow whatever government happened to be ruling the Jews at the time. One of the first things taught to young child was their lineage back to Abraham, proving that they were heir to the promises of God. The fact that Mary and Joseph were both of Royal lineage and thus nobility would have not been a secret. Because the Jews were looking for this promised Messiah, from Royal lineage, anyone of noble birth would have been treated as nobility.

Let's take a closer look at what the Bible tells us about Mary and Joseph. We are told in Matthew one verse 19 that Joseph did not want to make a public example of Mary, so he decided to put her away quietly, or secretly. In choosing to put Mary away quietly Joseph was minding his reputation, Mary's reputation, and avoiding scandal. Why we Joseph do this? It is Because Mary and Joseph were nobility. People watched them paid attention to what they did. Human nature hasn't changed,  nobody cared or paid attention to  what "nobodies" did then anymore than we do today.

We are also told that Joseph was a Carpenter. During this time,in hebrew culture, one was not called a Carpenter,  or any other skilled trades class, until training was complete, and they were well established on their own. That Joseph was called a Carpenter meant he had an established prosperous business. This means that Joseph would have been at least of merchant class. Merchant class would be similar to today's business owner While not extremely wealthy, not dirt poor either.

One of the most  obvious we overlook is the wise men and the gifts they brought. they came from the East, now we don't know exactly where, but wherever it was it took some travel time. When they got to Jerusalem they stopped by the  palace first. why? Because they were looking for a very special King. The palace would be the place they expected this special very important King to be. They came to worship and honor this special King, they  knew he was very special, and very important  because a star announced  his birth. Not every  king had a star announcing their birth so they knew  this king  had to be exceptionally important.
The gifts they brought would have been worth traveling  far to bring and in an amount worthy to honor royalty, and even  more than normal to honor a exceptionally special King. They were not small gifts they could have carried on them, but  camels loaded with  all they could carry. Even from a purely worldly view, they would have wanted  to impress this very important king and would  certainly given in amounts that would be impressive, not insulting. The Gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh. We all know how valuable  gold is. Frankincense and myrrh were two of the most valuable commodities there were in that time.They were often used instead of gold as currency or payment. That's how valuable they were.

Although we are never given the exact social status and wealth of Mary and Joseph, there are other clues such as Mary's ability to order the servants to do has Jesus said at the wedding of Cana, and the fact that Jesus robe was one piece, something only the wealthy could afford, that show are that they were not dirt poor as Satan would have us believe. Even the fact the Pharisees went to the Roman rulers and said Christ was making Himself King over Caesar.  Do you really think that they would have risked their position  and status  making  fools of themselves by that accusation if there wasn't proof  to back up the accusation?

We are told in Luke nine verse 58, and in Matthew eight verse 20, that Jesus said that foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head. He would have been Joseph's legal heir, he was heir to the family home,  it would have been  his birthright. That he had no place to lay his head, meaning he had no home, he was in a sense homeless, he sacrificed his right to inherit all that belonged to Joseph. He gave up his earthly birthright. He gave up whatever measure of wealth there was from Joseph. He gave up his earthly right to the throne of David. Second Corinthians chapter 8 verse nine, tells us that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor. Like so many verses in the Bible, there is both a spiritual and physical meaning to this verse. Yes Jesus gave up the wealth of heaven for us, but he also sacrificed his earthly wealth for us.

 Jesus always led by example. If Jesus was poor, he would have never had to give up anything in order to follow the will of God his father. Most of us are fairly familiar with the story of the rich man who came to Jesus and asked him what must I do to be saved. When Jesus replied to him that he must give all his goods to the poor and follow Jesus, Jesus was not telling this man to do something Jesus had not done himself. He was telling this man to follow the example Jesus it already set, by giving up his earthly wealth and all position and status that went with it.  Jesus never told us to do something that he himself had not done. There would be no example for us today of Jesus sacrificing wealth or goods of this world in order to follow God.

This applies to our spiritual relationship with God, the physical example we are to follow here on Earth, and the way we are to treat others. If Satan can distort the example that Jesus gave us in any way, he will do so, because it keeps us from truly following Jesus, as we should. The disciples followed Jesus example when he called them to follow him because they also had to give up their jobs and their way of life in order to follow Jesus. The early church followed this example when they sold all their goods and land and gave it to the Lord through the church. And note that when it was given to the church it was not spent on the building, or increasing the leader of the church’s wealth, but to the poor and the needy. In fact they had no building, and the leaders led the people by example. They were the first to follow Jesus example of giving up what they had.

One of the biggest lies that Satan has deceived us with is that Mary and Joseph were poor nobodies. This may seem like an insignificant deception, yet it changes everything about who Jesus was as a human. It changes the examples that Jesus as a man gave us. And that people is a huge deception. If we do not have a correct view of who Jesus was as a man, we cannot possibly follow the examples that Jesus gave us to follow as a man. We also cannot understand how Jesus went through and was tried and tested in all ways that are common to man.

As I begin to get the full picture of the example Jesus set for me, I began to understand what it truly takes to follow Him. It's not so easy then to deceive myself that I am following Jesus and serving God when I am truthfully serving myself. As I begin to understand how much, and in how many ways, Jesus sacrificed for me, I begin to see how I must sacrifice for Him. The more I learn the truth, the more I am set free to follow, because I see more areas that I must turn over and submit to Him. 

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