Returning to Nazareth
“So, all bore witness to him, and marvelled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s son?”
We all, at some point in our lives, revisit our past. Whether a physical place or a place in our hearts, and whether we want to or not, we all have to face our past at some point.
Becoming Different Through God
In my last season, I have been experiencing my own “return to Nazareth”. I have been away from home for some time now. yet during my absence in Nazareth, I have grown. I have grown in my relationship with God. I have grown in the Spirit. Certainly, I am no longer the young inexperienced kid from back home whose parents were seen as a “common citizen of Nazareth”.
Indeed, I am moving with a new identity, which I have gained while absent from my “Nazareth”. I was afraid to go back to Nazareth, but at the same time I was excited to go back. So, everybody could see how I have been transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Home has not changed, but I have changed. The individuals there still live by sight instead of living by faith. When I talk, I feel like when Jesus returned back to Nazareth. People view me as a common local girl, the way they viewed Jesus as a local boy. The fact that they figured out that it was the son of Josef, the common carpenter, reminded them of my past.
They associated Jesus with that little boy who had not started performing wonders just yet. They never saw that potential, which Jesus was later carrying, back in the day. Suddenly, they were in for a surprise. It was a surprise they could not and were not ready to accept. So, they hated on Jesus.
Managing Your New Identity
Like Jesus, I have returned back to Nazareth with a new identity filled with the Holy Spirit. The things I didn´t see myself capable of doing before, I now do them without fear. I act differently because I know who I am and because I have done well outside on Nazareth. Unlike in Nazareth, Jesus was welcomed and praised in Galilee, a place which was not his home. Galilee didn´t know Jesus as a child, thus they only knew his new identity. Nazareth didn´t know Jesus´ new identity, thus they underestimated his capability.
However, what if our past visits us in our new identity? How do we react? What do we do when neither Nazareth nor Galilee welcomes us?
My encouragement for all of us who are returning back to our hometowns, it does not matter what or where it is, always remember that our roots are not here on earth, but inside our Heavenly Father. Our Heavenly Father knows us. He has created an unshakable identity in us which we can boldly profess both in Nazareth and in Galilee through the Holy Spirit of God that dwells in us.
We can return back to Nazareth today without any fear because our God is with us. He wants to use us for gigantic works, even in our hometown.