Sorry I have not been on top of this… I am making sure everything is accurite before I post the next few toppics

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Growing into a man

It is not true that Jesus didn’t have any idea of what kind of Messiah that he wanted to or intended to be.  In thirty years of life he had been building the kind of character which his mature life reflected.  The habits of thirty years could not be changed in forty days, nor would Jesus have wished to change them.  The meaning of the temptation experience is that having finished the long years of preparation and realizing the possibilities of the future, Jesus faced the necessity of deciding what it meant to be the Messiah, in all its implications.

How was he to do the work for which he had been sent into the world?  All his temptations start from this point.  What did being the son of God mean?  How would he half to act? Did he have sufficient power to perform the duties in wich he would haft to do: and if so , what use should he make of that power? what is certain about that experience is that in it Jesus went through an intense struggle with the doubts which his newly matured conviction aroused within him.

Growing into a man

In a country as small as Palestine it was inevitable that the news of John should come to Nazareth. Here is a biblical map of Palestine.

It was from there Luke tells us, that Jesus came to be baptized by John in the Jordan.  He must have felt that John was a man who realized as did he himself, the deadening effects of ritualism, of Pharisaism man who was eager to bring release from the shackles of the law.  A conviction had been growing in Jesus’ mind that the Jewish religion made such demands upon its followers that no mortal could hope to keep all its requirements.  Instead of bringing joy, which any true religion ought to bring, Judaism, as the Pharisees interpreted it, brought only disappointment and futility.

The boldness, the moral earnestness and the breath of John’s message drew Jesus to him.  According to Matthew, Jesus went to hear John for the expressed purpose of being baptized by him.

There stood Jesus before John-a clear-eyed, poised, self-confident youth-not one of the Pharisaic group who most needed to repent.  Many would agree, as probably you do to that Jesus had less need for baptism than any other.  It was surely not as a penitent that he presented himself.  His baptism had other significance.  It was his vicarious sharing in the responsibility for their national and social sins.  It may have been a gesture of human insufficiency to achieve that perfection he had set as his goal.   In such a spirit he soughtbaptism as a moral tonic, a consecration to a higher life.  In the act he also placed his seal upon the necessity of repentance in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

His baptism was of utmost significance in Jesus’ developing religious experience.  Whether John intended it or not, he proved to be a herald to Jesus of his peculiar relation to God.  The journey from Nazareth to the Jordan, therefore, proved to be momentous, not only in the life of Jesus,  but in the religious history of the world.  It was a definite stage in the long process by which Jesus came to recognise unquestionably his mission as the divinely chosen instrument for the establishment of the kingdom of God.

Another reason for Jesus desire for baptism was that he might identify himself, in the presence of a large assembly of people, with the movement John had begun.  It was equivalent to saying that he had realised what John had begun and had sympathy with it.  His actions testified that he agreed with John in regard to the nature of the kingdom of God and the requirements for citizenship therein,  and that his own work was to be devoted to that idea.

Jesus baptism marks a turning point in his life. it represents not the decision of the moment, but the cumulation of his previous thought and training. He had lived in closest touch with the people of Nazareth and recognised their deep need for a spiritual guide who could lead them to their heavenly Father and reveal to them the forgiveness and inspiration of God was eager to give.  The clear persuasion that nothing would satisfy the needs of the people short of personal knowledge of God and his will, which he himself had achieved, impelled him to his lifework.  When he left his shop in Nazareth and placed himself beside John, who was courageously addressing himself to those moral and spiritual needs, Jesus publicly acknowledged his new calling.

The conviction that he had been called by God to do a specific work was Jesus’ own secret hidden within himself.  The voice which had spoken from heaven had not spoken to the bystanders, but to Jesus alone, and the secret of sonship which came in that moment of illumination was known only to himself.

He had been baptized,Jesus had identified himself with the interpretation of the kingdom of God which John was preaching. and had become convinced of his own great mission, but something still remained to be done.  He was the Messiah, but what kind of Messiah was he to be, and what did being messiah mean?  To answer these questions the evangelist record the story of Jesus’ temptations.  As he made his way back home, many questions thronged his mind.  In order to work out the answers,  Jesus went into the wilderness, led by the Spirit, and he was in the wilderness for forty days.

GROWING INTO A MAN

While Jesus was growing wise and strong in Nazareth, his cousin John, six months older than him, was approaching manhood.  Luke tells us that John had been dedicated to the office of a prophet.  Little is known about his childhood, but when he was a young man he appeared in the wilderness of Judea with a fiery summons to repentance, in preparation for the kingdom of heaven, which he declared to be at hand. He was dressed in rough garments af camel’s-hair and his food was locusts and wild honey.

The appearance of this man with the fire of a prophet in his eyes stirred the people, even though they were probably accustomed to strange sights.  Many people from Jerusalem and Judea came to listen and to learn of the impending catastrophe which threatened all who failed to heed and did not repent of their sins.

What those sins were is not hard to discover.  Already there was widespread reaction agensed his formalism into which religion had degenerated, as well as agensed the deep-rooted corruption which prevailed throughout Palestine.  Religion had become a matter of fulfilling certain detailed requirements of the Law, instead of having a proper condition of the heart.  The Jews had forgotten the standards of personal purity which Moses had enjoined.  It was as the herald of a new age, however that John struck fire in the hearts of his hearers.  Many of them pined for the golden age of Israel, which had been long-expected.  Anyone who promised to bring it would receive and enthusiastic audience.

From all the Gospel writers say of John however, it appears that his message was directed primarily to the people of his day,  furthermore he was concerned not with the Jews alone but with the Gentiles and Samaritans. That feature of his message was new, but the most striking thing about Johns message was his insistence that he was not the Messiah, but merely the forerunner of that person.  He realized that one grater than himself was needed to change the character of people,  John might purge the past of some of its outgrown and hindering traditions, but he who came after John would provide a better soil and more favorable growing conditions for mans spiritual nature.

John made a deep impression on the people who heard him.  Like most of the teachers of the times he gathered a group of disciples arround him,  He exerted his most important influence, however, upon Jesus..

Jesus is born 5

When a Jewish boy became twelve, he was considered a son of the law, and was required to visit Jerusalem three times each year, on the three great fetables held once a year.  Jesus first visit to Jerusalem marks the culmination of the proceeding years of training in the house at the synagogue of Nazareth.  At the he assumed the full responsibilities that rested upon every faithful jew. Thereafter, all the provisions of the Law were binding upon him.

It requires little imagination to follow the group from the home in Nazareth as they accompanied the boy on his first pilgrimage to Jerusalem.  When they arrived there, they celebrated the solemn Passover meal.  The introductory prayers, the impressive ritual, the dramatic attitudes of those who took part, and the historic associations which the scene recalled, aroused the patriotic and religious impulses which had been lying dormant in the young Nazarene.  The Passover recalled Jehovah’s past and deliverance of his people and the sacred obligations which they owed to him and to all the needy members of their race.

The occasion made such an impression on  Jesus that when his parents started home he did not join them, and it was till nightfall, when a search was made,that they discovered him to be missing.  They returned to Jerusalem where they found him in the mist of doctors of the Jewish law, asking them questions about it.

I as sure you would like to know how Jesus looked as he came into his manhood, but the writers of the gospel leave us in the dark.  Luke’s statement implies he had a well developed bode and an attractive face and figure.  Carpentry would have giving him strong arms and a fine physique, and living with God would have giving him a look of sincerity.  One who was to inspire such love and devotion as Jesus drew from his followers must have had an unusually attractive manner and appearance a fitting vehical for an elevated mind and heart.  If only they had left a painting of him, but since that is not so it is enough to know his mind and heart and that we can feel his spirit as he moves into his manhood.

Jesus is born 4

I am sure that Joseph and Jesus worked together at their carpentry,  In his earthly fathers trade he acquired skills in shaping wood and stone, and the use of tools.  He also learned that his trade had spiritual implications for the building of life itself.  It was that confidence that shown itself in his dealings with man, he learned quickly about the difference between sand and rock for the foundation of a home.  And he learned that honest work, honestly done, is of infinite value in the eyes of God, that a man may dig ditches, or sweep the streets, as though he had done it as a service to the Lord.

The training of a Jewish child was apparently started at 5-6 years of age, their first teacher was their mother,  what every child of jewish decent knew, probably before they even knew what it ment was Israel’s impressive creed, it can be found in Deuteronomy

At the age of six Jesus probably went to the synagogue school, where, in the common meeting room, the men who kept the synagogue instructed the children in the law, and how to read and write. In the Sabbath service in the synagogue they heard the reading and interpretating the law of the prophets, either by the leader of the service or a wandering teacher.

Jesus is born 3

Mary must have known poverty first hand, and at many times found herself with her physical resources drawn to nearly nothing, almost to a breaking point.  Out of such effort and pain through poverty she achieved a home which could protect the growth of her son.. So when did Mary first begin to see that her son was different from other children, when did she notice that her son’s eyes looked far beyond the things of earth, to the things that are eternal, to the eternal reality that lie at the heart of life?  The angle at the time before Jesus’ conception had told her many things that were mysterious to her, and she had told no one and kept it to herself, she couldn’t have understood, but she trusted where she couldn’t understand, a true sign of faith.

Jesus was the oldest of five brothers, and he had at least two sisters, his brothers are named in the Gospels, but not the sisters, I would imagine their names to both be Mary, but that is not a fact at all, the house that the family lived in was probably similar to the houses found in Nazareth today, square, built of stone and brick, with a dirt floor a single door, and a few windows, in these narrow quarters the family lived, ate, and slept.

Out of the shadows, from the wood dust of a carpentry shop was Jesus earthly father Joseph, the head of the household.  What was he like this man in which we know so little,  whose influence on Jesus shines so brightly.

Joseph was probably much older than Mary, and we catch no glimpse of him after Jesus twelfth birthday,  but the high respect of fatherhood shown by Jesus strongly suggest that Joseph was wise, and considerate, and that he knew how to give good things to his children.  The love and companionship he gave his children, however, were never allowed to blind their eyes to the true head of the household.  That head was God, and Joseph was the earthly counterpart of that great Being.

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