Jesus was born in a barn and by modern standards it would be classified as much less. He was born in a cave, with a floor of hard-packed manure, closed off in the front to keep animals penned in. After birth, Jesus was wrapped in rags and put to sleep in a feed trough. His parents were poor. His dad was a carpenter and had no social status. Jesus was conceived out-of-wedlock and even though Joseph later took Mary as his wife, Jesus was considered illegitimate. No one understood Him as being sired by the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus was stigmatized by the circumstances of His birth, lived in poverty, and enjoyed no special privilege. He received no special education and by the world’s standards and dictates, He could only dream of becoming a carpenter, by following in Joseph’s footsteps. From the horizontal perspective, there was nothing about Jesus in childhood that indicated the truth of who He is and the impact His life and death would make on the world. In the eyes of those who knew Him as a child, He was nothing and would remain nothing. Jesus was never fully accepted by His ‘legitimate’ siblings and He wasn’t recognized in the community where He was raised. God not only sent His one begotten Son to earth in the form of a man but He was sent as a man who no one would recognize as the promised Messiah. In the hierarchy of His time, there was no place for Jesus, who by human standards was a down-trodden man.
Jesus didn’t define Himself by His circumstance or by what others thought. At the age of twelve, He began to fulfill the mission His true Father gave Him by teaching the Law at the temple. His teaching was astounding and this is when He began to “be about His Father’s business” and follow in the footsteps of His Father God, as well as Joseph. When Jesus began His ministry, in His third decade of life, He abandoned carpentry. He became a homeless man. The man, whom God designated as King of the world, had no place to lay His head at night and depended on His Father to provide Him with food. Yet, when He opened His mouth to speak and teach, God was revealed to those who couldn’t know God without His revelation. His miracles were a living demonstration of God’s love and power. This homeless, unemployed carpenter stirred the ancient world, like no other and soon caught the attention of those of the hierarchy. This man, who was nothing, spoke of God with the kind of authority that people take to heart and are changed by. Because of this, Jesus became a threat to those in power. Those who ruled over others through religion were threatened most of all but they could find no reason to silence Jesus because Jesus spoke only, the truth. They tried to trick Him into saying something that would bring the punishing force of government down on Him, but Jesus didn’t come to be part of earthly kingdoms or seek power within any human hierarchy. Jesus came to do His Father’s Will and not His own. He didn’t want what the world had to offer. Frustrated, these false sons of God, complained to the top leaders in government in an effort to present Jesus as a threat to their power, as well. Pontus Pilate responded by appeasing them, as a political maneuver, a favor given with hopes of keeping peace in the province he ruled. Surely, this nothing-of-a-man couldn’t be a real threat to the powerful men of Rome! Pontus washed his hands of Him and gave the Pharisees their wish, while these arrogant, religious leaders sent whisperers among the people to fill hearts with fear. When the crowd gathered for the traditional release of a prisoner at Passover, they were presented with the choice of freeing Jesus or a murderer. The people, who once marveled at Jesus’ teaching and knew He healed instead of killing and even, brought the dead back to life, gave into their fear of being excluded from the religious hierarchy. They shouted for Jesus to be crucified! Those whom Jesus came to set free participated in his death…
Jesus, born into the world as no one, lived for God as the Son of God and remained true to His divine nature. Jesus didn’t bow to the hierarchy and He didn’t corrupt Himself to play by its rules. When He was crucified, it seemed that the system won, as the system always wins, in crushing another common good man. The proclaimed Messiah crucified, naked on a cross, as a criminal, dead and powerless, first appeared to leave the world as He entered it, as no one. In a world where one must kill in order to eat and live, one who refuses to kill can’t last long. The religious leaders, who manipulated the circumstances of His death, chortled and comforted themselves by believing their chosen view of the world was correct. The station in life they achieved by lying, clawing, gouging, and murdering remained secure. The ultimate, living truth of Jesus no longer threatened to reveal them as the corrupted men of sin that they were. Their contract on Jesus was complete, when Jesus was placed in a tomb and the door sealed. The strange anomaly was past and all things would continue as before…but Jesus didn’t stay dead because Jesus is the true Son of God. Jesus came to life again and He still lives, today. The truth that is Jesus remains a threat to the corrupt and powerful.
Human hierarchies exist by the power of lies, fear, intimidation, and the threat of death. Whether those hierarchies are religious, political, corporate, or criminal, they all operate according to the same core principle that human beings don’t need God and can control their destiny. They all value some more highly than others and power is achieved through human ends. They are the constructs of men ruling over other men in the place of God. This is the world’s system. The same kind of system Jesus knew and we still experience, today. This system is false and an affront to God, the true authority over human beings, Who views all people as equal. In God’s eyes, all people are valuable and possess the potential He imputes to them. That potential is corrupted by the lie of human hierarchy that begins in families and ends at the most powerful seat in the world. Jesus didn’t come to create another hierarchy, another religious system. Jesus came to set this corrupt system on fire by revealing the true nature of His Father and establishing “The Kingdom of Heaven” in the believing hearts of those who recognize Him by His truthful words and life. Though it’s been over two-thousand years, the foundation of His Kingdom is still being completed but I believe, His Kingdom on earth will soon become a physical reality. A day is coming when the world’s system will no longer tolerate those who love Jesus and when they are removed from the world and His Holy Spirit no longer impacts inward change in human beings, the rule of man over man will complete itself. When human beings are allowed to live by human wisdom alone, the hierarchy will descend into violence and topple by its own weight. When the unrighteous kingdom falls, God’s righteous Kingdom will raise up! And Jesus, His Messiah, the One the hierarchy regards as nothing, will reign over the earth. It will be a kingdom ruled directly by God through conscience and not through human hierarchy. There will be the freedom, equality, and peace that all people long for but in this present system are unable to obtain. Those believers, who have longed for this Kingdom and looked for it since ancient times, will shout in triumphant joy when human hierarchy ends and the hope of their faith becomes sight!