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Pastor Craig A. Brittingham
Hillside Baptist Church
January 17, 2021

“Jesus, the Nazarene” – Matthew 2:9-23

1A. Jesus lived in the city of Nazareth.
1b. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, but was raised in Nazareth of Galilee (Luke 4:16).
1c. Also, early in His earthly ministry, Jesus seemed to have relocated to Capernaum also in Galilee.
2c. So, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, and later resided in Capernaum.
2b. Matthew indicates that the ultimate reason why Jesus came and dwelt in Nazareth was to fulfill prophecy.
1c. “He shall be called a Nazarene.”
2c. Jesus was called “Jesus the Nazarene” and sometimes referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth.”
1d. By a blind man (Mark 10:47), by a demon (Luke 4:34), by those sent to arrest Jesus (John 18:4-5), by Pilate (John 19:19)
2d. And by Jesus Himself (Acts 22:8)
3c. So, Jesus was called a Nazarene because he was from Nazareth.

2A. Jesus was called a “Nazarene” because He was despised.
1b. Nazareth was despised as well as the province of Galilee where it was located (John 1:45-46, 7:52).
1c. “Their contempt for Galilee made them lose sight of historical accuracy.” (Alford, Commentary).
2c. Nazareth was not a well-known or popular town, and in fact, there is a degree of negativity attached to it in the scriptures.
2b. The prophecy, “He shall be called a Nazarene,” is not found in these words in the Old Testament.
1c. This prophecy is not so much a statement about where Jesus grew up as it is a declaration that like Nazareth, Jesus would be despised (Isa. 53:2-3).
2c. His followers were contemptuously called “the sect of the Nazarenes” (see Acts 24:5).

Questions…

1. Where was Jesus born? Where was He raised? Where did He later reside? Use scripture with your answers.
2. How many provinces were there in Palestine? What are they? In what province was Bethlehem? In what province was Nazareth? How does this help us understand why Joseph did not return to Bethlehem after dwelling in Egypt?
3. How or why did Jesus end up in Nazareth?
4. Where is the prophecy found, “He shall be called a Nazarene?” Is the term Nazarene even found in the Old Testament?
5. What is different about this reference to a fulfilled prophecy when compared to the others in Matthew 1 and 2? How might it be significant?
6. This prophecy then is not so much about where Jesus lived as it concerning something else about Him. What?
7. What “prophets” may have prophesied concerning this truth about Jesus? What did they write?
8. Why were Jesus’ followers called the sect of the Nazarenes? How then should we expect to be treated?