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The Departure From Nazareth

Jesus Christ lived in Nazareth (located in the hills on the north side of "the valley of Armageddon"; see the map in this study) for about 28 years, from the time described in the verses quoted below, to the beginning of His ministry.

"2:19 But when Herod [i.e. "Herod the great" see The Herods] was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, 2:20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.

2:21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 2:22 But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judaea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee: 2:23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene." (Matthew 2:19-23 KJV)

The Messiah grew into adulthood in Nazareth because of death threats from people in the south, down in Judea. He eventually left Nazareth, up in Galilee, also because of death threats - from the people of Nazareth themselves. Jesus' famous "4:24 And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country" (Luke 4:24 KJV) was spoke directly to the people of Nazareth.

They "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"

The greatest irony of His rejection in Nazareth is that it happened when His ministry had begun; they accepted Him when He was a "nobody," but hated Him when He became a Prophet of God's Truth (see Jesus Of Nazareth, Prophet Of God) as proclaimed by John the Baptist. By its very purpose (i.e. to "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" - see verses below), John's ministry reached its peak in popularity just as the ministry of the Christ was to begin (see The Prophet Of The Judean Wilderness).


"3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar [there were two Caesars during Jesus' lifetime; Caesar Augustus during the first half, Tiberius Caesar during the second half], Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee [i.e. Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, again see The Herods], and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 3:2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3:3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying,

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 3:5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 3:6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God." (Luke 3:1-6 KJV)

The baptism of Christ by John the prophet marked the beginning of His ministry:

"3:21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized [see Baptism; also Baptism Of Fire], and praying, the heaven was opened, 3:22 And The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him [see Christian Doves], and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age [the RSV more clearly and accurately translates this verse as "Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age]" (Luke 3:21-23 KJV)

Next came the "temptation of Christ" by Satan:

"4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

4:3 And the devil [see What Makes Satan A Devil?] said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God [see Christ, The Bread of Life].

4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 4:6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it [see Who Still Rules The World Today?; also Why Does God Allow Evil?]. 4:7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

4:9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple [see The Pinnacle], and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 4:10 For it is written,

He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: 4:11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

4:12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season." (Luke 4:1-13 KJV)

Jesus then returned home to Nazareth, triumphant over Satan, and beginning His ministry. Unfortunately, for them, the people of Nazareth not only rejected the Messiah, they attempted to kill Him because of the Truth that He spoke. Jesus left and thereafter lived in Capernaum, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee (see map).

"4:14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

4:16 And 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 [see Aliyya and Haftara]. 4:17 And 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,

4:18 The 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, 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

4:20 And 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. 4:21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

4:22 And 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?

4:23 And 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.

4:24 And he said, Verily, I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 4:25 But 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; 4:26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.4:27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

4:28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 4:29 And 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. 4:30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way, 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days." (Luke 4:14-31 KJV)

Fact Finder: The Messiah's "No prophet is accepted in his own country" (Luke 4:24 KJV) was directed to the people of Nazareth, but the statement did mean His entire country (i.e. nation). Why were they, and why do most of them remain, blind to the reality that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah?
See Why Can't 'The Chosen People' See?

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