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by Michelle Dee

He always knew he was different.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning...The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us... [John 1:1-2, 14a]

He talked differently and acted differently from everybody else, and people could tell.
When he was twelve years old, he and his parents went up to the Feast of the Passover, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it...They went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. [Luke 2:42-43, 45b-47]

When he first came out, he got read right away.
Then John the Baptist gave this testimony: 'I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit."' [John 1:32-33]

Everywhere he went, people crowded and mobbed him...
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him... [Luke 8:42b]

They called out to him on the street....
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" [Matthew 20:29-31]

...And they even tried to kill him.
All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. [Luke 4:28-29]

He was a radical activist, thumbing his nose at religious authority.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." [Matthew 23:27-28]

People tried to get him out of their way, to get things back to normal.
Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him. "But not during the feast,' they said, 'or the people may riot." [Mark 14:1-2]

He told people not to judge others.
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." [Matthew 7:1-2]

He hung out primarily with society's outcasts, ate with them, and even compared himself to one.
While Jeus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" [Mark 2:15-16]
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." [John 10:11]

Though trained as a carpenter, in the last years of his life he had no paying jobs and was essentially homeless.
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." [Luke 9:57-58]

When he needed them most, his friends deserted him because they didn't want to be associated with him.
[He said to the crowd about to arrest him,] "Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled." Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. [Matthew 26:55b-56]

They even denied knowing him, because they wanted to avoid the same humiliation.
Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, and a servant girl came to him. "You also were with Jesus of Galilee," she said. But he denied it before them all. "I don't know what you're talking about," he said. [Matthew 26:69-70]

He was mocked and physically abused.
Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. "Hail, king of the Jews!" they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. [Matthew 27:27-29]

He had no rights in his society, killed simply because of who he said he was.
Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. Two robbers were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him...In the same way, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "He saved others," they said, 'but he can't save himself!...He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, 'I am the Son of God.'" In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. [Matthew 27:37-39a, 41-43]

But it didn't stop him from loving us.
[After He was resurrected, Jesus said,] "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [Matthew 28:20b]

This article is reprinted from Michelle Dee's now defunct website. If anyone knows how to contact Michelle Dee, please contact me.  Thanks!