Humble Beginnings: Jesus
As we come to the end of this series, I find it fitting to explore the life of Jesus; our ultimate humble example.
When I think about His humble beginnings, I’m typically drawn to His time in the wilderness with Satan. As I pondered and studied His life further though, I realized that His humble beginnings started with the miraculous conception of God with humanity through Mary.
Jesus humbled his perfect and glorified self into a tiny helpless baby. He could have come as King to this earth and taken control, but that’s not what was needed. Instead, He came in the smallest most insignificant form of humanity.
He had to grow as every other human did before He could begin His incredible ministry to the world. He had to embrace family life and all that contained. It wouldn’t have been easy for Him. His half-siblings would have been jealous of Him. He was a perfect child. He never sinned. He didn’t need reprimanding like his siblings would have. Talk about trying to live up to your older brother. Yikes!
The Bible even shows that Jesus’ earthly parents didn’t understand Him at times:
“Every year his parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When he was twelve years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parentsdid not know it. Assuming he was in the traveling party, they went a day’s journey. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. After three days, they found him in the temple sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all those who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked them. “Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.” – Luke 2:41-50
Jesus grew up being obedient to His parents and had a pretty low profile. Nothing else is written about His childhood other than the time around his birth-two years old, and the temple experience at age 12. Everything else was silent, until He turned 30.
Then came the moment of His baptism. This is the next reminder since birth that the Lord gave of Jesus’ identity. As Jesus came up out of the water as John the Baptist was baptizing Him, it said that the heavens opened up and the Father declared:
“This is My beloved Son.
I take delight in Him” – Matthew 3:17
It was a beautiful moment for Jesus, the Father, and Holy Spirit to identify the elements of their union. John the Baptist confirmed Jesus’ identity in this moment to those inquiring:
“And John testified, ‘I watched the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He rested on Him.
I didn’t know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water told me, “the One you see the Spirit descending and resting on – He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.’” – John 1:23-24
This was such a defining moment. Maybe at this point Jesus would begin His grand ministry after such a joyous moment.
Instead, “…Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.” Matthew 4:1
He endured 40 days of no food or drink, no community, no relief from the heat of the day or the coolness of the night. He was alone with the wild animals, the Devil, and the Father. I won’t go into too much detail about this because I wrote about it in “The Spark that Started Jesus’ Ministry”. He endured a lot in that time, understanding much about people’s temptations and trials of loneliness, hunger, depression, wanting of comforts, depravity from health, weakness, etc. 40 days with no food or drink would bring a human to near death. It’s almost impossible to survive. It was on the edge of that time that Satan threw all the temptations at Him. Yet, He did not sin.
Jesus started a phenomenal ministry bringing authority and understanding to the Lord and the Scriptures we have. He gave evidence to the healing nature of God by casting out demons, healing the sick, and raising the dead. Even in all these amazing and miraculous encounters, He never boasted. He gave all credit to the Father.
He taught us the patterns of work and rest. He taught, healed, and then rested. He spent time alone with the Father, and with those close to Him. He made His entire life about doing what the Father called Him to do and serving others – Loving God and loving others (Luke 10:27).
He did this, all the while knowing what the end of His life would be like. Full of torture, false accusations, mockery, beatings, ridicule, and murder.
Jesus is eternal. There’s no beginning and end to Him. However, there was a beginning to His human state. The beginning of His miraculous birth. His entire human life was His humble beginnings.
Then came the moment when the Father exalted Him:
“Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe through Him. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.” Hebrews 1:1-4
Jesus has always been superior because He is God Himself. But as a human, carrying the weight and price of sin, He was brought to the lowest in order to pay the price for us all. He “endured the cross and despised the shame”. Now as human and God, He “has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2).
Our lives are a series of humble beginnings as well. We are enduring the challenges of the highs and lows of life; the sanctification of the Spirit and the pull of the world. Our flesh and spirits are at war within us.
Yet, a day is coming when the struggle and refinement of your life will end. To those who believe in Jesus, you will only experience one death; that of your human body. You will be lifted up to heaven and given a grand inheritance as a coheir with Christ. You will reach your perfected state and be considered holy before the Lord, because of the humble beginnings Jesus endured on your behalf. You will be free and living in a blissful, free world.
“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18