THE YEARS IN BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT SEVEN – SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

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As a young boy, moving through adolescence, Jesus would be witness to those who teased or hurt others – those who were unfair and just plain mean. Bullies aren’t new. For Jesus, however, He saw it as injustice and might even chastise someone for their behavior. Living under Roman rule, He would also notice that most of the land was now owned by the rich aristocrats and leaders of the church. Jewish families, who originally owned property , were now deeply indebted and had to work as tenant farmers in order to remain in their homes.

Tax collectors, working for Rome, would charge exorbitant charges if they found that the tenant was holding back on any of his earnings.   It wasn’t uncommon for interest of 50% to be added to loans. For the most part, the average Jew was poor. They often would work for a daily wage, just to provide for their families.

Because they were living at poverty level, there was a lot of hunger and disease caused by not eating properly. Diseases were not treated as they are today and the community of Israel was collapsing, because everyone was in the same boat. Prior to this, they could count on friends and relatives to loan them money without having to repay. They were used to helping each other with building projects, bringing new life into the world, providing food, helping a widow to survive after the death of a spouse . It was a part of the Mosaic Law to take care and provide for those in need.

Jesus stepfather, Joseph, was a tradesman, thus he made an income. Still living in a little town like Nazareth, there wasn’t much call for large projects. He made tables, chairs and eating utensils. Jesus apprenticed under Joseph and learned the satisfaction of hard work. He therefore was strong and His hands would’ve been calloused by the constant shaping of wood.

Surrounded by poverty and illness, Jesus took compassion on the sick and poor. Later, as He spoke the Beatitudes, we can see how much He valued them. All around, changes were being made. Herod’s building projects allowed trade to flourish, because there were roads where there weren’t before. But most of the benefits went to the land owners and politicians.

Jesus saw the unjust treatment of his neighbors by the Roman soldiers. He watched as they were beaten for misunderstanding what was expected of them. Because He knew His purpose for coming to earth, it was necessary for Him to see and experience these things and feel the sting of them, in order to know how the common man felt.

It was the right time in history. Just as it was when Esther approached her husband, the King, at just the right moment, to free her people. Just as God provided a proper sacrifice to Abraham, so he wouldn’t need to kill his son. Just in the nick of time. Sometimes we wonder why God makes us wait. Maybe He wants us to learn to depend on Him completely for the things that occur in our lives. We may be tested in this life, but God will answer prayers – and often at just the precise moment.

Jesus remained obedient to His parents, lived those years as a carpenter, studied the Scriptures, showed compassion to others and knew what He had to do to make things right with His heavenly Father. His compassion remained on the road to Calvary, as He bled and suffered on our behalf. Now He was preparing for that walk and growing in strength and wisdom.

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About atimetoshare.me

As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on Amazon.com.
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2 Responses to THE YEARS IN BETWEEN – INSTALLMENT SEVEN – SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS

  1. Kathy, this has been a very interesting series. What is your source for the historical information on the culture at the time?

    I recently read one commentary (I can’t remember which one) that postulated that Joseph and Yeshua were actually stone masons and not carpenters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • atimetoshare.me says:

      That sounds like something from the Knights Templar of old. Anyway, most of my research was done in the Bible. I use the ESV version which has tons of footnotes regarding things pertaining to the time of Christ. As I mentioned at the start of the series, I’m trying to look at all sides of the character of Jesus as a human being and also as God. I think those missing years were a time of preparation for Him – sharpening His skills as a public speaker – being wise in what He said, waiting for the right moment for all this to come to be. I recently heard that according to tradition,a boy doesn’t become a man until he’s 30.. Just the age Jesus was when He began His ministry. I also used Wikipedia for some of the political, socio economic and life style at that time. There were a few interesting articles as I searched a well. Since this is a lot mostly my opinion there is some conjecture, but I believe all these things filled Jesus with the wisdom and knowledge He needed for His ministry.

      Liked by 1 person

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