Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:23) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... All things were made by Him... In Him was life... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us... (John 1:1, 3, 4, 14) The world is mine, and the fulness thereof. (Psalm 50:12) The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:8) FOR HE [CHRIST] SHALL GROW UP BEFORE HIM AS A TENDER PLANT, AND AS A ROOT OUT OF DRY GROUND: HE HATH NO FORM NOR COMELINESS; AND WHEN WE SHALL SEE HIM, THERE IS NO BEAUTY THAT WE SHOULD DESIRE HIM. (Isaiah 53:2)
Hmmm... Something does not add up. THE God of all came to dwell among men, EVERYTHING belongs to Him, He is rich beyond measure, yet there was no beauty that we should desire Him. There was nothing about Him that would make Him stand out. Had Christ come in the beauty of His description in Revelation, He would have been welcomed into palaces, His people may not have rejected Him as the Messiah! Instead, He was born in a manger and grew up under peasant circumstances in Nazareth. He truly gave up all in order to save men. But what was the point? There is little said about Christ's childhood years, but one thing we do know: "the child grew, and waxed strong in Spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon Him." (Luke 2:40) But Nazareth?? "The inhabitants of Nazareth were proverbial for their wickedness. The low estimate in which they were generally held is shown by Nathanael's question [regarding Christ], "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? (John 1:46). Jesus was placed where His character would be tested. It was necessary for Him to be constantly on guard in order to preserve His purity. He was subject to all the conflicts which we have to meet, that He might be an example to us in childhood, youth, and manhood." What hope this is for parents everywhere! In His humble circumstances in that wicked city, He was still able to develop a close relationship with His Father. And get this: "Every child may gain knowledge as Jesus did. As we try to become acquainted with our heavenly Father through His word, angels will draw near, our minds will be strengthened, our characters elevated and refined. We SHALL become more like our Saviour." This is a promise! But the condition must be met! We must surrender daily and truly give our all in getting to know our Father. We must seek the Lord in prayer, for "communion with God through prayer develops the mental and moral faculties, and the spiritual powers strenghten as we cultivate thoughts upon spiritual things."
Thirty years Christ dwelt in wicked Nazareth, yet He never sinned. Yes, "He thought and spoke as a child; but no trace of sin marred the image of God within Him." And likewise it may be with us and our children, no matter what our situation. If poverty and difficult surroundings are your plight, take courage! "Temptation, poverty, adversity, is the very discipline needed to develop purity and firmness." We should be glad when temptation comes, for by it our faith is tried and patience worked, but we are to "let patience have her perfect work, that [we] may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (James 1:2-4) But HERE IS WHERE IS GETS AMAZING: "NO child of humanity will EVER be called to live a holy life amid so fierce a conflict with temptation as was our Saviour." What love! "Christ risked all. For our redemption, heaven itself was imperiled." But, PRAISE GOD, He came out victorious! THIS is why He forsook His riches and embraced poverty with humble beginnings in the evil city of Nazareth. Had He come as King, we would have claimed that He had an unfair advantage. But, no, He wanted to show us that by following His example, we, too, can have the victory over sin. We, too, can live a life in which NO trace of sin will mar the image of God within us. But the condition must be met. We must walk humbly with our God. Will you walk with Him, today?
ADMONITION TO PARENTS: "The more quiet and simple the life of the child, - the more free from artificial excitement, and the more in harmony with nature - the more favorable is it to the physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength."
*Feel free to ask me for my sources*