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Day # 1 Nazareth:

Let’s talk about Jesus’ home……………….

Jesus spent his boyhood years in Nazareth before beginning his ministry when he was about 30. After moving his home to Capernaum, Jesus returned to teach in the synagogue of Nazareth twice more but was rejected both times. On one occasion the townspeople were so outraged at Jesus that they tried to throw him off a cliff to his death.

Jesus grew up in Nazareth, which was a very small village near the Plain of Esdralon in Galilee. Although it is not mentioned in the Old Testament, there have been excavations revealing settlements in the area dating back to the Bronze Age, and tombs dating from the iron age to the Hasmonean period. The Biblical narrative reveals that Joseph and Mary lived here after their betrothal, in the announcement of Jesus’ birth came to Mary here in Nazareth (Lk 1:26). Joseph made his living here as a carpenter possibly because it was near Sepphoris, a Hellenistic city being built by Herod Antipas.

Jesus left here at age 30 to be baptized by John (Mk 1:9), and returned to Nazareth before beginning his public ministry (Matt 4:13) and was violently rejected by the people of His town, and thus He moved on to Capernaum (Lk 4:16-30). There is no mention of Him ever returning back to His home town of Nazareth, but he was always identified with it (Matt 21:11), having been called a "Nazarene" which comes from the Hebrew root meaning "branch", in accordance with the promises made to David that King Messiah would be a descendant (branch) from the royal line of King David.

Nazareth was right on the Roman Road to Jerusalem and therefore contact with the whole known world could be made from this small village. In Jesus’ time there is a synagogue located there (Luke 4:16), and Jews were living there after the destruction of the second Temple. Eusebius makes mention of a small village called Nazareth in the 4th century A.D. Its first church was built there during the Time of the Emperor Constantine.

"Why is Jesus often referred to as Jesus of Nazareth?"
Jesus was referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” for several reasons. For one thing, in Bible times people were often identified by their native area or place of residence. The man who carried Jesus’ cross when He was no longer able to, for example, was called Simon of Cyrene, noting his name and his place of residence (Luke 23:26). This distinguishes him from all other Simons and from all other residents of Cyrene who were not named Simon. Although Bethlehem was the place of Jesus’ birth, Nazareth was the place where Jesus had lived until He began His public ministry, and therefore He is said to be “of Nazareth.”

Matthew 2:23 tells us that Joseph settled his family in Nazareth—after returning from Egypt where he had fled to protect Jesus from Herod—in order to fulfill “what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’” The words here are not found in any of the books of the Old Testament, and there has been much difficulty in ascertaining the meaning of this passage. Most commentators agree that the prophecies respecting the coming Messiah were that He was to be of humble origin and would be despised and rejected (Isaiah 53; Psalm 22) and that the phrase “he shall be called” means the same as “He shall be.” When Matthew says, therefore, that the prophecies were “fulfilled,” his meaning is that the predictions of the prophets that the Messiah would be of a low and despised condition and would be rejected, were fully accomplished in His being an inhabitant of Nazareth.
The phrase “Jesus of Nazareth” is first used in the Bible by Phillip who, after being called by Jesus to follow Him, told Nathanael, "We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph" (John 1:45). By calling Him Jesus of Nazareth, Phillip may also have been making a statement about the lowliness of His birth. The character of the people of Nazareth was such that they were despised and condemned. Nathanael’s response, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) would seem to indicate such. To come from Nazareth, therefore, or to be a Nazarene, was the same as to be despised, or to be esteemed of low birth. The Messiah who would come to save His people would be “a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness” (Isaiah 53:2). He would be “despised and rejected of men” from whom men hid their faces and “esteemed him not” ((Isaiah 53:3).
Jesus of Nazareth was born and grew up in humble circumstances, but His impact on the world has been greater than anyone ever born before or since. He came to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), a feat that could be accomplished by none other than God incarnate.

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