Monday, April 2, 2012

Can anything good come out of Nazareth? - Anonymous

Jesus was the poorest man who ever walked the dirt roads of earth. Born in poverty and reared in obscurity, He yet lived to enrich mankind. A stable was His birthplace, a manger His cradle. For twenty years He worked as a carpenter in a poverty-stricken and despised village which bore the scorn of man as they asked, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"

He began His ministry at the Jordan River, with no organization to support Him, no patrons to enrich Him. He publicly began a life of poverty that ended at the tomb. He preached without price, and wrought miracles without money. As far as we know, He never possessed the value of one dollar. How pathetic His words, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air their nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

He was an itinerant preacher whose parish was the world. When invited, He entered men's homes for dinner. When unasked, He went hungry. He sought breakfast from the leafing fig tree, but found none. He ate grain from His hands as He walked through fields of corn. His support came from the gifts of a few women, and His treasurer stole part of the pittance put therein. He walked on over the hills of Judea and by the waters of Galilee, enriching men, Himself the poorest of all. He slept often under the open sky, in the wilderness without food, by Jacob's well without water, and in the crowded city without a home. Thus He lived and loved, toiled, and died. His value was thirty pieces of silver when sold--the price of a slave, the lowest estimate of human life.

So poor was He that he needs must carry His own cross through the city until, fainting, He fell. In a potter's field He was nailed to that cross between two thieves, stripped of His robe, the gift of love, for which inhuman soldiers gambled as He died. With no estate with which to endow His weeping mother, He bequeathed her to the love of the beloved John. Then He gave His peace to the disciples, His pardon to the thief, His life for the world, His body to the cross, and His spirit to God. His burial clothes were the gift of a friend. He was laid at last in a borrowed grave.

Truly, Jesus Christ was the poorest man who ever walked the dirt roads of earth.

2 Corinthians 8:9: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

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