If God intended to introduce Himself to the world by His Son, would He dispatch Him to our world by means of poverty and insignificance? If it was the desire of men, to create a legend that would beguile the world into believing that it was true, would they use a primary character like Jesus of Nazareth?
Before Jesus was born, there was a well-known scandal that Mary, who was betrothed to Joseph, had an affair with another man. The by-product of this adulterous relationship was Jesus. Mary had claimed that the child she was carrying was conceived by the Holy Spirit, not by any man. One variation of this story included a Roman soldier by the name of Pantera as the true father of Jesus.
Joseph and Mary were poor and nearly destitute when Jesus came into the world. He grew up in the town of Nazareth, a place despised by many people in Israel. From about the age of twelve, Jesus began to assert that He was the Son of God. He insulted and defied many of the cultural and religious laws and traditions of the elders of Israel. The men that followed Jesus were some of the most insignificant and despised individuals that were imaginable during that time. Throughout His entire ministry, Jesus had no home, and only the most basic of clothing and food. He achieved no acceptance whatsoever by the leaders of Israel, and He was rejected as the promised Messiah.
These are a few of the reasons that so few people received Jesus as the Messiah, or chose to follow Him. His birth, His manner of life, His background and the scandal attached to His name, were offensive to many people.
A Poor King
Here, the prophet Isaiah portrays the Messiah as coming from an unlikely source: a poor family from Bethlehem and Nazareth to a nation formerly thought of as “dry ground” and “unfruitful.”
Isaiah 53:2a For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Luke 2:4-7 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Myth or Reality?
The idea that the King of kings would be born to a poor family in the most unlikely of towns; to a nation which had only a distant memory of glory, is unthinkable. Yet, these were the circumstances which God chose to announce the birth of His Son. The Messiah; coming as a root out of dry ground, is descriptive of the time in which Jesus came into the world. The former glory of David’s kingdom of princes and kings was now reduced to dry ground and beggars. Jesus comes from the root of David’s kingdom, but that glorious kingdom had long-since faded.
Many Bible critics claim that the story of Jesus Christ is a contrived myth made up by men in the first century. What story teller who desired to make his account popular, would choose such an undesirable character as Jesus?
Any first century reader who learned that Jesus was from Nazareth, a town hated and despised for their Roman occupation, would immediately be put off from going any further. Jesus was born into a destitute family by supposed illegitimate circumstances and lived His early life in the scandal of those conditions. Any person or group who were seeking to create a new religion or group of followers—would not choose the narrative of Jesus life presented by the four gospels.
This seems to be the very reason that God chose for His Son to come into the world from just such a scandalous background. Any person of similar circumstances who would hear Jesus’ story, would immediately feel an affinity towards Him. Jesus’ poverty, questionable parentage, and early difficulties, would attract even the most destitute and despised person. No one should ever feel like they are too low in their situation of life to reach Jesus. God brought His Son into the world under some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable. He did this so that even the lowliest person might reach Him and find the forgiveness of their sins.
Many of the early followers of Jesus, including the Apostles, were men despised and rejected by the world. It was the purpose of God to choose those who are poor and despised, to bring about the arrival of His Son.
What if God, wanting to show the world that He was accessible to even the most destitute and forgotten person, determined these conditions, for the express purpose of making the Savior of the world accessible to even the worst of those who dwell on the earth.
If Jesus was born into lavish luxury, the poor of this world would not likely be comfortable coming to Him. For the past five years I have lived on a remote island in the Philippines, seeking to help the desperately poor and bring them the good new of Jesus Christ. One of the problems that we have experience here is the reluctance of the people to feel comfortable with us. In their mind, we are from America and are rich. They are born in the Philippines and are extremely poor. Because it is very hard for them to relate to us, becoming close to these people and having an opportunity to reach their hearts, has take many years of patience and love. Though Jesus is the richest person in the universe, He chose to come to earth in poverty, so that the poor, the destitute, the lost, the broken, and the desperate, could approach Him. Jesus wants to be accessible to every person, at all times.
The problem with the manner in which Jesus arrived on earth, is that a majority of the world is on the opposite course in their life. Most people are trying to advance themselves, become rich, prosperous, famous, and powerful. Jesus did exactly the opposite. He came in humility and poverty. This makes Him extremely unattractive to many people. Only those who have a humble heart and are sincerely seeking God can find Him through Jesus Christ.
An unlikely introduction
Isaiah the Prophet predicts that the Messiah will not come in the manner that most men expect Him. He shall arrive in humility, poverty, lowliness, and quietness.
Jesus is available to anyone, at any time, in all places. There is no person who is so low in his estate of life that Jesus cannot reach down and lift that person up. Jesus intended that His life as the Savior of all people would be accessible to anyone who could hear and respond.
Though the nation of Israel was considered, abandoned by the world and forsaken by God; a root out of dry ground, at just the right time, came to lift the nation out of her alienation and keep God’s promise. At the precise moment when the prophecies were ready to be fulfilled, God brought forth His Son and accomplishing what He promised.
 John 1:46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”