Jesus of Nazareth

Title: Jesus of Nazareth
Category: Devotion
Subject: Jesus
Jesus Of Nazareth

Richard Whately (1787-1863), a renowned English logician and theologian wrote a pamphlet titled Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Buonaparte available online from Herein, Whately masterfully demonstrates that David Hume (1711-1776) was equally absurd to disprove the existence of Jesus Christ in his essay titled Historic Doubts Relative to Jesus of Nazareth.

By the way, Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), who was still alive when Whately wrote his pamphlet in 1819 refuting Hume’s essay, stated, “I know men and I tell you, Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded his empire upon love; and at this hour, millions would die for him.”

We have little biblical record of Jesus’ rearing in Nazareth, in fact, Bible scholars refer to this time in our Lord’s earthly life as “the silent years in Nazareth”. In Luke 4:16a we read, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. . .” Although Jesus was born in Bethlehem and taken to live in Egypt until the death of Herod, Mary and Joseph reared Him in Nazareth. We read in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom (mentally) and stature (physically), and in favor with God (spiritually) and men (socially).”

Luke records Jesus’ return to Nazareth, “So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. . .” (Luke 4:16a)

Jesus began His earthly ministry at the age of 30, but throughout His earthly life, Jesus was aware of His heavenly mission. For example, we find Him in the Temple at the age of twelve asking, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)

About 19 years later, Jesus stands up in the synagogue on the Sabbath day to read the Scriptures from Isaiah 61:1,2a. Although Jesus likely began His ministry a year earlier, here we see the introduction to His earthly ministry and His heavenly mission.

Dr. A. B. Bruce (1831-1899) refers to this passage as “Luke’s ‘frontispiece’ to all our Lord’s preaching.” Dr. Bruce explains, “The frontispiece in a book is often taken from an advanced page, from which certain words are quoted to illustrate the picture, the number of the page from which the quotation is made being added for the guidance of the reader.”

Luke writes, “He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD’” (Luke 4:16b-19). This is our Lord’s primary message! Luke continues, “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:20-21).

We read about Jesus’ pristine morals in Luke 4:16b, 18-19, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me. . . because He has anointed Me. . . He has sent Me.”

In Luke 4:22a we read, “So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. . .” The people of Nazareth marveled at His princely manner.

Their marveling was due to what we might call “the Nazareth Syndrome” also known as “Nobody has any faith in the hometown kid.” In a similar way Nathanael asked, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)

We read about Jesus’ response from Nazareth in Luke 4:22 and following, “So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”

Their amazement soon turned to anger as we read in Luke 4:23-27, “He said to them, ‘You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ Then He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’”

Luke continues, “So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

Jesus of Nazareth is the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 10:36, 38; 14:8-11; 1 John 4:9). He is uniquely fully God and fully man. The Apostle Paul explains about “God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all” (1Timothy 2:3b-6a). The central figure of history is Jesus of Nazareth!

By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor
First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice
Available on and (251) 626-6210 /
©December 27, 2008 All Rights Reserved