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Nazareth Series

Welcome to our latest trek as we visit Nazareth. Today it is a bustling city in northern Israel. Back in Jesus’ day, it was a poor, insignificant hamlet with a small population – famously derided by Nathanael, who questioned: ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ (John 1.46, ESV). Yet this was the hometown of Jesus, the backwater place where he grew up and learnt the family business. In this trek, Andrew Ollerton takes us to the synagogue where Jesus claimed to be the long-awaited Messiah and to the cliff edge where he almost met an early death. We also visit Mount Tabor where Jesus met with Moses and Elijah in the miraculous transfiguration event. Can anything good come from Nazareth? Yes, it certainly can!

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Jesus transfigured | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series – 05)

Jesus transfigured | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series – 05

Mount Tabor is only 600 metres high, but is a significant biblical site. The Old Testament book of Judges records this location as the place where Deborah led God’s army to defeat Israel's enemies in a famous battle. It is also the place where Jesus was transfigured. His clothes shone white as he radiated the glory of God and he met with Moses and Elijah who represented the Law and the Prophets. This significant event sets up Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem to face his sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus nearly thrown off a cliff | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series – 04)

Jesus nearly thrown off a cliff | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series – 04

Here at this cliff, Jesus nearly met his death. Having upset the local community in the synagogue by announcing himself to be the Messiah who would fulfil the ancient prophecies in Isaiah, events turned chaotic. The crowd became angry and drove him out of the town to the cliff edge in order to kill him, but the Scriptures tell us that he mysteriously passed through them and made his escape. This was not his time; that would come later in Jerusalem when he would choose the way of the cross.
Jesus teaches in the synagogue | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series - 03)

Jesus teaches in the synagogue | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series - 03

This replica synagogue in Nazareth represents the incredible moment when Jesus, the local carpenter, announced himself to be the Messiah. As was the custom, the community would gather at the synagogue on a Friday evening and the scrolls would be read aloud. Jesus read from the Isaiah scroll and caused uproar as he presented himself as the one who would fulfil these ancient prophecies, bringing freedom to captives and peace to the oppressed.
The birth of Jesus foretold | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series - 02)

The birth of Jesus foretold | Bible Trek – Nazareth Series - 02

The Church or Basilica of the Annunciation represents the location where we think the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary to announce that she would become pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Mary, likely to have been only 14–16 years old at the time, is renowned for her profound act of submission to God. She agrees to carry the Son of God in her womb, despite the enormous potential for rejection by her community and by Joseph (to whom she was engaged), not to mention the undoubted risk to her own life.
Introducing Nazareth | Bible Trek - Nazareth Series – 01)

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.

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