June 23, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Savior at Nazareth
“They returned into Galilee to their own city, Nazareth” (Luke 2:39).
The Grace that Marked Him
Nazareth! Nathaniel, an honest and sincere man, had once commented that nothing good could ever come from this village (John 1:46). Yet, the only “good” the world has ever seen chose to live there. He went down to Nazareth and a humble peasant’s home, and a carpenter’s shop became His home. We read simply that the “grace of God was upon Him.” Yet, how rich those years must have been in fruit for His Father’s heart! He grew naturally – yet very unnaturally. He took nothing from the scene in which He was found. He fit in; but He stood out. Nothing was different about His physical growth; everything was different about His moral growth!
The Growth He Manifested
His growth was normal; nothing was out of place or out of time. Aside from the moral beauty and wisdom which marked Him and could not be hid, no one would have noticed Him among a group of boys His age. He grew in every dimension in keeping with what God intended humanity to be: wisdom, physical stature, social grace, and spiritual development. He never lacked anything appropriate to His age; He always displayed the proper fruit in its season. Little wonder that Mary would continue to ponder all this in her heart. Nazareth had never seen such a boy walk its streets or inhabit its humble homes.
The Godliness He Displayed
Godliness is better understood as moving with a reverential desire to please God. God finds pleasure in obedience (1 Sam 15:22). When we read that “He went down . and was subject to them,” we cannot help but thinking of this tremendous display of grace, goodness, and godliness. The Creator subjecting Himself to the leadership of earthly parents! The Omniscient to the ignorant! The Lord of Glory to peasants! The contrasts are endless. He was superior in every way – but one. He was a child in a family and He recognized their leadership as of God. He did all this because in taking the sphere of submission in a family which God had ordained, He knew He was pleasing His Father.
Nazareth, that locale devoid of any goodness or virtue, saw one grow up with every virtue and grace, displayed in its season. He went into a village of ill-repute. When He came out years later, listen to the testimony of a demon: “What have we to do with Thee, Jesus of Nazareth? . I know Who Thou art; the holy One of God!” Never had Nazareth and the Holy One been linked together in the same sentence. But Nazareth never compromised His holiness. Even foul demons of Satan’s hateful hordes had to own He was holy. He was as holy coming out of Nazareth as He was going into it.
Those quiet years He knew, at Nazareth
Saw One with purpose true; at Nazareth
Grow up in all His ways; to God the Father’s praise
Precious indeed those days, at Nazareth!