October 29: A City on a Hill

If you drive beside the city of Nazareth, God will most likely echo this verse through your mind too. We couldn't believe the vivid imagery of this verse in comparison to Nazareth. Unless God literally lifts the hill and scatters it among the desert, there's no way to miss this city on a hill. We're not sure that this is the exact city Jesus was referencing to... but we wouldn't be surprised if it was. 

We didn't spend much time in Nazareth but we did stop for a bite at the McDonald's. They were actually serving their regular menu, unlike the rest of the restaurants that honor Shabbat. 

Still, we wanted to share some pretty epic stepping stones that Jesus followed through Nazareth. Let's rewind to the Gospels. 

In Luke 2:1-7, Joseph and Mary leave the town of Nazareth on a journey to Bethlehem because Caesar Augustus required that all inhabitants of Rome must register for the purpose of taxation. The wise men gathered at the site of the new King. Hearing this, Kind Herod got angry and sought out to kill Jesus. Joseph and the fam escaped to Egypt and set up camp until King Herod died. The coast was clear and the fam trekked back to the city of Nazareth. 

"And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. (Luke 2:39-40)"

Don't you love that? Even Joseph, Mary and Jesus had to be patient, waiting for God's will to play into action - only then could they continue on their cherished destination.

Nazareth was also the location where John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. It sounds so simple until you read Mark 1:10-11...

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased."

Did you notice that all three persons of the Godhead - the Spirit, the Father, and the Son - are involved here? Mark must have left out the part where John the Baptist and/or anyone else present collapsed to their knees in absolute and pure worship of what just happened before his eyes. Can you imagine?

Immediately, Jesus is driven by the Spirit straight into the wilderness. No more Nazareth for now.