Advent 2 (2012)–Can Any Good Thing Come Out of Nazareth?

Luke 1:26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

It’s a big announcement of an event anticipated since the Garden of Eden, so God sends an angel (Gabriel—one of the angels mentioned in the Old Testament and New Testament as a herald) to Nazareth—an obscure little town in the middle of nowhere.   A humble rural place.

Nazareth.   It’s never even mentioned in the Old Testament but by the time of the New Testament, it was considered a no-good kind of place, although it’s not clear why.

And Nathanael said to him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46 NAS)

You can almost hear the disdain.  Nazareth’s reputation must have been common knowledge.  Was it a hick town, so small and insignificant that it wasn’t worth noting?  Or was it a place known for its lack of faith?  Scholars suggest both.  I suppose every town is known for something: Las Vegas has a reputation as Sin City–a place where your hidden activities stay secret, and Newark evokes images of smokestacks, industrial pollution, and generally being the armpit of the nation.

Yet, Nazareth was Mary’s hometown.  It became Jesus’ too.  After Joseph and Mary escape to Egypt to preserve Jesus’ life, Scripture tells us:

Matthew 2:19 After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt 20 and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” 21 So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, 23 and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”

Nazareth was a no-good kind of place in the middle of nowhere.  But a young girl who loved the Lord lived there and she would be the mother of Jesus.  Because of Jesus, we can say “Yes, someone good and perfect  and wonderful came out of Nazareth.  He is our Savior.”

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on December 2, 2012

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