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Introducing Nazareth | Bible Trek - Nazareth Series – 01

In the time of Jesus, Nazareth was a small hamlet occupied by no more than 400–500 people; it was a quiet place, with not much going for it. Yet it was here that the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to tell her she would give birth to a son. Although Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the family returned to Nazareth and Jesus grew up there learning both the Scriptures and the family business before he began his public ministry.


Quick read

John 19.17–22

In a nutshell

‘Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”’ John 19.19, ESV


Today, Nazareth is a major town in northern Israel. 2,000 years ago, it was no more than a hamlet. According to archaeologists, some of its inhabitants lived in caves, because they couldn’t afford to build houses. Even those tended to be small and simple, and if you had livestock, the animals would move in with you!

The Gospel writer Luke informs us that Jesus’ mother Mary came from Nazareth. It was there that the angel announced that she would give birth to the Son of God. And it was Nazareth where Jesus launched his ministry with a remarkable and controversial sermon.

The name crops up again, some three decades later, at his trial: the Roman governor in Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, signed the death warrant for ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’. The first letters of the Latin words that Pilate used, read I.N.R.I.: Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum. You may have seen them in old depictions of the crucifixion, fixed to the cross above Christ’s head.

Some of us feel suffocated and stuck in our hometowns, whereas others look back longingly, wishing they could be back there now. Jesus’ hometown was the butt of all jokes. 'Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?' (John 1.46) But out of a backwater town, through the man Jesus of Nazareth, a most extraordinary movement emerged. Follow him or not – his impact is undeniable.  

After three years of teaching and miracles, Jesus’ ministry came to a climax at the cross. Although he was the Son of God, he allowed soldiers to nail him to a cross. Willingly, he died for the sin of the world, to make a way for us all to come back into a right relationship with God. He humbled himself and gave up his life to save unworthy people who had no way of saving themselves. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Yes indeed! From Nazareth came the Saviour of the world, the long awaited Messiah.

Read on, to find out more about Jesus’s connection with Nazareth.

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