Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
We were in Nazareth today. Not really in, but overlooking the city. I did some research before I came about the city that was Jesus' hometown as a boy. Here's what I discovered:
1. There were probably only about 120 or 150 people living there, and probably about 20 homes. Everybody there knew everything about everybody else. It was a small town.
2. The town was located in the base of the basin and was considered one of the most beautiful places in all of Galilee. From the bottom of the basin, the town was serene and isolated.
3. From the top of the hill above the town, you could see 30 miles in several directions. From there, you could see the plain of Megiddo (or Armageddon), Mount Carmel, twenty battlefields–sites of both victories like those of Barak and Gideon, and defeats like those of kings Saul and Josiah.
All that's great, but what does that teach us about Jesus. First, He was raised in a typical Jewish family and a large extended family. Everyone in town knew His business.
Second, it must have been a "normal" Jewish childhood. He learned a skill from His father Joseph and He learned about His heavenly father from Joseph as well. He visited Jerusalem for feasts and times of worship. He worshipped weekly at the temple. It was a typical Jewish childhood.
Third, he experienced human relationships in Nazareth - both joys, and frustrations, and even humiliations.
How can we know this? Read Mark 6:1-4. Jesus' childhood was so normal that the people in his hometown that knew Him the best couldn't understand how He had learned so much about God. They knew Him only as the boy who belonged to Jospeh and Mary. And, they had never forgotten about His background. Otherwise, they would never have described Him as the son of Mary. They knew only His humanity and couldn't accept His divinity.
From Nazareth, Jesus left and went to the Judean desert to begin His ministry. Nazareth was the place of preparation, or growth, of beginning.
Today, Nazareth is a huge sprawling city with well over 100,000 residents. It's shared by Christians, Jews, and Muslims. How many still cannot recognize Jesus as who He is?