If you ever get the impression that the centre of attention is often at risk of being pushed offscreen by a willing and free minded audience you are not alone. Sometimes we see this phenomenon and call it “face that hates its nose”, or “prophet without honour at home”. This is happening with regularity as Christians get exposed to other faiths with comparative practices and beliefs. The star of the show is the Yeshua the Nazarene and avoiding mention of him has become an eyesore and gaping hole in reality.
If the lifestyles and interests of the human family were perfect noone would ever have to grow or change. That means we can strike a host of cultural and religious traditions that refuse to give up the dross and adopt the gold from the list of noble priorities.
God intervenes for the benefit of the lost and he chooses the younger not the elder, the alien not the inside. He chooses the despised places like Galilee.
In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath–pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel–beth–maachah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali, and carried them captive to Assyria.2 Kings 15:29
We are therefore challenged to look soberly at the rejected people and places if we wish to find God’s priorities. Light is appreciated by darkness. The dark places bring light into sharp focus.
Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:1-2
The early life of Christ, from infancy to 30 years old, is shaped by his residence in Galilee. The peer pressure to reject Him is strong as it was when he was here in the flesh.
We can replace “Yeshua” with “Yahweh” with confidence because both are Shepherd, Light, Saviour, God, and King. What do we do when we have to bring the Shepherd, Saviour and Light into sharp focus in order to appreciate the One who sent (gave) him? We can deny Christ the highest name, the right hand seat in glory, and the distinction of being the only way to God and peace. The result is catastrophic. Nothing works without the Nazarene.