Jesus' Daily Life

an Examination

We have all thought about the "Princely" personality of Jesus and we know about His Miracles and other Special characteristics. Surprisingly, very few people seem to have thought about the mundane aspects of His life during His three years of Ministry.

Think about it! During that period, we are generally agreed that He did not have a regular job. Actually, He moved around quite a lot during those three years, and so He was going from town to town. In many cases, His visit to a town was His first visit, so He was considered a total stranger to the residents there.

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Now, in the final six months or so of His Ministry, people knew about Him and the Miracles He had done. During that time, it seems likely that many people from each town would invite Him to dine with them, and to give Him a place to sleep. But what about the earlier two and a half years of His Ministry. When He would approach a new town, the townspeople didn't know Him to be Special. It is easy to imagine that there were many nights when He went hungry and that he slept in a field.

He certainly had a rather nomadic existence during those three years. Everything he owned or needed was probably carried on His back. It does not even appear that He owned a horse or camel or mule to carry a substantial amount of belongings. This also suggests that He had very limited materials with Him. Logically, it seems unlikely that He carried more than three sets of clothing, and He may easily have had just the one set of sandals He wore. When conditions allowed, He may have carried some food, too.

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Given our modern fixation on more, more, more, and having bigger and better homes and cars and everything else, we seem to ignore how different Jesus was from us. Do you realize what His "net worth" was? It does not appear that He owned a home, or a horse or camel or donkey. His clothing was likely very simple. In today's terms, His grand total net worth may have been under $100! Isn't that amazing? But, don't you agree that He was among the happiest, "wealthiest" people ever to have lived on Earth? Something to think about!

In that first two and a half years of His Ministry, His meals were by no means certain. It seems likely that the generosity of kind people would have generally kept him fed. But doesn't it seem that His body might not have been as robust as it might have been with three square meals a day? I'm tempted to think that this situation may have contributed to His rather rapid dying on the Cross. (In general, crucified men hung on their crosses for several days before dying, part of the whole idea from the Roman point-of-view, even after the scourging and all the rest. Jesus died just six hours after having been placed on the Cross.)

Let's now think about how He would be treated (during those first two and a half years) when He entered a new town where He was not known. Clearly, His Calm and Peaceful and Loving and Compassionate nature would quickly become noticed by those who He met. We all know that. We generally have thought of the positive effects He had on such people. But, human nature being what it is, there were certain to have been other effects as well.

Many men are somewhat belligerent, self-centered, loud, demanding, controlling. Throughout history, such traits in men has often contributed to their becoming successful and / or powerful. Imagine how the single women of a town might react, when a Caring, Sweet, Considerate, Compassionate stranger comes to town? Relatively speaking, He would immediately seem really attractive to them. We generally believe that He was also Charismatic (but that's unproven) which would add to His aura of being both different and better than anything those girls had ever been around before.

Now, imagine how their boy friends would react? And, even their protective older brothers? And their fathers? It seems very likely that Jesus, totally innocently Caring and Compassionate, would be seen as a "competitor" for the hearts of all the single girls. Even worse, His Gentleness would certainly be sometimes mistaken by those men as being intentional smooth moves on those girls. Doesn't it seem that Jesus must have gotten beaten up, unjustifiably, many times during those first two and a half years of His Ministry?

We haven't even mentioned His effect on MARRIED women. Again, in a relative sense, He must have seemed Gloriously Gentle and Caring and Sensitive. It's easy to imagine that many wives would look at their own husbands and have a more critical eye than before they realized there could be someone like Jesus. Those husbands would certainly sometimes put two and two together, and realize that their stature dropped simultaneous with this "Jesus" coming to town. Even more chances for Jesus to have gotten beaten up.

Notice that these comments don't involve any improper behavior, either on the part of Jesus or the single or married women. Yet, with human nature being what it is, it seems an absolute certainty that Jesus must have regularly received unjustified beatings.

This whole subject area makes it very logical that Mary Magdalene would almost exclusively have become close to Him. With her past and her reputation, few men would be likely to be upset if she showed interest in Jesus. Almost any other woman (other than a relative), whether single or married, and that male-reaction thing seems near at hand.

An additional comment needs to be made now about Jesus' financial well being. Yes, it IS possible that He did occasional carpentry during His travels, to earn money for food. I don't think so, however. First of all, that would necessitate Him carrying the various tools of the carpentry trade, which would represent a substantial amount of extra weight during His many walking journeys. But there's a more significant reason, one that again deals with mankind's general nature. IF Jesus had been occasionally building carpentry items during His Ministry, those objects would still be fairly new at the time He was Crucified. Once people came to realize His true Nature, there would have been thousands of people scurrying about, each trying to beg, buy or steal any object that He had made. Since He made it clear to us that such objects or icons are NOT to be revered, it seems certain that He would intentionally NOT have worked at producing such objects during His Ministry. Just the knowledge of their existence would adversely affect many people.

Much earlier in His life, it seems that His parents did not really comprehend His unique Nature. Luke 2:50 clearly indicates that Mary and Joseph did not remotely comprehend what Jesus' Mission actually was. That suggests to me that they had raised Him (at least to that point) as a "normal" child, without really being aware of His Special Nature. The alternative, of His receiving "special treatment" as a child, would have quickly caused Him to become the center of attention among the other kids and their families, who would all wish the "Messiah" to solve problems in their lives. But He apparently led a fairly uneventful childhood, and combined with Luke 2:50, it seems like only He knew the Truth.

Conclusion

It seems very likely that the first two and a half years of His Ministry probably included many hardships on Jesus. Without substantial assets, or obvious ways of earning more, both food and shelter must have been inconsistent. Being an unknown stranger (a negative under almost any circumstances) who women would find attractive for many reasons, He certainly unintentionally brought down the wrath of many insecure men. All in all, a rather difficult life.

So, when you envision Jesus merrily skipping along on His Ministry journeys, consider these comments.

(In the final few months of His Ministry, He WAS quite well known, and it is likely that all of the various problems mentioned above would have evaporated. Food and shelter would be consistently offered, and at least some of the men might have figured out that He was not trying to "steal" their wives and girl friends and sisters and daughters.)


There is another subject that is pretty closely related. Our view of Jesus today is generally that He was extremely Charismatic, immediately drawing all around to watch Him and listen to Him and follow Him. That does not really seem to have been the case, except perhaps in the very final months of His life. Consider that really NONE of the Twelve seemed truly "committed" to Him, as evidenced by three of them falling asleep when Jesus specifically asked them to stay awake.

But it seems reasonable to note that a really charismatic person, in those first two and a half years, would have instantly impressed a lot of people (without having to do Miracles) and would have quickly developed a huge following. But the evidence is that people were aware of Him but not impressed enough to go out of their way regarding Him! It seems to suggest that during most of His Public Ministry, He may not have been a very Charismatic person.

Again, a Charismatic person (even today) figured to inspire creative people around to want to compose songs about Him, make sketches of Him, make paintings of Him, write down personal experiences. There does not seem to be any evidence that any of this happened, even among the Twelve, assuming they had some artistic creativity among them.


A Feature Movie!

The Christian community always gets excessively excited when some new attempt at a Christian feature film is created. Most of those stories are not really that close to what historical Christianity actually was.

I have one that absolutely is, AND I think it might provide people IN THIS PERIOD OF HARD TIMES some useful new perspectives.

Imagine a movie that starts like many traditional movies, inside a family home, where the father / husband was behaving like most Mideast men still do today, where wives and children are seen as "possessions" and "workers" and to be ordered around and screamed at regularly.

This is three years BEFORE Jesus became "known". He had just WALKED 20 miles across the hot desert to get to a town where He had never been before. Absolutely unknown. Sleeping along the road and rarely eating at all.

But His Character was always so admirable that people would occasionally provide Him with a meal, or even a night's lodging.

Now imagine the Gentle and Caring and Compassionate Character of Jesus entering this village where ALL the men were crude, rough, tough, and uncaring. EVERY woman in the village would immediately be attracted to Gentleness of such a Character. Unfortunately, that would include both WIVES and DAUGHTERS.

The main premise of the story would be how often Jesus must have gotten beaten up by such men, whom were in EVERY village!

Some villages would have a "stable" family where the father and husband was secure enough to "stand up for Jesus". In some villages, that would provide Jesus some peace, but in other villages, then BOTH of them would get beaten up.

Of course, Jesus would never show anger at being treated in such ways, and He would OFTEN express comments to groups similar to His comment on the Cross, They do not know what they are doing.

The POINT of such a movie is that AFTER Jesus would move on, the story would remain IN THAT VILLAGE, watching the various conversations and arguments over "whatever" He was! A FEW people in the village would "understand" and see the merit in an entirely different approach to life than the "toughest wins mentality" that has always been common among men.

There is more, of course, but that is the gist.

IF "the right people" were contacted about this concept, I think they would see the merit (and the profitability for their studio) and want to make such a movie.

MY circle of contacts is minuscule regarding such things, but maybe someone who reads this web page might be in contact with some "movers and shakers" within Christianity.


This presentation was first placed on the Internet in May 2001.

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Pastor C Johnson,
A Christ Walk Church