The Years At Nazareth (Luke 4:16)

8 04 2008

I’ve always been curious about the 30 “silent years” of Jesus while He lived in Nazareth. I wonder what it would be like to be neighbors with the holy family? What would it be like to study the Scriptures with Jesus in the synagogue? Did He ever take a nail in Joseph’s carpenter shop, roll it between His thumb and fingers, and think. What kind of businessman was He when He took over the family business and became “The Carpenter” of Nazareth (Mark 6:3)? What would it be like to work for Him? What would it be like to own a piece of furniture that Jesus made? How did He react when He hit his thumb instead of the nail? Although I will never find the answers to these questions this side of Heaven, I did a study of the history, geography, and Scripture relating to Nazareth. I will take 2 or 3 posts to uncover my discoveries.Mary and Joseph were from Nazareth. This is where the angel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the Messiah. This is where Joseph would take Mary and Jesus after returning from Egypt, as he fled from the murderous Herod. This is where Jesus would weekly attend the Synagogue and grow in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). How would you like to be His Sabbath-school teacher?Why Nazareth? There is no Old Testament prophecy that Jesus would grow up there. It is not even mentioned in the Old Testament. In spite of its insignificance, Jesus was identified with that town over 2 dozen times in the New Testament. The early church was called, ‘the sect of the Nazarenes” in Acts 24:5. Nazareth was where Jesus preached His first sermon after being baptized by John the Baptist, yet His claim of being the Messiah was not accepted. In fact, the residents of Nazareth wanted to throw Him over a cliff after that first sermon (Luke 4:20). This is why He chose Capernaum for His base of operations, the town of Peter and Andrew.Why Nazareth? It is an insignificant country town not even mentioned in the works of the contemporary historian Josephus. It was within the inheritance of the Tribe of Zebulun, not quite halfway between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean. It lies in what was known as “Lower Galilee”. Nazareth is situated on a hill 1200 feet above sea level. No major trade routes passed through it but you could overlook them from the same cliff that they wanted to throw Jesus off. It is 70 miles form Jerusalem. Directly south of Nazareth is the Plain of Esdraelon that many know as Megiddo, the location of the battle of Armageddon.

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