And he came and dwelled in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets…
Ancient biographies take no account whatever of child-life. Manhood was not seen to be a product of child-influences. Probably the small esteem in which woman was usually held led to a small esteem of her influence on children. More probably the philosophizing which loves to trace causes and developments is a modern mental practice. We sometimes wonder that no records remain of the Child-life of Jesus, but it is to be remembered that no records of the child-life of any ancient hero have been preserved. It is especially a modern notion that the place where a child is brought up may have an important influence on the moulding of his character; all the more if he be a sensitive, poetical, child. This idea gained embodiment in Hugh Miller's 'Schools and Schoolmasters.' And in all recent biographies this element of training is taken into full account. All our Lord's Childhood and Boyhood were spent at Nazareth; and we may trace the influence of such things as the following, using our own associations, but carefully qualifying them by due regard for the Eastern and the Palestinian associations.
I. THE INFLUENCE OF SMALL-TOWN LIFE. Familiarity with everybody. Local prejudices. Impressions unvaried, and persistently renewed.
II. THE INFLUENCE OF ISOLATED-TOWN LIFE. Peculiarity of Nazareth was that it was out of the way; apart from the great currents of life; secluded. This may tend to nourish a meditative mood, when there is active-mindedness. Life is slow. Time is plentiful. Men can dream, think, pray.
III. THE INFLUENCE OF JEWISH-TOWN LIFE. At this time patriotism took one special feature. It spent itself in anticipations of the near coming of the delivering and conquering Messiah. This filled men's thoughts and talk. It would be supremely fascinating to a thoughtful, sensitive boy. Think with what things the heart of the Child Jesus must have been filled.
IV. THE INFLUENCE OF A WELL-SITUATED TOWN. One among the hills; with extensive outlook; beautiful surrounding landscapes; and in full view of scenes rich with Bible associations (see descriptions of Nazareth). For such as Jesus a great voice speaks "out of Nature's heart." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.