I wanted to take time to look at the different commercials from He Gets Us to see if they are biblically sound, and will be discerning others in the next several days. Today, we focus on the commercial: “Jesus struggled to make ends meet, too.”
This is the problem with upholding Jesus’ humanity while ignoring His deity: When you look at Jesus He was helpless just like us. We think since He was a baby…just like us, He must have been hungry…just like us; naked, destitute, and always in need…just like us. But He wasn’t. Jesus didn’t struggle; for struggle invokes a sense of worry. Think about this as we look forward.
Was Jesus hungry, thirsty, tired, and experience human limitations?
Was Jesus hungry and thirsty? Yes, the Bible clearly said He experienced hunger and thirst. In Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards He was hungry (2). He placed Himself under the leading of the Holy Spirit to fast, be separated and be tempted. Jesus had to experience temptation in order to successfully conquer temptation and be the atoning sacrifice for all of mankind. In the end, angels came and ministered to Him and His needs. Was Jesus without help? No. Did the Father abandon Him? No. He struggled through the fast because that’s what fasting is; but fasting is never meant to be permanent, only temporary.
Jesus also experienced being tired and physically worn out; things in which as God He never experienced. That’s ok. He sought the Father in prayer often and to be alone and rest. To all He was doing on earth is a normal physical response; same as you and I. But He wasn’t debilitated, unhealthy, broken and weak; not until He allowed Himself to be crucified for the sin of the world on the cross. But I digress; we are talking about, “making ends meet.”
Jesus’ disciples experienced hunger but were not destitute. In Matthew 12, His disciples were walking through the grain fields and were hungry. So they plucked heads of grain to eat. Were they without food? No. They were gleaning from the grain fields as which was totally normal thing in that day. Farmers were commanded by God to not harvest the outside of the field so that those n need could eat. Jesus goes on to answer the Pharisees and told of when David was running from Saul, that he and his men were hungry they entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was ready to be replaced on the table. In both instances God provided.
Jesus fed multitudes of people
Or how about when Jesus multiplied food and wine for hundreds to thousands of people out of thin air — several times! At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry he performed a miracle of turning water into wine (John 2:1-12) when a wedding ran out that Jesus, His mother, and disciples were invited to. Jesus fed which equated to five thousand men including many more women and children at once using five barley loaves and two small fish (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). This easily could have been a total of 25,000 people! Later on Jesus Christ multiplied seven loaves and a few small fish to feed four thousand men and their families (Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-10). Or the time He wanted to reveal Himself and get Simon’s attention by causing fish to fill the fishermen’s boat (Luke 5:4-11) and they left their father to follow Jesus.
It’s not that Jesus and the disciples didn’t have money. They had plenty. They had a money box that cared for their needs as well in which Judas was in charge of (John 13:29). This was made up of donations I’m sure, but also could have been funds that they also worked for while on the road (even though it is not clear).
Jesus provided money to pay the temple tax
When it comes to non-food provisions, one of the most interesting verses in the Gospels is Matthew 17:24-27. The collectors of the temple tax came to Capernaum and found Peter outside the place where Jesus and him were staying. They could have paid the tax in Jerusalem during the Passover, but Jesus wanting to use it as a teaching moment, had Peter pay the tax by casting a single line into the lake and pulling it out of a fishes’ mouth. Not only that, Jesus was not legally required to pay the tax because He was a Rabbi and the Son of God (it was legally Jesus’ house as well). But not to offend and leave Peter hanging, He paid it for both of them through miraculous provision, showing great humility.
God promises provision to those who follow Him
As I said earlier, Jesus didn’t struggle, for in struggling invokes feeling of worry. Many places God shows provision to those who follow Him. In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus teaches the multitude during the Sermon on the Mount, not to worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will drink, about your body, and what you will wear. These are basic physical human needs. He goes on to tell the people that their Heavenly Father cares for the plants, animals, and all of creation, so why would He not care for them, who are of more value? He separates this teaching by three commands: Don’t worry (vs 25-27), Stop worrying (vs 28-30), And don’t start worrying (vs 31-34). So, would Jesus, the Son of God, worry about and struggle to make ends meet? NO! This would clearly go against what He taught.
Old Testament examples
But it’s not just in the New Testament and Gospels that we see God’s provision. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s provision and promises to those who follow Him and are called His children. The most significant is Psalms 37; it talks about the heritage of the righteous along with the calamity of the wicked. Throughout this Psalm, the righteous would receive blessing and provision, while the wicked would not. Two key verses are:
I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed.Psalm 37:25-26 NKJV
God fed a prophet night and day by using ravens (1 Kings 17:1-7), caused a poor woman’s bin of flour and jar of oil not to run out (1 Kings 17:8-16) and then raised her son from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-24). All three things happening in the same chapter!
God promises provision to those who put their trust and faith in God and follow Jesus. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and cast out demons. He taught the people and served them in so many ways before sacrificing Himself on a cross to save us from our debt of sin so that we would be reunited and reconciled with the Father.
As an American human being, do you experience hunger and thirst? Yes, we do. Do we as humans struggle to make ends meet? Yes, we do. How often? For some, daily; others, weekly or monthly. But here is the thing: Jesus was not only 100% man, but also at the very same time, 100% God. He does not compare to us. He is different from us. He was sinless, we are sinners. He was perfect, we are flawed. Without this knowledge, this video does not make sense in light of the scriptures.
Jesus Christ is God and created the universe with only His Word (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-4; Colossians 1:15-17). He is in need of nothing. To bring Him down to our level not only degrades Him from Savior and Lord; but elevates us, that we can be like Him or that we are equal. We are not. It is the same lie told to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “…you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
I hope that this article encourages you to seek the Lord, read His Word correctly and in context, and live it out for Him. More discerning other of He Gets Us videos to come. I also encourage you to sign up on the website to receive email updates on when articles are published, news, and more. This way you never realize you may be behind, or miss something.
All good points, Frank. Jesus came to save sinners, not to level the socio-economic playing field.
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