Daily Reading & Prayer
Matthew 2:23, "…and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what said through the prophets, that he would be called a Nazarene."
John 1:46, "Nathanael said to him, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'"
Jesus defied the world's expectations of a king. Lacking academic credentials and social status, He was born in a humble manger and deliberately settled far from royal power, growing up in Nazareth. In that era, Nazareth was dismissed as a backwater country—an improbable place for a king's upbringing. Nazareth was an uncelebrated, forgotten town, off the beaten path, even for Galilee. It was so small everyone knew everyone. When guileless Nathanael asked a friend about Jesus, he expressed the common Jewish sentiment in the first century (John 1:46): Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
Yet, that's precisely where the Messiah was raised.
The world often favors those with specific credentials, but God operates in an unconventional manner. He vanquished Goliath with a shepherd boy and a slingshot, chose a modest nation to bless the world, and appointed a baby as the Savior. Such is the nature of God's workings.
Contrary to religious doctrines emphasizing strength and being "right," Jesus declares, "I have come to save the weak." The pinnacle of His life wasn't a throne but a cross—a profound comfort for us all. It doesn't matter who we are or where we come from; it's all about Jesus. Only Jesus.
Today, express gratitude for the everyday Savior from Nazareth. Appreciate His blessings right where you find yourself!
Put into practice humility and service. This could be as simple as helping a colleague with a task or offering support where it's needed, reflecting Jesus’ humble beginnings. At home, engage in a community service project with your family or alone.
Consider the impact of Jesus' upbringing in Nazareth and how it challenges the world's expectations. Let's shift our focus from worldly credentials to the profound truth that it's all about Jesus—regardless of who we are or where we come from.
God, thank you for using ordinary people like me. Please transform my life, as you did the shepherds’ lives, into the extraordinary. Amen.