Ellen G. White Writings

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The Youth’s Instructor

November 21, 1895

Child Life of Jesus—No. 1

Before he came to this earth, Jesus was a great king in heaven. He was as great as God, and yet he loved the poor people of this earth so much that he was willing to lay aside his kingly crown, his beautiful robe, and come to this earth as one of the human family. We cannot understand how Christ became a little, helpless babe. He could have come to earth in such beauty that he would have been unlike the sons of men. His face could have been bright with light, and his form could have been tall and beautiful. He could have come in such a way as to charm those who looked upon him; but this was not the way that God planned he should come among the sons of men. He was to be like those who belonged to the human family and to the Jewish race. His features were to be like those of other human beings, and he was not to have such beauty of person as to make people point him out as different from others. He was to come as one of the human family, and to stand as a man before heaven and earth. He had come to take man's place, to pledge himself in man's behalf, to pay the debt that sinners owed. He was to live a pure life on the earth, and show that Satan had told a falsehood when he claimed that the human family belonged to him forever, and that God could not take men out of his hands.

Men first beheld Christ as a babe, as a child. His parents were very poor, and he had nothing in this earth save that which the poor have. He passed through all the trials that the poor and lowly pass through from babyhood to childhood, from youth to manhood. Nearly two thousand years ago a voice was heard in heaven from the throne of God saying, “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said, I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

The more we think about Christ's becoming a babe here on earth, the more wonderful it appears. How can it be that the helpless babe in Bethlehem's manger is still the divine Son of God? Though we cannot understand it, we can believe that he who made the worlds, for our sakes became a helpless babe. Though higher than any of the angels, though as great as the Father on the throne of heaven, he became one with us. In him God and man became one, and it is in this fact that we find the hope of our fallen race. Looking upon Christ in the flesh, we look upon God in humanity, and see in him the brightness of divine glory, the express image of God the Father.

From his earliest year, Christ lived a life of toil. In his youth he worked with his father at the carpenter's trade, and thus showed that there is nothing of which to be ashamed in work. Though he was the King of heaven, he yet worked at a humble trade, and thus rebuked all idleness in human beings. All work done as Christ did his work is noble and honorable. Those who are idle do not follow the example that Christ has given; for from his childhood he was a pattern of obedience and industry. He was as a pleasant sunbeam in the home circle. Faithfully and cheerfully he acted his part, doing the humble duties that he was called to do in his lowly life. Christ became one with us in order that he might do us good. He lived such a life of poverty and labor as would help the poor to understand that he could sympathize with the poor. He himself had shared the burdens of the lowly. The world's Redeemer did not live a life of selfish ease and pleasure. He did not choose to be the son of a rich man, or to be in a position where men would praise and flatter him. He passed through the hardships of those who toil for a living, and he could comfort all those who have to work at some humble trade. The story of his life of toil is written so that we may receive comfort out of it. Those who know the kind of life Christ lived, can never feel that the poor are to be despised, and that those who are rich are better than the humble.

Mrs. E. G. White

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