Living in Nazareth

Jesus went to Nazareth, his hometown. He did some teaching there. The residents marveled at his knowledge but they rejected him – “They took offence at Him.” Jesus’ observation was, “Only in his hometown and his own house is a prophet without honor.” Matt.13:27

In Nazareth He was just one of the local boys that had grown up there. They knew his parents and they knew him, but they didn’t know Him. It seems it was familiarity that lay behind their unbelief. Complacency was involved.

It is possible for us to live in Nazareth today and miss knowing Him in the truest sense. One can know much about Jesus without knowing him at all. The Nazarenes were too close. Their advantage became a disadvantage. It is great to grow up in a Christian home but it can be very dangerous.

When Jesus was on earth, the people we would expect to know him best would be the Pharisees, Sadducees and the people of Nazareth. Peter, John, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus all knew Him best. A sign in a country doctor’s office read, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

How well do we know him? Do we know him in a conscious, compelling and challenging way? Or are we residents of Nazareth, ignorant of his real person and power?

Jesus said, “This people honoreth me with their lips but their hearts are far from me.” Matt.15:8

– David Johnson