“He Shall Be Called a Nazarene”

In Matthew 2:23, Jesus was simply called “a Nazarene” – a resident of Nazareth.

This means that as a boy, Jesus undoubtedly developed good leg-muscles, for the town of Nazareth sat on a fairly-steep hillside, and any little trip required going up and down the slopes.  His arms were rock-solid, too, for the only water supply was a spring at the bottom of the hill, and one of His chores was certainly to haul water from the spring.

It was this spring, in fact, that kept Nazareth from becoming a large city.  There were no other reliable sources of water, so the entire town depended on this one spring.  Today it’s called “Mary’s Well,” and it still provides water for Nazareth.  According to old traditions, it was by this spring that Gabriel gave Mary the news that would change her world, and ours.

How odd that God would choose Nazareth for our Lord’s upbringing.  From an obscure village came the central figure of history.  From small-town Israel came the Savior of the masses.

Don’t ever feel limited by your background.  Perhaps you were born with few advantages.  Maybe in a small town.  Maybe in a dysfunctional home.  Maybe with an inborn difficulty.  Maybe you were ridiculed, abused, or injured in earlier years.  Can any good come out of that?  Jesus can make it so.  Sometimes our disadvantages and weaknesses become the very things God uses to bless us and to make us a blessing to others.

–Adapted from He Shall Be Called.  This book is out of print, but copies in hardback and paperback are still available here.