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The Great Nazarene.

The Great Nazarene.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. AUGUSTUS GURNEY, M.A.


" And he { Joseph ] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth : that
it might be fill filled which was spoken by the prophets, He (Jesus)
shall lie called a Nazarene. "
BY REV. AUGUSTUS GURNEY, M.A.


" And he { Joseph ] came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth : that
it might be fill filled which was spoken by the prophets, He (Jesus)
shall lie called a Nazarene. "

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 18, 2014
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THE GREAT AZAREE. BY REV. AUGUSTUS GUREY, M.A. " And he { Joseph ] came and dwelt in a city called azareth : that it might be fill filled which was spoken by the prophets, He (Jesus) shall lie called a azarene. " THE Holy Family had fled into Egypt to avoid the persecution of King Herod. On their return to their own country, azareth presented itself as a safe haven ; and thither Joseph led the young Child and His mother, not without divine guidance. In this choice of abode there was every way a fitness. For not only was azareth, the mountain-town or city, from its very remoteness, eminently adapted for the bringing up in retirement of the Messiah ; but further, it had been the former home of Mary and of Joseph. There, it would seem, Joseph had followed his occupation of a carpenter ; there, it is likely, he owned house and workshed and land, on however humble a scale. And there chiefly were to be found 8 THE HOME LIFE OF JESUS OF AZARETH. such friends and relatives as Joseph and Mary were possessed of. Consequently no place would hold out more numerous attractions or better means of subsist ence to the Holy Family than azareth, whilst inci- dentally, by its selection, all remote and seemingly forgotten comers of God s earth, and their inhabitants, may be said to have received honour, and to have been proved to be partakers of His special love and care. But that is not all, brethren. azareth was chosen to be the Saviour s place of abode, so St. Matthew
 
tells us in the text, " that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a azarene." ow, it is quite true that St. Matthew need not be held to cite here so much any particular prophet as all : " that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets." And all the prophets may be said to have set forth the abject, lowly condition of Messiah, so pointing forward in a manner to the Divine Dweller in despised azareth, so by implication saying of Him, " He shall be called a azarene." And yet may one particular prophecy seem to have been more especially in St. Matthew s mind, even that which is contained in the Book of Judges (xii. 5), and which has a primary allusion to Samson : " The child shall be a THE GREAT AZAREE. azarite." " azarene " and "azarite" are indeed scarcely convertible terms, yet do they bear much affinity to one another : and if, as is most certain, our Blessed Lord was both a azarene and a azarite, then perhaps we need not hesitate to apply to Him, for purposes of edification, both passages alike. The Child of azareth was of necessity a azarene. And none, I think, will be found to deny that Jesus, like Samson and like John the Baptist, was a azarite in the spiritual sense of being set apart for God s service from the womb. But would you know, brethren, what a azarite, more strictly speaking, was? A azarite, then, was not necessarily a dweller in azareth, but was any Jewish man or Jewish woman dwelling any where and set apart by a vow to God s service for a shorter or a longer time, as the case might be. We read first of the
 
azarites (not of the dwellers in azareth, but of the religious persons so-called) in the 6th chapter of the Book of umbers : " When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a azarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord " then (and here I condense the actual words) they shall separate themselves from wine and strong drink, from the use of the razor, and from the touching of any dead body. io THE HOME LIFE OF JESUS OF AZARETH. Such were the ceremonial rules of the ancient aza- rites. But the Lord Jesus, as we know, did not think fit to conform to those ceremonial regulations. It is likely indeed, or at least it is possible, that no razor ever came upon His sacred head ; but whereas the azarites neither drank wine nor touched any dead body, He, as we know, did both. He even turned water into wine at a marriage-feast, and He took by the hand the daughter of Jairus after she was dead, when her spirit came again. And in like manner the followers of the Lord Jesus also, so far from not touch ing any dead body, are forward in showing to their dead the last offices of affection, with no shrinking from actual contact with the lifeless clay. But although those ceremonial observances were not for Him or for His, the Lord Jesus, we cannot doubt, soared im measurably above all others who at any time bore the religious name of azarite, in respect of that surpassing holiness, that being set apart peculiarly to God s service, which constituted the essence of the title ; He was indeed the Great azarite, or crowning glory of all azarites. But it is time, brethren, to leave on one side expla nation, and to enter somewhat more closely on our sacred theme, even that of the Saviour s home life in

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