"What do you want with us Jesus of
Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are - the Holy One of God." Nazareth
there exists a special group of people called townies; folks who live their
entire lives in their hometown. There's a measure of respect attached to this
designation; kudos if you will to the ones who for better or worse, through
boom and bust never leave their place of birth. Geographic longevity earns them a
special spot at the local coffee shops and eateries and here in the South,
reserved seating at their alma mater's stadium for the Friday night football
Jesus was no townie. Despite numerous attempts by others to define his regional loyalty, He never connected Himself to any earthly location. Under scrutiny by Pilate concerning His political aspirations Jesus responded, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:35. "Holy space invaders, Claudia Procula,* we've got an alien amongst us!" I'd have like to have been a fly on the wall in Pilate's brain when Jesus dropped that bombshell on him. I'm sure he'd heard all kinds of stories but an out-of-this-world royal visitor - that had to be a first.
Jesus was no
townie. Born in Bethlehem, raised
for an indeterminate time in Egypt,
His immediate family thought he was crazy (Mark ). The hometown crowd looked to kill him (Luke -40), so Jesus relocated to Capernaum, a more
Why didn't Jesus correct the misinformation concerning his place of birth? In addition to bolstering His claim as Messiah, to be a Judean would have enhanced his credibility with the religious leaders and the population surrounding
The people of Judea considered themselves, albeit
erroneously, more cosmopolitan and sophisticated than their Galilean neighbors.
In reality, their geographic location kept them isolated and more provincial
from the surrounding cultures whose travels brought them through Galilee.
Either the demons got it wrong (not omniscient) or attempted to downplay Jesus' true position by labeling Him a Nazarene. The moniker meant to be despised. This was, however, Jesus' Messianic M.O. Jesus, "made himself of no reputation," (Philippians 2:7). He was, "despised and rejected of men," (Isaiah 53:3) and "came to his own people, and even they rejected him," (John ).
nativity could have placed Jesus in more danger than He already faced. The
reigning Herod disposed of His cousin, John the Baptist. A quick check of the
Roman census and some simple math would place Jesus in Bethlehem
at the time that Herod the Great ordered the slaughter of the innocents in
order to protect his crown. This Herod was just as ruthless. With
forces already looking to take Him out, Jesus didn't need to make their job
The truth is, Jesus wasn't from
Nazareth or anywhere else on earth.
He was from Heaven. When confronted at Gethsemane by the
arresting party, three times Jesus identified Himself as "I AM" - the
unspeakable name of God. So powerful was this pronunciation that the entourage
sent to retrieve him hit the ground (John 18:5). Oh no, clean up in the garden
center! Jesus' mission wasn't regional, it included the ever expanding cosmos.
Only a Heavenly identity could encompass such a task.
How about you? How important to you is your hometown or nation of birth? What type of reaction would you experience if like Jesus you declared that you are from another world? As a citizen of Heaven and an ambassador of the
how are you authorized
and qualified to act on the King's behalf? Kingdom
* Pilate's wife is nameless in the Gospel of Matthew. According to the Apocryphal book, The Gospel of Nicodemus, Claudia Procula was Pilate's wife and the granddaughter of the Emperor Agustus.