25 Days of Christmas – Out of the Ordinary Comes the Extraordinary
Nazareth. A city that today is roughly 70% Arab/Muslim, 30% Christian. Located in the northern lands of Israel, near the Sea of Galilee, the area holds numerous cathedrals built over the years to signify the importance of the city, that being the town where Jesus the Christ grew up.
In the time of Christ, however, Nazareth was a small town whose major strengths were agriculture and fishing. Records estimate that no more than 450 people occupied the city compared to today’s 60,000. Being in northern Israel, and near the sea, the city was home to many Gentile, or non-Hebrew people. This was the city that was home to Mary and Joseph, the people chosen to bare and raise the young Jesus. It is the city in which the angel visited Mary to tell her the news of her being chosen to be Jesus’ mom. It was here where the angel spoke to Joseph telling him to take Mary as his wife in spite of the fact that she was with child and it wasn’t his.
Later, Jesus would be raised in Nazareth. He would teach at the synagogue. He would learn Joseph’s trade of carpentry. He would return here after His years of ministry started. And it was here He would be rejected. Jesus would never perform miracles or healing in Nazareth.
So why Nazareth? It wasn’t much of a city. They didn’t “get” Jesus. He would always just be Joseph the carpenter’s son. But Nazareth produced at least two people who sought to live a life pleasing to God. It was where He found Mary and Joseph after all. And this obscure town was the place God chose for His son to be raised. Many times I’ve seen God use the fully ordinary to pull off the most extraordinary things. He uses regular men and women to preach His word. He uses regular people to start orphanages and hospitals. He uses a young couple to raise a very special child, His own son.
We may not always see the value God places on us but He does place a high value on us. That is why He sent His son in the first place. He can and will use a perfectly ordinary vessel, YOU, to do extraordinary things. But like Mary and Joseph, you must be willing to allow Him to have all of you. You must answer His call and obediently put your trust in Him. Only then will you see the extraordinary happen! And nothing could be more extraordinary than Christmas, the birth of Christ. Will you let Him make you extraordinary today?