Reflection: Nazareth, the town that Jesus grew up in, had very little to commend it. One of Jesus’ disciples even said: ‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ (John 1:46)
Some atheists are bold enough to suggest the town didn’t even exist! So what do we know about it?
Jews, who had come north from Bethlehem after the Maccabees expelled the Seleucid rulers, developed the town of Nazareth. (The Seleucids had tried to force the Jews to adopt Greek culture and gods.)
Nazareth had five satellite hamlets within its boundaries, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, lived in one of them. This hamlet has since become the modern site of Nazareth. The original town of Nazareth was 2,500 meters south-west, and is now known as Tel Yafia. (The Romans probably wiped out the original town in 69AD.)
Proof of Nazareth’s existence came when a tablet was found in Caesarea Maritima, which listed Nazareth as a place priests were rostered to go to in order to lead worship.
Why do I tell you all this?
Because God chooses to dwell with the least, the last, and the most insignificant. He chooses you.
Prayer: Dear Lord,
You are wonderful. You choose to dwell with those who are steadfast, and who continue to have a soft heart toward you.
I simply ask that I be one of them.