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Jesus was born and raised in unlikely places. When wise men came from the east, they expected the king of the Jews to be born in the capital city of Jerusalem (Luke 2:1-2). When Philip invited Nathanael to meet Christ, Nathanael responded, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46). In those days great people were expected to come from famous places. Surely the Messiah would come from Jerusalem or some other respectable city -- not Bethlehem or Nazareth. Jesus wasn’t treated

Jesus faced the shame of unfounded rumors about his birth. Joseph and Mary were not yet married when Jesus was conceived. The supernatural, virgin birth of Christ by the Holy Spirit was misinterpreted at first by Joseph. “Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly” (Matthew 1:19). Joseph didn’t want to shame Mary. But an angel corrected him and Joseph treated Mary

Jesus grew up as a common laborer in a lower middle income bracket. Twice in the Gospels he’s described in the family business as a carpenter. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” (Matthew 13:55). “‘Isn’t this the carpenter?’ . . . And they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3). When Jesus begins his public ministry, he’s known not as the Son of God, but as the son of a carpenter. He didn’t grow up in an honorable priestly household. He didn’t grow up in

Whoever said “there’s no shame in poverty” was either someone who was never poor or someone who learned to live above their poverty. I’m inclined to think that Jesus was the latter. Jesus faced the shame of growing up in a poorer family. When Jesus’ parents come into the temple to offer the sacrifice for purification after his birth, they brought a pair of doves or two young pigeons (Luke 2:22-24). This points to their poverty. According to the Law – in God’s

I want to talk with you about the shame Jesus experienced in his life and in his death. Today is the beginning of the Lenten season. Different Christians respond differently to this season. Some conscientiously follow it. Others mostly ignore it. I’m probably in the middle. Sometimes in the 40 days leading up to Easter I’ve seriously focused my heart and mind daily on the passion of Jesus. Other times I’ve taken a lighter touch recollecting only periodically on the suffering and