The Years At Nazareth -II

14 04 2008

Nazareth was home to Jesus for 30 years. He was the carpenter of that rural town and not respected as a prophet. Nazareth is a land of moderate climate, sufficient rainfall, and fertile soil. In March and April, the hills would be alive with the smell of fragrant flowers.Joseph probably learned the carpenter trade from his father, possibly in Nazareth. Jesus’ grandparents more than likely lived here. Joseph and Mary had at least 6 other children during Jesus’ time at home. Matthew 13:15 names 4 brothers and sisters (plural), so there were at least two. One of these half-brothers would eventually lead the church at Jerusalem and wrote the New Testament Book of James. Another half-brother wrote of Jude. Joseph was a man of integrity and must have worked hard to support such a large family. He also taught his craft to his first born son, who would shoulder the responsibility of being the principle bread winner should he die. Because of Joseph’s absence during Jesus’ public ministry, he no doubt died between Jesus’ 12th and 30th year. This meant Jesus did the actual labor at the shop, He dwelt with customers, kept accounts, and planned how He could make His hard earned money go as far as it could.In a small Middle Eastern home with many younger brothers and sisters, there must have been very little privacy or quietness. Since He grew in “favor of God”, He must have spent many evenings or early mornings with Him in prayer. Our Lord was a hard working, self employed carpenter, attending the Synagogue weekly and walking daily with God.Politically, Lower Galilee was extremely nationalistic and uneasy about their occupation by Rome. When Jesus was about 12, there was a tax rebellion led by Judas of Galilee who objected to Rome’s tax of 20-25%. A Pharisee named Zadock joined the rebellion decrying the fact that the tax money went to support paganism and an emperor who claimed to be a god. Rome reacted with severity. They destroyed Judas’ town three miles form Nazareth, crucified 2,000, and departed the rest to Rome or Egypt as prisoners.No wonder Jesus was asked if it was lawful to pay taxes to Caesar.No wonder the “Zealots” began in Galilee.No wonder Jesus was accused at His trial of preaching against paying taxes to Caesar (Luke 23:2).

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