In John 1, we read how that Jesus found Philip and said to him, "Follow me." Philip found Nathanael and said, "We have found the one that Moses and the prophets wrote about, Jesus of Nazareth" (paraphrased, John 1:43–45). Nathanael responded: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46a). Philip replied, "Come and see" (John 1:46b). What is the significance of Jesus being from Nazareth?
Jesus, being from Nazareth, is a fulfillment of prophecy. In Matthew 2, we learn how that Herod declared a genocide on all children ages 2 and under in Judea, in hopes that he would kill the child Jesus. Because of this, an angel informed Joseph to flee into Egypt with Jesus and Mary until further notice from the angel. Read Matthew 2:19–23. This is just one of the numerous prophecies fulfilled in the life of Jesus.
Jesus, being from Nazareth, is an example of His paradox. A paradox is something that appears contradictory, but it is not. Jesus was a walking paradox. God taking on flesh, God tasting of death, and God choosing servanthood are paradoxes. Yet, all of these were fulfilled in Jesus. Likewise, Jesus being from Nazareth is a paradox. According to Paul N. Anderson (www.huffingtonpost.com): (1) Nazareth in Jesus' day had a small populace; (2) "Following the death of Herod the Great in 4 BC, the Roman armory in Sepphoris (four miles from Nazareth) was robbed, and the Romans retaliated by crucifying 2,000 Jews as a disincentive to such revolts. Sepphoris was burned to the ground, and its inhabitants were sold into slavery;" (3) "Less than a decade later, when Jesus was just a boy, Judas the Galilean instituted a tax revolt, evoking another crackdown by the Romans in which many were also crucified." Therefore, to the Jews and Romans, Nazareth was an unpopular location. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but He was mostly associated with Nazareth—not a royal city, but a wasteland; not a beloved city, but a despised place. This helps us understand Nathanael's question: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"
Jesus, being from Nazareth is a picture of His power. Hence, Jesus came from a place associated with oppression, slavery, and crucifixion. While He deserved none of it, He subjected himself to oppression, slavery, and crucifixion, so that we might go to a place of joy, liberty, and eternal life. I am reminded how the earth was a wasteland at the Noahic flood; yet, the beauty that we see today is the aftermath. What a wonderful picture of the power of our Savior! If you will allow Him, if you will obey Him, Jesus can transform your life from wasteland to worthiness.
"Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" I invite you to, "Come and see." Subject yourself to faith, repentance, confession, and baptism, and begin walking with Jesus, so that you might know the BEST thing that came out of Nazareth.