But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned in a dream, he withdrew to the region of Galilee. Then he went and settled in a town called Nazareth to fulfill what was spoken through the prophets, that He will be called a Nazarene.
God continued to speak to Joseph concerning Jesus. I find it extremely comforting to know that when God calls us into something, He doesn’t abandon us to take care of things on our own. He continues to guide us and speak to us to make sure we fulfill His perfect plan. Joseph could not go to Judea because Herod’s son ruled there. Nazareth seemed the best place to raise his new family. Sometimes, our only option is exactly the place God wants us to be. While it might not be our preference, it is the place where God will work and bring forth His glory.
The name, Nazareth, has an uncertain meaning. Indeed, when God brings us to a place, His reason may be uncertain to us as we are required to trust. Three possible meanings derive from the root word. The first means branch. Isaiah 11:1 states from Jesse’s root, a Branch will bear fruit. The second possible meaning is that the name is a tribal name used by resettling groups on return from the exile. The third possible meaning is watch, guard, or keep, indicating it is a town that is preserved or protected.
When God settles us in a place, we can expect all three. We will be branches within the Branch, bearing fruit in God’s kingdom. As we become involved in a local church – or tribe – we may begin to take on characteristics of that tribe as we settle from our own places of exile. Finally, we are in a preserved and protected place while God nurtures and matures us to take on the role He has destined for us. Our Nazareths are our growing places, and we may find multiple reasons God has us there in the long run.
If you are wondering why God has you in a certain place today, consider it your growing place. There may be multiple reasons God has you where you are, and these may be revealed over time. While things may seem uncertain for you, God knows exactly what He is doing. You either go or grow, so if He isn’t telling you to go, dig in and grow – gain everything you can from it.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Maturity and growth are signs you’ve been there.
Have a blessed day!