Ministry and rejection at Nazareth
|16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. [*] 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? 23And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. 24And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. 30But he passing through the midst of them went his way, 31aThen he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee,
The bustling city which seems to swarm like a beehive of activity around the Basilica of the Annunciation does not seem to fit our mental image of the insignificant village in which Jesus grew up.
One look from those hillsides of the Nazareth Ridge will erase a lifetime’s worth of impressions from sermons about the isolation of Nazareth. Here you have a panoramic view of the northeastern part of the Jezreel Valley. These hillsides witnessed the battles of Deborah and Barak against Sisera and the Canaanites from Hazor (Judges 4 5), Elijah’s raising of the widow’s son from the dead at Shunem (2 Kings 4:32-35), and Jesus’ similar raising of the widow’s son at Nain (Luke 7:11-15).
Nazareth is next to, but not directly on, the most important road through Israel. This is hardly the “out of the way” place that many people expect to see. In Jesus’ day, Nazareth was a village nestled in the “bowl” created by the higher hills surrounding it. The village could never sustain a large population, as it had only one good spring and the soil was not very fertile. The spring trickles from a limestone crypt; it would have been here that Mary drew water for her family.
Video 03: Jesus and His Family (Nazareth Precipice)
Video 05: Jesus as a Young Man (Nazareth Precipice)
Video 09: Phase 2 Chronology
Video 19: Four Transitions (Capernaum)