Nazareth yesterday, today and tomorrow

Jesus of Nazareth

There is little direct mention of Nazareth in the Gospels. We can only guess that it was not an important place. Philip told Nathaniel, "We have found the One whom the prophets spoke about." Nathaniel with irony answered; "Nazareth, can any good come from that place?" In the idea of the people, the Messiah would have to come from a more important place.

What interests us is that it is in this village that Jesus lived for 3O years - it is this context which influenced his life, "he will be called a Nazarene" Mt.2:23 Jesus chose the lowly so that all would feel at ease with him. Phil.2:6-7 When Jesus preaches and reveals to us the gospel message telling us what the Kingdom of God is about, it is from this very ordinary everyday life that he takes his stories. The parables are a wonderful illustration: The attentiveness of Jesus to everyday life of Nazareth explains the divine mysteries and the coming of the kingdom of God.

Let us look at different parables:when he puts the accent on the salt of the earth, salt without flavour Lk.13:20-21 Mt.13:3, on the leaven in the dough which becomes hidden in the bread, or sowing and reaping, building a house, mending clothes, the judge and the widow Lk.l8:2, the man who comes in the middle of the night and so many other stories such as Lk.11:5-8, revealing God's mercy. We can assume that at Nazareth Jesus was a part of ordinary life, the daily routine, meeting neighbours, prayer, eating and sleeping, recognized as only the Son of Joseph the Carpenter. The revelation, in his 3 years of public life will be deeply influenced by what he saw and lived in this village of Nazareth. Littleness is the most basic, most important value in Nazareth.