John 1:1 tells us that Jesus was the Word of God. What does this mean?
If you study the Greek word "logos" which is translated as
"Word" you will note that Jesus was in fact the mind of God Ė
Godís brain so to speak . All the ideas, concepts and thinking processes
of God were expressed, realized and embodied in Jesus. This is what the
word "logos" means Ė ideas, concepts and thought processes.
Now thatís pretty impressive. No one in universal history has been that
Paul, in Phil 2 says that Jesus humbled Himself by becoming a man. You
can now see how true Paulís words are. The "mind of God" was
expressed in an ordinary man, even born in a less than ordinary way Ė in
Then there was Nazareth, the town that Jesus grew up in. My apologies
to my friend Jim Thorpe and anyone else from West Virginia if I happen to
offend you, but I picture Nazareth to be like a coal mining town in the
hills of West Virginia, or a hillbilly town in the mountains of Tennessee.
Nazareth was not a town of culture. It was a rough and tough hillside town
with some morality problems. The dialect spoken there was crude and
unpolished. To put it bluntly, Jesus grew up in "a hillbilly
town", far from the cultured and polished people in Jerusalem. Can
you believe that? This should give credence to every hillbilly or wana-be
hillbilly in America.
My guess is that this environment helped shape the human side of Jesus
while He grew up. Therefore His speech probably was not eloquent and
polished. He had a simple hill country vocabulary. His accent was
definitely country. I doubt if He had many nice clothes. He would have
dressed in working manís clothes, and maybe shabby at that. Of course He
didnít participate in the immorality, but I doubt if he was afraid to
hang around the rough crowd. I donít see Him getting in fights as a
teenager, but I do see Him commanding respect from the hardest of
characters hanging out on the local street corner.
When Nathaniel asked Philip what good thing could come out of Nazareth
in John 1, this is exactly why he asked the question. Nothing good ever
came out of this hick town in the hills of Galilee. At least not until
I really donít think Jesus was the pansy that weíve painted to be
over the centuries. His cultural environment had to have shaped the human
side of Jesus. Of course His divinity is another thing altogether.
We also read in Isa. 53:2 that He had no form of beautify. Jesus was
definitely not one of the "beautiful people from Hollywood of
Galilee". There was nothing about Jesus that would cause one of the
local ladies to turn her head as He walked by.
I could go on about the humanity of Jesus, but this is the Jesus of
Scripture. In His humanity He was less than ordinary. In His divinity
there is no one else like Him, the brain of God. But He never made a big
deal out of that.
Jesus died as a common criminal. His body would have been thrown into
an open pit after being taken from the cross, but it was intercepted by a
rich man named Joseph. Criminals who were executed in those days were
simply thrown into a pit and covered over with dirt. From His birth to His
death Jesus was no different that you and I in His humanity. Actually I
now believe he was less impressive than most of us.
This makes an unimpressive guy like me happier knowing that my Lord
while on earth wasnít all that impressive either, at least in His
humanity. If Jesus were on earth today He could slip into our churches and
out again without being noticed, or probably without being spoken to,
unless He performed a miracle, and that would get everybodyís attention.
The point I want to make is that the most important One in universal
history came to earth as less than an ordinary man. He had nothing to
prove. He was secure in who He was. We should be the same. We should
imitate Him as Scriptures tells us. This means that we should be humble.
We donít have to worry if we arenít all that good looking. We donít
have to worry if weíre not the rich guys in the church. We have nothing
to prove. We need to be who Jesus made us to be and demonstrate the divine
life that has come to live within us by the Holy Spirit. Thatís what
Jesus did. His humanity was only a simple tool to express the mind of God.
Our humanity should be a tool to express the mind of God as well.
Promoting ourselves as someone special only defeats our mission to express
the life of Jesus to others.