Names of God: The Nazarene

The Nazarene
by Breanna Randall


“…and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’”
Matthew 2:23

The Bible doesn’t have much to say about Nazareth. Historians make little or no mention of it. Apart from the prophecy that Christ would come from Nazareth, and Philip’s contemptuous reference to the town (John 1:46), we know scarcely a thing about the place.

So why does God make mention of it? It may be that this was the whole point. To say, “He will be called a Nazarene” is perhaps the prophet’s means of informing those in waiting that Christ’s coming would not seem extraordinary; he was to come from a place that would seem insignificant, not elite, too common to be notable.

Why should it matter that Jesus was a Nazarene? It is a cue to God’s character, a reminder to pay attention, because our maker doesn’t work with all the fanfare and shows of power we might expect. He is a God who emerges from and makes his dwelling within the insignificant forgotten places, in broken hearts and places of intellectual, financial, and relational impoverishment. He is at work in the places and people we revile.

No place on this earth was worthy of Jesus. And he chose to become our Nazarene, to make it unmistakable that he will come to any place—none too dark—for he came to ransom captives from every nation, city, and forgettable town.

-Breanna Randall


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