She was only a teenager when she became pregnant. Her fiancé knew he wasn’t the father, yet he loved her very much. After much thought, prayer and consideration, he made the decision to honor the commitment he had made; she became his wife.
Circumstances arose towards the end of the pregnancy that required a trip of some distance away. Because money was tight, the couple traveled as cheaply as possible. Shortly after they reached their destination, the time came for the baby to be born; it was a boy! The only place they had found to stay was a sparse shed behind one of the local inns; they shared it with the innkeeper’s cow and other animals. The new mother wrapped the newborn baby in some towels and scraps, as there was nothing else available.
An unexpected good fortune of gifts were given to them by some foreign dignitaries, who seemed especially happy to see the newborn babe. However, a ruling by the local government endangering the lives of newborn babies soon made it clear that they needed to travel to another country to keep the child safe. So, they traveled south where they remained for two years until it became safe for them to return to their home town.
As time passed the family grew and the boy had several younger brothers and sisters. His dad taught him his wood-working skills, thinking he would follow in his footsteps. It’s doubtful the boy ever went to school, but he was well-versed in the teachings of his Jewish faith. There were times when the young lad was not where his parents thought he was or should be. One time they found him preaching and sharing scripture and discussions in the temple! As he matured his interests took a different road than carpentry; he was called to teach and preach and to work among the poor and common people.
He surrounded himself with a number of average, uneducated young men and became their leader. He spent many hours teaching and preaching to them to prepare them for the mission he was called to. In the beginning, he kept a low profile. The time when he lived was long ago, long before newspapers, radio and TV. He ministered personally to groups of people. When he spoke, crowds would gather and increased in size as the people marveled at what he had to say and teach them.
Often, to be able to talk with his group of men, he had to steal them away to private areas for their discussions and training. The time he spent with them was meant to teach them and show them the importance of the message he wanted them to spread to others and how best to do that. There was a time he especially encouraged them and sent all of them away with specific instructions on what to say and do. When they returned, they were on-fire and enthusiastic with all they had experienced and successfully accomplished among the people they had ministered to—much more than before they had gone.
Time went by and the crowds kept growing in size with the people clambering to hear what he had to say. Many of the local religious officials did not like the message of hope, love and forgiveness he was preaching, and they were jealous of the crowds he drew. Some of the officials decided to derail him by making false accusations against him and punishing him. As a result he was arrested and then tried in a kangaroo court. The jealous had their way, and eventually he was executed.
Hundreds of years have passed since that time. Yet, the message that he taught and preached still brings people together today in ever-growing numbers that are larger than ever. Not even the most famous movie star, not even the Pope, or the President ever have numbers this large. And, these numbers of people faithfully gather each and very week in churches and gathering places around the world—individuals, in small groups, in large or in huge groups.
Who was this teacher? He IS Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord.