It is holy week. I will be deviating to Hebrews to walk through these days with you.
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. John 19:19
It is said that Pilate designed the sign as a reproach. The hidden meaning was, ‘Can you imagine anyone from Nazareth claiming to be king?’ Earlier in Jesus’ ministry when his humble beginnings were discussed, some had said, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ The place of Jesus upbringing had been a stumbling block to many in believing he could be the Messiah.
God will exalt whomever he chooses. None is disqualified for lack of breeding. God is found in unsuspecting places. His face shines through unexpected vessels. After all, Jesus was born in a stable. Who thought to find God there?
I am convinced that I have looked too hard for God in places where I assumed he would be found. The larger the church, the more of God you’ll find, right? Not always. Christian entities might be well funded, utilize the latest marketing strategies, and offer everything from self-help groups to aerobics, but the system can still be carnal. While size can be a sign of blessing, we must not forget to look for the face of God in Nazareth. He may be found behind a shabby storefront.
Finally, what if you are from Nazareth? You feel discounted. Your calling is not taken seriously. Your confidence is marred by your lack of credentials. Jesus died beneath a sign of reproach, but no one was laughing three days later when he rose from the dead. If God chose you to do great things, no birthplace and wrong last name can thwart the purposes of our sovereign King.
Jesus is my brother, from Nazareth. Use my life, God. I’ll do my part. I’m confident you will do yours. Amen