Nativity Lecture 2018 03

Son in a Strange Land

God picked Egypt and Nazareth for Christ. Who wants to live in either Egypt of Nazareth? Or who would choose to begin public life in a desert? We will find the young saviour doing all of that and hanging out with the right crowd and growing up with grace.

Familiar with the strange

The flight to Egypt was only the beginning of peculiar or unusual things. Jewish people are familiar with peculiar and strange, and definitely with foreign. Their very existence began not in Canaan but in Egypt, and the proof, as requested by Abraham, that there would be a Jewish people, was the 400 year bondage in Egypt (Gen. 15:8-13)

  • But the LORD has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of his own inheritance, as you are this day. Deut 4:20
  • “He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness; he encircled him, he cared for him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. Deut. 32:10

Exile and Return

God exiled the sons of Israel for 70 years, and on their return they were diligent to re-institute the Mosaic economy. The Jewish people were the first unwitting “globetrotters” and the Christ-child is destined to purposefully be in every nation, every home, touching every family by the end of the age.

In Nazareth of Galilee, the young Christ would have seen Gentiles living in their own skin. The prophet calls Galilee “of the Nations”, in other words, Gentile Galilee (Isaiah 9:1-2). Christ’s contemporaries figured that nothing good could come from this place. One of the first disciples asked out loud, “… Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” John 1:46

It was there in this despised place that the bright light from heaven shone and there the Son was given.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6