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November 29, 2021

Daily Scripture

Luke 1:26-27; John 1:45-46

Luke 1:26-27

26 When Elizabeth was six months pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a city in Galilee, 27 to a virgin who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary.

John 1:45-46

45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law and the Prophets: Jesus, Joseph’s son, from Nazareth.”

46 Nathanael responded, “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

As Luke began his story about Jesus’ birth, he told of a divine messenger appearing to Zechariah, an aged priest, in the imposing Temple in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city (cf. Luke 1:5-11). But that was just prologue to the main story. The main story came from Nazareth. Pilgrims came from all over the Mediterranean world to Jerusalem, but Nazareth was not on any pilgrim’s wish list. Honestly, it’s likely that most citizens of Judea (southern Israel) had never heard of Nazareth.

  • Scholar Craig Keener wrote, “In contrast to Jerusalem, with its massive building projects, Nazareth was a lowly village (cf. Jn 1:46).”* The town where Mary lived was not the kind of place to fill its young people with lofty ambitions. It seems most unlikely that she had any idea we’d be reading about her in the year 2021. Where were you born and brought up? What effect, positive or negative, did the surroundings of your birth and childhood have on your expectations of life?
  • In the text from the gospel of John, we see that Nathanael didn’t think coming from Nazareth said anything promising or good about Jesus. His doubts likely reflected a common opinion in the area: “Nathanael himself was from nearby Cana (John 21:2).”** Yet we only know about the incident because, after meeting Jesus, Nathanael became one of his followers. When has God used an unexpected person or ministry to uplift or deepen your spiritual life?

The Journey: A Season of Reflections

Today’s Insights was chapter 2 (“A Town in Galilee Called Nazareth”) from The Journey: A Season of Reflections, by Adam Hamilton. Copyright © 2011 by Abingdon Press, and available on our website for 24 hours by permission of Abingdon Press. If you’d like to buy the entire book of reflections, you can click here for a direct link to the Cokesbury sale page, as well as other Journey resources.


Lord, when I sing “this is my Father’s world,” that song reminds me that you are at work in all the obscure places of our world as well as in the powerful and famous. And you want to work in me, no matter how obscure or famous I may feel. Amen.

GPS Insights

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook (Kindle Locations 232155-232156). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

** J. Ramsey Michaels, study note on John 1:46 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 172 NT.