One of the lies the enemy whispers in our ears is this: “Who do you think you are? You are a nobody from nowhere.” For much of my life, I was the guy from a city that smelled bad. The city’s waste plant and a paper mill were next to a major Interstate highway. So, everyone that drove by my town smelled the stench. No doubt, many people thought, “Can anything good come out of that town?” This was the mindset of Jews toward Nazareth.
46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:46
Nazareth, a small farming village located in the district of Galilee, had a large Gentile population because a Roman garrison was located there. Since Roman soldiers were men gathered throughout the whole world (Roman belief), Nazareth would have been an ethnically-diverse village. So, Jews in Nazareth were looked down on by Jews from Jerusalem.
Galileans were thought of as country “bumpkins,” and their accent was mocked by Judeans. During Jesus’ trial, Peter was suspected of being a follower of Jesus simply because of his Galilean accent (Luke 22:59). Christianity.
Nazareth Was Jesus’ Hometown
It would have been difficult for the Jewish people to accept Jesus as their Messiah because He grew up in such a place. For me, it makes me happy that Jesus grew up in a place that was ethnically diverse. But you see, Nazareth was special to God for more than its diversity; God always held a special place in His heart for Nazareth. It is the place where the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:26–27), and the place where Jesus would become a carpenter. (Luke 4:16)
Jesus was neither ashamed nor constrained by His hometown. However, what He did was change the perception of His birthplace. The phrase “Jesus of Nazareth” appears seventeen times in our Bible. In some of the earliest Christian manuscripts, Christians were called Nazarenes. (Wikipedia) And after Christ’s resurrection, the Holy Spirit used Peter to heal a disabled beggar when he said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” Acts 3:6
So, this disrespected, small farm town with a funny accent became an identifier for Jesus Christ our Lord. Don’t listen to the enemy. Where you’re from or what your accent is doesn’t limit God. Don’t believe it if you’re told that God can’t use you because you’re just a country ‘bumkin’ with a funny accent.
The song Nobody by Casting Crowns is a good fit for this message.