Seasons
The Bread of Life

A Nazarene

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Jesus in Context

Either Way 

But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life. And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. - Matthew 2: 19-21

 Here is a principle that Herod did not understand at all:

Don’t entertain evil for a minute. It doesn’t want to visit. It wants to move in and take over.

So, the only cure for the evil in Herod’s life was the death of Herod. No one was safe until Herod was dead. It is a sad commentary, but true. For as long as Herod lived and carried out his rain of pain and reign of terror, the true King of Israel remained in Egypt. Good news was stifled by sound of hoof beats as soldiers scoured the land to snuff out the life of any baby that just might be the Messiah.

Something had to give; something had to die. Only when Herod was dead was it safe for Joseph to bring his family out of Egypt and into the land of Israel.

It was not time for Jesus to die. He still had to grow up and live a redemptive life before He died a redemptive death It was time for evil to die and Herod had so immersed himself in evil that he had begun to personify it within himself.

Yet, there remained a window of opportunity for Herod as there remains such an opportunity for each of us. We also must die. Evil knows no limits. It will not restrain itself. Therefore, we must die to evil thoughts, evil deeds, and evil intentions. Furthermore, we must deem every action that restricts the reign of Jesus, every thought that keeps Him in Egypt, and every intention that wars against Him as evil that must die inside of us.

Because of the cross, we can choose to die that we might live. We can reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ. We will die to sin or we will die in sin. Either way, The Son of God will not remain in Egypt. He shall reign.

A Nazarene 

“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene. “ - Matthew 2:23

Some would be happier with a Jesus with no context, culture, or humanity. But that would not be the true Jesus. Incarnation means that He came at a specific time, place, and crossroads of historical events. He lived as a man and faced the time-space limitations of any person on this earth. He had gender, nationality, a native language, talents, physical strengths and weaknesses, most likely sickness, certainly the capacity to grow weary, and a family.

He was the descendant of David with all the nobility that was due to such a line, but He was fully identified culturally with the least noble region for any Jew in the minds of other Jews. Born in Bethlehem, He was raised in Nazareth. Jews spoke of Nazarenes with a sneer in their voices. And He was one of them and never wore the label with shame.

He identifies with us as well, whatever our histories, cultures, or backgrounds. He refuses to acknowledge the shame that the world associates with people based upon human prejudices but elevates people of every race and nationality to a place of dignity. As a Nazarene, raised near a great road traveled by numerous peoples, He must have encountered great cultural diversity. Out of that context, God gave us His Son to create a new race of mankind.

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