THE REAL JESUS!
Many today are following after another Jesus: A Jesus with long hair, flowing robes, with a halo, sad expression, thin aquiline nose and petulant lips. One who supposedly died of a ‘broken heart.’ And the same Jesus who was adored by the perpetrators of the Inquisition.
Read of the TRUE Jesus Christ: Who paid taxes; slept in houses, at least one of which was His own; did not come ‘head to head’ with the establishment and did not have long hair. Read of the true Jesus Christ for a change and turn from fables to the REAL JESUS.
CHAPTER ONE: Who IS Jesus Christ?
Who IS Jesus Christ? What is He like? What does He look like? Do you personally know Jesus Christ? Look at what the professing ‘Christian’ world does NOT know about Christ! Most denominations and sects do not know the time of Christ’s birth. Millions assume it was December 25th. Bible scholars admit it was nowhere near this date – but probably in the autumn. Millions suppose it must have been at the beginning of the year 1 A.D., not realizing it was 4 B.C.
Millions disagree on the method of His birth. Few know what He was. Was He God changed into a human fetus? Was Christ the God of the Old Testament? Was He just a “good man” or a prophet? Was Jesus only human after all? Or was He God or was He both? People are confused. Most don’t know WHY He came.
Millions assume He came to save the world back then and assume He has been frantically trying to get it saved ever since! Yet HE said He did not! Millions don’t know Christ came with a MESSAGE not for the world, but for His own disciples. They don’t know what that message was, to whom He brought it, or for what purpose.
Millions suppose they have pictures of Christ. Little do they realize Christ Himself inspired Paul to say long hair is a SHAME to a man! Little do they seem to realize Judas had to betray Christ with a kiss to make sure there was no mistaking His identity – because He looked so like other Jews of His time. (Hebrews 7:14.)
No one seems able to agree on why He died, nor on how He died. Many assume He died of a broken heart. He said ‘no one’ is saved by His death, but by His life! (Romans 5:10.) Millions are not sure He did die, but believe possibly only His body died, while He went to preach to spirits in hell. But how can this square with the promise millions assume He made to the thief on the cross about being in paradise? The thief was not with Him when He appeared to His disciples over three days later.
No one seems able to agree on how long He was in the tomb or even which tomb. Most of professing Christianity rejects His own plain statements about the only sign He would leave as to His true Messiahship, that of ‘three full days and three full nights in the tomb’ (Matt. 12:39,40) and suppose a Friday sunset to ‘Easter’ (spelled Ishtar in ancient Babylon) Sunday morning is what He meant. Try to fit three days and three nights into that period of time.
Millions deny He was resurrected and claim His body was stolen, or that He was not really dead, that He only faked death and then died in the tomb, only to have His disciples secretly bury Him elsewhere. Whether He was resurrected is always the subject of much controversy between “Christian” scholars!
Let’s suppose you’re talking to a person about a mutual friend. You’re discussing what a "fine fellow” he is. You don’t know what his name means, don’t know the circumstances surrounding his birth, don’t know anything about his life; don’t know what he believed or stood for, don’t know what he looks like; don’t know his nature, personality or character and don’t know his family; don’t know where he is, don’t know where he’s been, don’t know where he’s going. That’s quite a bit not to know about someone and still call him “friend,” isn’t it?
Does this professing ‘Christian’ world rely know Christ? The REAL Christ of the BIBLE? No! It does not! It has substituted a weak, sickly, effeminate, confused failure for the dynamic, thoroughly masculine, POWERFUL Christ of the Bible. And what about you, are you a little confused on these points? Do you know Christ? I don’t mean in some sticky, syrupy, ‘sanctimonious religious or sentimental’ way, you may merely recognize the phonetic sound of His name – but do you KNOW all about Him?
It would shock many to know that the REAL Christ came not to bring peace but a sword (Matt. 10:34-37) That He drank wine, that He lived a life of fantastic interest – one of love, one of ruggedness and challenge! What was Jesus Christ really like? I mean the REAL JESUST! The remainder of this may shock you. Its contents are facts straight out of the Bible.
The Real Christ
Is there anything wrong with the REAL Christ? What if you could prove, and prove that you’ve proved, that the REAL Jesus Christ did not have long hair, did not come head to head with the establishment of His time, did pay taxes, did submit to the laws of the land, did not try to convert people then, and did teach obedience and respect toward the powers that be? What if you could prove from the Bible, these shocking statements?
If you could see it proved, would you then turn to the real Jesus? Would you then realize that you have always thought of a different Christ than the One revealed in the Scriptures, that you have blindly swallowed a traditional and historical hoax and then change your thinking? Remember, your Bible warns against accepting ‘another Jesus’ and ‘another gospel’ (I1Cor. 11:4). Read the first chapter of Galatians and see the curse Paul calls down on those who have ‘another gospel.’ If your Jesus and your gospel differs from the clear simple message of the Bible – you are in trouble! Surely, if finding Jesus is your deepest and most heartfelt goal – your earnest desire, then you’re not going to reject the true Christ when you do finally find Him.
Jesus did NOT have long hair. Christ had neither a halo or a long-haired effeminate look. Your Bible explains (I Cor ll: l-11) that a woman’s hair is given her for a ‘covering’ and a sign of being under authority. A woman’s long hair gives her a softer, feminine appearance, which is pleasing in God’s sight. I Corinthians 11 never mentions anything other than hair in discussing ‘coverings’ of the human head, and obviously shows women should have longer hair, for a covering and men should not. Christ inspired Paul to write these words concerning long hair. “Does not even nature itself teach you, that if a man has long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (I Corinthians 11:14.)
Remember, God says, “To this man will I look, even to him that is of a poor and contrite spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa. 66:2). Do you tremble before Gods word? Remember Christ is the “Word” personified!
Jesus NOT a Nazarene
Don’t believe for one moment Christ had taken any ‘Nazaretic vow’ of sorts. He superseded the Nazarene and the Levite. He became the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews Ch 7) and did not fulfill any of the scriptural obligations laid upon a ‘Nazarene’ (Num. 6:3,6). For example, He on occasion touched a dead body (Matt. 9:25). And shocking as it may be to many who believe in total abstinence from all alcoholic beverages, Jesus drank wine from time to time (Matt. 11:19) and His first miracle involved creating fine wine, more than a hundred gallons of it, from water. He also drank wine at the first New Testament Passover service. (Matt. 26:27-29).
Furthermore, those under a ‘Nazaretic vow’ let their hair grow long as a token of humiliation. It was a sign of shame. Notice too, that as soon as the time period of the Nazaretic vow was over, the one who undertook the vow was to shave his head. (Num. 6:18) Frankly, Jesus Christ as a human being had a quite ordinary appearance. It was His message, not His looks, that was striking. We are told, “He has no form nor comeliness and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” (Isa. 53:2)
Jesus looked like any other normal Jewish person of His day. On a number of occasions He was able to pass through crowds because He looked just like anyone else. (John 859; 10:39) Judas had to use a special sign, a kiss, to point out to Jesus’ enemies which one He was. Judas would not have had to do this if Jesus had long hair. The Jesus Christ of the Bible was a medium-built, rugged individual. Jesus, remember, was a carpenter, a builder in the hard and stony hill country of Galilee. He had worked with heavy stones and timbers all His life.
CHAPTER TWO: Jesus Did Not Break the Laws of the Land
Continually, people cite the case of Jesus chasing the cattle and money changers out of the Temple, believing it to be an example of lawbreaking on Christ’s part. Apparently, they have never read the scriptural account, or if they did they read it only cursorily and without real understanding.
Read it in your own Bible, you’ll find the account in Matthew 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-47, and John 2:14-17. Actually, Jesus TWICE drove out the cattle, and over-turned the various money changing booths and ordered their owners and proprietors out of the Temple. John’s Gospel illustrates the first occasion, during an earlier Passover season, and the other three speak of the later occasion, at Christ’s final trip to Jerusalem.
Here, Jesus appears, not as a ‘vagabond or wayfarer’ who is creating disturbances against established authority, but as the ‘proprietor of the Temple’ and the direct Representative of its ultimate Owner, God the Father. He said, “It is written,” citing the greatest law common to them all, that of the Word of God, “My house shall be called the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” (In that day Roman money had to be changed into Jewish, in which Temple contributions were collected and no doubt shortchanging occurred, considering the differences in value of the two types of coins and the general tendency of human greed!)
Christ was in authority not a casual visitor. Not once did the money changers, nor the owners of the cattle, nor the Jewish religious leaders say one word about anything “unlawful.” If He broke the law, why not arrest Him? But no law was broken; it was being UPHELD. Christ cited the law, when He quoted Isaiah 56:7. He then was a representative, both of the property (the Temple), and the law. Remember, too, that even when false witnesses were being bribed to bring false charges against Him during His trial, not once did anyone bring up the issue of Christ chasing the cattle and money changers out of the Temple even though He did so TWICE, about two years apart.
Some have assumed plucking corn (wheat) in a field by Christ’s disciples and His healing on the Sabbath were an illegal acts. Not so! There were laws requiring the landowner to leave some produce on the stalk or the vine for the hungry traveler (Lev. 19:9-10;23:22), laws which were stringently enforced, even by the Pharisees themselves. What about healing? Some have contended Jesus healing of a deformity on the Sabbath was a breaking of some law. But notice the example, found in Mark 3:l-6. Jesus was in a local synagogue, when he was confronted by a man with a horribly deformed hand. The Pharisees “watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse him.”
Notice, they were not enforcing or interpreting any duly constituted law, but were ‘watching’ suspiciously, to see whether they could accuse Him of having violated any of their humanly devised traditions. Before the healing Jesus asked them, “Is it LAWFUL to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life or to kill?” Jesus knew what He did was lawful. He knew that their own laws, even including their religious traditions, allowed an act of mercy on the Sabbath day (pulling a helpless animal out of a ditch was also lawful). There was nothing unlawful about this healing, was there? They too knew it was lawful and that’s precisely why they didn’t answer but went out silently.
Some have claimed Jesus ‘insulted’ the High Priest on the occasion of Jesus questioning prior to His murder. Why not read the account for yourself? You’ll find it in John 18:21-23. Jesus had said, “Why do you ask me? Ask them which heard me, what I have said to them, they know what I said." And when he had spoken this, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying "Answer the high priest” Jesus said, “If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well, why do you strike me?” Not one word from the High Priest. He himself did not answer Jesus’ truthful statement. The High Priest’s question itself was hypocritical.
Jesus gave a straightforward, truthful answer to a misleading question. A pompous officer then struck Jesus, this was an insult and most certainly was illegal. But what was Christ’s reaction upon being struck illegally by an officer? Just calm studious patient truth. He said, “If I have told the truth, then why do you strike me?” No, Jesus DID NOT break laws. He urged His own disciples to obey them, saying, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat, all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe and do, but do NOT after their works: for they say and do not.” (Matt. 23:2-3) There was plenty of hypocrisy around, even in Jesus’ day.
The ‘establishment’ of His time remember, constituted a captive mostly irreligious populace, ruled by a puppet king and a Roman governor. The religious leaders, Pharisees, Sadducee’s, Zealots, Essenes, etc., were various minority groups and even though the masses generally feared the Pharisees because they were in charge of the synagogues and therefore leaders in the community and the Sanhedrin, because of its legislative and punitive powers, but the majority of the people were not really religious in a devout sense. Thousands of them were shocked by what Jesus said and did. Crowds followed after him; He DID NOT seek them out!
Christ Subject to Civil Authorities?
Christ broke no laws and He never urged anyone else to do so. Had there been a conflict between the laws of the land and the higher laws of God, which were believed and OBEYED by Jesus. Here is the Bible teaching on what Christ would have done. “We ought to obey God rather than men,” said the Apostle Peter, answering religious persecutors (Acts 5:29). “Let every person be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,” said the Apostle Paul (Romans 13:l-7), urging Christians in Rome to OBEY the civil government insofar as it did not conflict with Gods laws.
“Whosoever therefore resists the power (civil authority), resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.”
How does this square with the nebulous personal ideas and interpretations of various “spiritual” leaders who urge upon their followers resistance toward society? Paul, remember, was talking to Christians, inspired by the very Jesus Christ "who lived in Paul" (Gal. 2:20), and was urging Christians who lived right in the capital city of the greatest totalitarian, tyrannical police state to ever exist that they should remain obedient.
Read on in Romans 13: “Will you then not be afraid of the power? Do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute anger upon him that does evil. Wherefore you must need be subject, not only for anger, but also for conscience sake. For this cause pay tribute (taxes) also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute (taxes) to whom tribute is due; custom (duty, or import taxes – Greek telos meaning an “impost” or “levy”) to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (verses 3-7).
Remember Paul was personally taught of Jesus Christ (I Cor. 9:l; 15:8; Gal. 1:12-18). He was not expressing some human-oriented “ideas” of his own, but the directly inspired will of God and teaching of Jesus Christ. Not only did Christ and all the New Testament leaders urge obedience to civil authority, but they urged Christians to pray for guidance for their civil leaders. Notice I Timothy 2:l-2: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty”!
No, the Christ of the Bible was not a lawbreaker, but the greatest example of OBEDIENCE TO LAW in all history. Are you willing to accept the true Christ, the law- abiding Christ of the Bible? Jesus Was not ‘Anti-establishment.’ Jesus Christ was followed, sought after, looked for, eagerly listened to, by the general public, the “silent majority” of His day.
Read these scriptures: “When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him” (Matt. 8:l). “The same day Jesus went out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things to them in parables, saying…” (Matt. 13:l-3). So you see that Jesus taught the general public as well as His own disciples. (See also Matt. 23:l.)
CHAPTER THREE: Notice His Nationwide Following
“And he came down with them, and stood in the plain and the company of his disciples and a great multitude of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases.” (Luke 6:17) Also read the account where Jesus was welcomed with great ceremony by a large group of Jerusalem’s citizens. You read of it in Matthew 21:l-11.
The Pharisees were afraid- deeply worried about Christ’s nationwide support. Notice it in John12:19 “The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive how you prevail nothing, the world is gone after him.” That is why He was tried and put to death.
Notice the example of Christ’s personal feeling toward soldiers, even ‘enemy’ soldiers, of an occupying army. Read the account for yourself in Luke 7:l-10. Here Jesus gladly healed the servant of a Roman centurion in Capernaum. Further, Jesus’ teaching even in the Sermon on the Mount was humble compliance with harsh mistreatment from the military. The example of compelling a person to ‘go a mile’ was directly related to the practice of Roman mail carriers requiring persons along their route to carry a burden a certain distance (Matt. 5:41). Christ said not to resist this harsh and illegal practice, but to humbly acquiesce. No, Jesus was not coming head to head with the establishment.
Rather, He was busily performing that great job He had been given to do: “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work” (John 9:4). He was calling and training His disciples to carry on after His death and resurrection (Matt. 28:19,20; 4:18-22; 1O:l-16; Luke 1O:l-11; Mark 16:15), and was continually setting an EXAMPLE of perfect mannerisms, culture, language, habits, speech, and outgoing love toward all men (I Peter 2:21-24; Luke 4:16-21) and was keeping out of politics and heated local issues.
Notice Jesus’ answer to Pilate’s questioning: “My kingdom is not of this world…" (John 18:36). Christ plainly urged His disciples to come out of this world (John 17:6,8, 14, 16; I John 2:15; Rev. 18:4; I1 Cor. 6:14,17; I Cor. 5:11) and NOT to become “political activists’’ or to attempt to influence in politics. Jesus was widely accepted by the general populace. It was the minority religious leaders who persecuted Him. Even the Roman government remained largely aloof, including Pilate’s infamous “washing of the hands” during Jesus’ trial.
The false claim that Jesus was an ‘activist’ type of vagabond who sponsored street rallies is totally erroneous. God prophesied of Him, “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street” (Isa. 42:2). Time and time again, when Jesus’ remarkable teachings resulted in the gradual gathering of a crowd (even about a house which very definitely appears to have been His own), Jesus attempted to escape such large crowds by either taking a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, by going into a different part of the country, or even as in the case of the ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ by climbing a high mountain nearby, where the majority of the crowd could not follow.
Jesus didn’t disturb ‘spiritual blindness.’ It comes as a profound shock to most to realize that Jesus did not attempt to “convert” people then and He explained this principle to His disciples. Read Matthew 13:lO-15 – “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why do you speak to them in parables? He answered and said, "because it has been given to you to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but to them it has NOT been given!"
A Master Carpenter Dealing With Complex Carpentry
In Luke 25:1 you read of how Jesus, after the incident of being found teaching in the Temple at age 12, returned to the home of His parents, and “was subject unto them.” Christ’s antagonists said, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” This is mentioned more than once. Joseph then, was a “carpenter.” In our specialized societies, carpenters are thought of as those who work with sawn and hewn lumber and primarily work only at pounding nails. Ask a modern carpenter if this is all he does, and he will very likely give you a lengthy lecture about the many skills required to become a good carpenter.
However, during the day of Jesus Christ, ‘carpentry’ included much more than just the fabrication of wooden dwellings. Most of the homes were a combination of stone, mud and clay, and hewn beams and lumber. The city where Jesus spent much of His early ministry around the Galilean area was Capernaum. I have been to Capernaum several times, and have seen the remnants of the porches, the arches, the mosaics and the walls of the buildings which were there during the time of Christ.
Capernaum, at that time, was a beaming, modern, beautifully sculptured Grecian-type city. It was filled with beautiful multi-leveled homes which had large central gar- dens, mosaic walks, fountains and even, believe it or not, indoor bathrooms and steam baths! The homes of the wealthier class during that time were marvels of architecture, and a far cry from the stone and adobe hovels imagined by many as being the general domicile of the time. A carpenter would have to know a certain amount of mathematics, engineering principles.
Working with block and tackle, levers, and knowing how to construct arches and cantilever overhanging balconies, etc., and especially would have to be skillful in finishing work, such as interior surfaces, mosaic hallways and walkways, and would even have to know a certain amount about plumbing. Believe it or not, all during that day and in the first two or three centuries thereafter, home plumbing included indoor water, which was delivered via a system of pipes and could be cut off by valves just as in a modern home today.
This may seem astounding to many people who have not familiarized themselves with the degree to which architecture and the science of home building had advanced during Jesus’ day. It was not uncommon, especially around areas where subterranean ‘hot springs’ were abundant, for large central buildings to be constructed with Roman baths, which usually featured several levels of open running water around niches in the walls and underneath stones in the floors, through which would be ducted hot, boiling spring water. Wealthy Romans could then sit in this common ‘steam room’ and enjoy a steam bath.
It is essential to get somewhat of a picture of the cities of Christ’s day, remember He spoke of Capernaum as being “exalted unto heaven” in order to really comprehend the way of life lived by the common people, and by Christ Himself and His own family. Generally, a boy of about twelve years of age could be thought of as entering into adult society. This is obvious too, when you consider the account of Jesus with the doctors and the lawyers of the Temple at age twelve.
However, Christ’s ministry did not begin until He was “about thirty.” That means that at least from age twelve or a little later on up to age thirty, Jesus remained with Joseph, or if Joseph died sometime earlier, Jesus remained with the family as a carpenter-builder, laboring and working all over the hill country of Galilee – no doubt principally in the cities of Nazareth and Capernaum.
CHAPTER FOUR: Christ Was A “Family” Man
Even though it is very obvious Christ was not married, He was nevertheless a member of a fairly large family. After Jesus’ conception and virgin birth, Joseph, already the husband of Mary bound by the ‘espousal’ though not yet having consummated the marriage, reacted in a manner which is incomprehensible for a young man. Turn to Matthew 1:19, “Then Joseph her husband, being a just man and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.”
To a younger man, such an enormous announcement would have been met with a great deal of righteous indig nation. Almighty God chose, for the prospective legal father and the mother of His own Son, Jesus Christ, the very best conceivable parental examples. Not only was Joseph of the direct line (explained in the preceding verses of Matthew 1) of David and from David back to Abraham and to Adam, but he was also a righteous man and a prosperous one.
Both Joseph and Mary were obedient to the laws of God and when you understand the laws of God as magnified in the Old and New Testaments alike, including even the laws of success, of physical cleanliness and of husband and wife relationships, you have a much clearer picture of the circumstances under which Christ was reared as a young child.
Jesus Had Brothers And Sisters
Remember too that Joseph and Mary went on to have a large family. His brothers were named James, Joses, Simon and Judas (Matt. 13:55). There were “sisters” verse 56) implying more than one, though how many is not stated. So, by the very least reckoning there were five sons and two daughters. Remember, this is a conservative number since there could have been more than two girls. Mary then was eventually the mother of at least seven children. And it requires a man of some substance- a family obeying the laws and the precepts of God, including the laws of success to properly provide for a family of this size.
Joseph was obviously a prosperous businessman, more like a general contractor than just a hammer wielding one man carpenter. It would have been contrary to God’s laws to have brought into the world so many youngsters if Joseph had not been able to provide for them. Jesus, then, while He was not married, did grow up as a young man with brothers and sisters and was very definitely a ‘family man’ in the sense that He as the elder brother, became the leader of the family and directly responsible for it.
Not one more word is heard of Joseph after the time of the mentioning of the word “parents” in Luke the second chapter. From that time on, whenever Mary and the other children are mentioned, they are alone. Obviously, though the Bible does not record the event, Joseph had died some time after Christ’s twelfth birthday and prior to His thirtieth. Joseph is never mentioned and is nowhere on the scene during the entirety of Christ’s ministry or even at His death. Yet Mary and the brothers and sisters are mentioned on several occasions.
Many have reasoned that because Jesus spoke to His disciples of all His ‘brothers and sisters’ meaning any other human being, that He did NOT have real brothers and sisters. Not so! The account of Matthew 13, verses 55 and 56, is very clear in this regard. The brothers are specifically NAMED in that account and Jesus had no disciple called Joses and certainly He had no female apostles!
John 2:12 is very plain. “After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother, his BRROTHERS and his disciples: and they remained there a few days.” Here the Biblical account written by John very clearly shows that His disciples and His “brothers” were two different groups of people. Some have misunderstood Christ’s lesson, given upon the arrival of His brothers and sisters concerning the “brotherhood” of all mankind and assumed without checking these scriptures carefully, that Jesus had no earthly kin.
However, notice the account in Mark Chapter 6. As Jesus was teaching in the synagogue some of His persecutors began to say, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joses and of Juda and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus said unto them, a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” Notice Jesus plainly said, “Among his own kin.”
CHAPTER FIVE: Did He Own A Home?
He plainly admitted then that He, the prophet who was being dishonored, was at that time in His own country and among his own kin. He also plainly stated that He was IN HIS OWN HOUSE! Did Jesus Have a House? Time and time again, in the account of Christ’s early ministry around the Galilean area, it shows He was in a house. From time to time it was the house of Peter, or the house of one of the other disciples, or Christ’s own home.
Notice a few of the more outstanding examples. “And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever” (Matt. 8:14). Here, you see Peter had a house in Capernaum, and also you can understand by the scripture that Peter had a wife. Again, though it is so plain in the scriptures, MILLIONS do not know or understand that Peter either owned a home, or that he was a married man. (See also I Corinthians 9:5). Yet the Bible is very clear on these points. Partly restored Synagogue in Capernaum- the Galilean town where Jesus apparently owned a home.
There are many such examples in the Scriptures. Notice a few more. While he yet talked to the people, his mother and his brethren stood outside” (Matt. 12:46). Notice hat Jesus was indoors on this occasion, and because of the large group inside, His own family could not enter, but had to wait “without.”
Notice! “The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the seaside” (Matt. 13:l). Again, Christ was in a home, where He no doubt had opportunity to sleep when He was tired, and to bathe when He needed it. And to have opportunity for privacy just as any human being would require. Notice! “Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field” (Matt. 13:36). Again, Jesus sent the crowds away and entered into a house. Very likely, this was His OWN since it was in Capernaum, and Jesus continually went in and out of Capernaum, remaining in the area of Capernaum for much of His Galilean ministry.
Later, Jesus went up to Nazareth. The Bible says, “And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished…” (Matt. 1353-54). Then follows the account of their questioning, and their statements concerning Christ’s family. Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his ‘own house’! (Matt. 13:57) Obviously, Jesus said He was in His own country, and IN HIS OWN HOUSE, when He was being disrespectfully spoken of. The earlier scripture on the same subject proves that ‘house’ ’is not synonymous with “kin.”
Jesus Was Not a Vagabond. It is true that Jesus, on many occasions "went up into a mountain apart to pray” (Matt. 14:23), or was in a “desert place” (Matt. 14:15), and that He slept out of doors on occasions. But to assume Jesus lived the life of a dirty, grubby vagabond who never had opportunity to wash or to bathe and that He lived on ‘hand-outs’ or what He could glean from the fields as He traveled, is utterly ridiculous and without basis in scriptural fact.
During the account of the first New Testament Passover, Jesus washed His disciples feet, setting a deeply spiritual example for all Christians (read John 13:l-17). When it was Peter’s turn he protested first and then went to the other extreme of wanting his whole body to be washed. In verse 10, Jesus said, “he that is washed (bathed) needs only to wash his feet…" Here it is obvious that Jesus and His disciples had bathed prior to the meal, and only their feet were dirty, since they wore sandals in that day.
CHAPTER SIX: Did Jesus Pay Taxes?
Jesus not only stayed in a home much of the time, but He was also a taxpayer! In Matthew 22:15-22 Christ plainly said that it was lawful to pay tribute (taxes) and to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s …” And why would anyone pay taxes? For one of two reasons. He either had an income, or else he owned property, or both.
Notice the example, “And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money (taxes) came to Peter and said, Does not your master pay tribute? He said, Yes” (Matt. 17:21-25). The plain statement is Jesus DID pay taxes. But notice the rest of the verse .“And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented (preceded) him saying, What are you thinking Simon?” (Verse 25.) Again, Jesus entered into a house on this occasion.
Even when Jesus traveled, He usually made arrangements to stay in another home, at an inn, or to provide for some suitable lodgings. Notice this example in Luke 9:51-56: “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly decided to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before him: and they went and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him (to arrange for a place to stay). And they (the residents of the village) did not receive him, because He was going to Jerusalem.”
The Samaritans in this village did not allow Him to stay there because he was going to Jerusalem, while the Samaritans maintained a rival ‘holy site’ on Mount Gerizim. The location of the Temple was a bone of contention between the Jews and the Samaritans (John 4:20). “And when his disciples James and John saw this they said, Lord, will you have us command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned and rebuked them and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.”
Then notice another example, “And he left them, and went out of the city unto Bethany; and he lodged there” (Matt. 21:17). Jesus had gone out of Jerusalem to the town of Bethany, which is very close by, He “lodged there” rather than sleeping out of doors on this occasion. Notice some more examples: “And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was known that he was in the house” (Mark 2:l). The expression “in the house” can be rendered “at home.” See the original Greek and also The New English Bible and The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour by John Broadus.
Jesus freely entered into the homes of the leaders of he society, usually at their own request. Still, many people who totally misunderstand the truth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth assume He was only someone who associated with ‘street people’ and who continually scorned or spurned any contact with the ‘uppercrust’ of society.
But read the account in Mark, the 5th chapter, of how Jairus (Mark 5:22-43), the ruler of the synagogue, besought Jesus to come to his home and pray for his daughter. "And he came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he said to them, Why do you make a commotion and weep?…” (Verses 38- 39) Here, Jesus freely entered into the home of the ruler of the synagogue, in order to heal his daughter.
Notice yet another example, “And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable” (Mark 7:17). Time and time again, when the crowds became too large and too unmanageable, Christ either “entered into the house,” or perhaps got into a ship and LEFT the multitudes in an attempt to avoid overly large crowds. The people came to HIM,remember. He did not go to them.
Why Jesus Had No Place to Stay
Some quote one scripture to prove that Jesus had no place to live. All right, let’s look at Luke 957-58: “And it came to pass, that as they went on their way, a certain man says to him, Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. And Jesus said to him, foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Remember, verses 51 through 56 have already been explained, which come just before this account. So, how do we understand Luke 9:57-58 in context? Again remember Jesus had wanted to arrange to stay in a Samaritan village on His way to Jerusalem. The citizenry wouldn’t allow it. Therefore, Jesus exclaims, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” In other words, at that particular time as they went on their way to the next village (see verse 56), Jesus was having difficulty in the light of their denying finding a place to stay overnight on His journey to Jerusalem.
This is one reason Jesus told the young man that He had no place to stay at the moment. Now does this example also having directly to do with his difficult ministry. With forsaking all physical properties, family, and facilities for the sake of the Kingdom of God, then utterly DESTROY every other plain scripture about the many, many times Jesus dwelt in a home, or visited in someone else’s home, or ate a meal in a home, or was part of a large banquet party (as at Cana in Galilee), or deliberately arranged lodgings?
Obviously, the Bible does not contradict the Bible (John 10:35; I1 Peter 120); and one scripture which is rather vague or capable of two or three meanings, does not knock in the head several plain and clear scriptures which cannot be misinterpreted.
In this account, Christ was telling the young man of His utter lack of dependency on material goods, properties and possessions. While Christ did dwell in a house the major portion of His life, He placed no importance on- He didn’t set His heart – on those material possessions.
He was ready at any instant to drop whatever He was doing in a house, and to LEAVE that house, in order to serve and to help the people. He traveled a good deal of His ministry, and was always ready at an instant’s notice to leave a home, and go into a desert place, or to leave the larger city for a smaller one, or failing to find lodgings in one town to go on to another.
On this one occasion, Christ gave those in His hearing an example of not placing their hearts on material possessions. Nevertheless, Jesus did, continually, enter into a home which very likely was His own home in Capernaum, as well as the home of which He spoke in the city of Nazareth, the city in which He grew up (Matt. 2:23; Mark 1:9; Luke 1:26; John 1:45).
What Does Christ Look Like? Jesus Christ was all man, just as HUMAN as you are human, yet He was very God. He was murdered and was resurrected after three days and three nights in the tomb (Matt. 12:39,40; 28:7). And most important of all, He is ALIVE, today (Heb. 1:2,3).
How does He look NOW? You’ll see, if you read the account in Revelation 1:12- 18. That is the picture that should come into people’s minds when they think of Jesus Christ today. He is a Living Saviour, a Living Christ, a Glorified, Divine, All-Powerful King! The name Jesus Christ means Justice and (World) Saviour, a role he will fulfill in the future.
CHAPTER SEVEN: Jesus Christ and You
You have read this far, you have discovered the REAL JESUS, the one who obeyed the laws, who paid His taxes, who lived in His own home, who helped the slaves of Roman officers and who was brutally murdered in an illegal trial. You have found the Christ who looked like any Jew of His day, who was so commonplace in His appearance that He escaped out of crowds time and time again, and whose betrayer had to be paid a large sum to carefully single out which person He was.
You have read about the Jesus who was subject to His parents (Luke 2:51), and who came to keep and magnify the laws of His Father, not destroy them (Isa. 42:21; Matt. 5:17,18). You have read about the Jesus who commands His followers to KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Matt. 19:17), who came to DELIVER A VITAL MESSAGE of the coming ‘world ruling kingdom of God’, but not to save the world then.
The Lesson of Job
If you have read this far you may find yourself in the same position as the patriarch Job. Job had previously thought he had known a lot about God. But after a long series of eloquent arguments with his three friends, God stepped into the picture and pointed out a few things Job had never considered before (Job 38, 39). Take a look at the lesson Job learned.
Job said, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” He continued, “Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:2, 3).
Now Job Understood, He said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye SEES you.”(Verse 5) He saw for the first time the true picture of that awesome Personality- the Creator God of whom he had been speaking. This had never before reached his mind. His conscious mind had not really seen this God of whom he spoke, even though he could argue long and eloquently about “God.”
He said, “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now I get it, now I really see, now I understand, now my eye sees you, now I comprehend. He said in verse 6, “Therefore I despise myself and repent…” Now he got the true perspective. He saw how great and how good God was and how miserable and utterly blind he had been. And he made that most difficult of all human step, he admitted he had been utterly wrong; not partly wrong, totally wrong.
He said he despised himself. But can you admit that you could have been utterly wrong in your former concepts of Jesus Christ? Can you now really repent like Job did?
Garner Ted Armstrong, Free Library Copy. Translations: King James and New Revised Standard.
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