From Israel #4

Today we went to Nazareth, where Jesus basically spent 30 of the 33 years he had here on earth. Back then Nazareth was a little podunk out-of-the-way town of about 500 people. Today it’s become a small city of about 50,000 people. So it’s obviously changed a lot.

However, looking around at the topography and vegetation and scenery, that would also basically be the same from when Jesus was there, so it was cool walking around and thinking that this is what he would have seen, that he would have walked up this hill to get to the town well, etc.

There are two “Churches of the Annunciation.” The annunciation is when the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was pregnant and would be giving birth to the Son of God. The two churches are built over the two spots where they think that might have happened in Nazareth. It’s wild to think that you might be standing on ground where something that significant happened.

We also got to see what many archeologists believe was Mary’s house. Back then they would build their homes in front of caves, so the cave kind of served as a backroom, or a basement. The house is no longer there, but the cave still is. Crazy!

There was some very interesting art in both churches.

Probably the most fascinating thing to me was the people of Nazareth. We saw LOTS of little boys (like 4 to 6 years old), and other boys who were more like 10 to 14), and also a bunch of guys who were 20 to 30. There is virtually no variation. Everyone has the same skin color, hair color, eye color. They’re (obviously) not all twins, but even their features were similar. And so it seems rather obvious that Jesus, who was a Nazarite, would have looked a lot like these Nazarites. And, news flash, these guys looked NOTHING like the pictures we have of Jesus. They all had dark hair, dark eyes, and olive colored skin.

There should be pictures up on our group internet photo album. Go to and check out the pictures of Mark Jones (he’s kind of acting as our group photographer) and I think I have some pictures up too.

Check ya later!

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