Jesus: Our Example for Becoming Different Persons
Jesus' primary act was to change for the benefit of others. He became something different. The conditions of a broken creation called for action, and so he changed and became human. He didn't just become a person. It was more than that. He lived an ordinary human life with its inherent limitations. For the first thirty years, he lived the mundane life of a carpenter's son. Couldn't God come up with a better plan, something a bit more spectacular? Why have Jesus waste all that time making mud pies as children do, playing games, and learning to read and write? Can you imagine Jesus' first steps? His first words? The first time he was attracted to a young woman? He served years as an apprentice in the carpentry trade. I am sure Jesus was good at carpentry, but he never spoke a word about it during his public ministry.
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Mary knew he was special, and his behavior proved it. Even though Jesus became human, he never sinned. He never lied, cheated, never got into a fight with his sisters or brothers. I am sure that others thought he was an odd boy. He never did any of the naughty things other kids his age did, and even that kind of reputation would have created resentment in the community. This could explain why Jesus couldn't do many great works in his hometown.
Because he lived a mundane daily life, Jesus can identify with all of us. This helps us in being his friend and talking to him every day about our lives, our troubles, and our victories. It is also encouraging because if Jesus lived an ordinary life that was godly and meant something important, then we have hope that our lives have significance as well. Taking out the garbage, cleaning up after dinner, walking the dog, chatting with our neighbor—all have their place in the kingdom.
Jesus was called to become something else—and he answered that call by becoming a man and by sacrificing himself on the cross. History is replete with men and women who have answered the call to become something else. For a great example of one such man, read my last post here.
 Some reputable historians believe Jesus was not a carpenter but that his family was in business and that they were fairly wealthy by small-town standards. Otherwise, they wouldn't have been able to travel to Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus was called "Rabbi," which indicated some formal training. For more reading, see Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity (New York: HarperOne, 2011), 49-55.
Written by Bill Hull
Taken from The Christian Leader by Bill Hull. Copyright © 2016 by Robert W. Hull. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com.