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Humble Hero

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    Jesus’ Problems With His Family

    Jesus’ brothers were jealous of Him and showed determined unbelief and contempt. They could not understand His conduct. His life presented great contradictions. He was the divine Son of God and yet a helpless child. As Creator, the earth was His possession, yet poverty marked His life experience. He did not run after worldly greatness, and in even the lowliest position He was content. This angered His brothers. They could not account for His constant peace under trial and hardship.HH 34.4

    Jesus’ brothers misunderstood Him because He was not like them. In looking to others, they had turned away from God, and they did not have His power in their lives. The forms of religion they observed could not transform the character. Jesus’ example was a continual irritation to them. He hated sin and could not witness a wrong act without pain that was impossible to disguise. Because the life of Jesus condemned evil, people opposed Him; they commented with a sneer on His unselfishness and integrity. His patience and kindness they called cowardice.HH 34.5

    Of the bitterness that falls on the human race, there was no part that Christ did not taste. Some made unkind remarks about Him because of His birth. Even in childhood He had to meet scornful looks and evil whisperings. If He had responded by an impatient word or look or even one wrong act, He would have failed at being a perfect example. If so, He would have failed to carry out the plan for our redemption. If He had even admitted that there could be an excuse for sin, Satan would have triumphed, and the world would have been lost. Often He was called a coward for refusing to join with His brothers in some forbidden act, but His answer was, It is written, “The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28.HH 34.6

    Some people felt at peace in His presence, but many avoided Him, feeling rebuked by His stainless life. Young companions enjoyed His presence, but they were impatient with His determination to do right, and they pronounced Him narrow and strict. Jesus answered, It is written, “How can young people keep their way pure? By guarding it according to your word. ... I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.” Psalm 119:9, 11, NRSV.HH 35.1

    Often He was asked, Why are You bent on being so different from us all? He replied, It is written, “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who ... do no iniquity; they walk in His ways.” Psalm 119:2, 3.HH 35.2

    When questioned why He did not join in the amusements of the young people of Nazareth, He said, It is written, “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:16.HH 35.3

    Jesus did not contend for His rights. He did not retaliate when people treated Him roughly, but He bore insult patiently. Again and again He was asked, Why do You submit to such hateful treatment, even from Your brothers? He said, It is written,HH 35.4

    My son, do not forget my law,
    But let your heart keep my commands; ...
    Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
    Bind them around your neck,
    Write them on the tablet of your heart,
    And so find favor and high esteem
    In the sight of God and man.
    Proverbs 3:1-4
    HH 35.5

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