Sunday, February 1, 2015
How was your hometown?
It is February 1 already. Where did the month of January go? Next Sunday, I promise to move onto new inspiration on my Sunday blog. I just wanted to share one last excerpt from "The Early Life of Jesus in 40 Days".
Last summer I started walking the streets of my town and sharing them here. I think that every town and city has something good going for it.
As well as a few places to avoid.
And some animals to avoid.
But apparently the town where Jesus was raised had very few positive attributes.
On arrival, he settled in the village of Nazareth. This move was a fulfillment of the prophetic words, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23)
A verse from the book of John doesn’t make it sound as if Nazareth was a respected city.
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. (John 1:46 NLT)
What do we know about the city of Nazareth at the time of Jesus? Nazareth, in the province of Galilee, was north of Jerusalem and near the city of Cana. There were rocky precipices around the city, from which a person could not be thrown and survive. In fact, in Luke 4:29, we’re told a crowd, disagreeing with Jesus’ teaching, tried throwing Him from one such cliff. The city was generally known for having a lack of culture, residents with an unpolished dialect, and a degree of moral negligence.
There is no mention of Nazareth in the Old Testament, so where does the prophecy that Jesus would be a Nazarene or a resident of Nazareth come from? Because the town and its people were so looked down upon, the terms “Nazarene” and “despised” were considered synonymous. Likewise, in several places in the Old Testament, Jesus is referred to as one who would be despised (Isaiah 53:3, Psalm 22:6).
What kind of town do you come from? Did it have tree-lined streets, beds of blooming flowers on every corner, and several whitewashed churches? Or was it filled with empty brick buildings, polluted air, and more than its fair share of taverns and liquor stores? How much of your current life was influenced by your childhood hometown?