Out of nothing comes our salvation!
From Nazareth, a town that has little status in the land of Israel, comes an announcement that this young girl would become the mother of the Messiah. (Lk 1: 26 ff).
Why would God choose this girl, who lived in an area that only produced no accounts, and brings forth a child from where Nathaneal states; “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (Jn. 1: 46).
The prophets of Israel bear witness to God, who can bring life out of nothingness, turn the wilderness into a garden, and raise an entire people from the tomb The old saying,”We cannot put God in a box.” We cannot trap God’s blessings to do our bidding.
Judeans looked down on Galilee for its greater racial and religious mixing, where Jews lived right next to pagans. Galileans were considered less sophisticated and corrupted by Gentile influence. Another reason among many where the Messiah would eventually live his early years with Mary and Joseph.
A place of ill-repute because of the Roman garrison had troops living there and the anti-Jewish philosophies that appeared to be around. Yet, from among thorns and thistles we can always find good roots peeking through.
After Joseph heard that Herod’s son Archelaus was in charge of Judea he took Mary and Jesus and returned to Nazareth. Thus Jesus would be known as a Nazorean.
Jesus finds the first rejection as he preaches in the Synagogue on the sabbath day, and after reading from Isaiah rolled up the scroll saying, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.” The crowd said, isn't this the son of Joseph? Ultimately Jesus did not do any more in Nazareth; He said, “No prophet is accepted in his own native place.” (Lk 4: 23).
There seems to be scourge attached to Nazareth throughout his ministry. From Mark’s reflection on this phrase Jesus apart from curing a few sick by laying hands upon them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. (Mk 6: 5 - 6).
As the Passion of Christ was upon them, although he had performed so many signs in their presence they did not believe in him, in order that the words of Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our preaching, to whom has the might of the Lord been revealed? For this reason they could not believe, because again Isaiah said: “He blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, so that they might not see with their eyes and understand with their heart and be converted, and I would heal them.” Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him. Nevertheless many, even among the authorities, believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they did not acknowledge it openly in order not to be expelled from the synagogue. For they preferred human praise to the glory of God. (Jn. 12: 37 - 43).
“My kingdom does not belong to this world . If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.” (Jn. 18: 36). Of course, the kingdom of Jesus came from his human beginnings of Nazareth, a town now with meaning.
Ralph B. Hathaway