“But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he departed for the regions of Galilee, and came and resided in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, ‘He shall be called a Nazarene.’ ” Matt. 2:22-23 (Part Eight)
This will be our last installment of our analysis of the above fulfilled prophetic statement. We could easily continue to belabor the theme but the points have been made concerning the Nazarene and His offspring, the church, called the “sect of the Nazarenes” in Acts 24:5.
We close our study with two passages from the prophet Jeremiah where forms of the Hebrew word nazer (netser) are employed by this man of God moved by the Spirit of Christ within him. The first, Jeremiah 4:16: “Report it to the nations, now! Proclaim over Jerusalem, ‘Besiegers (notsriym) come from a far country, and lift their voices against the cities of Judah.’ ” (NAS) The context is Jeremiah’s inspired warning of coming judgment on Jerusalem (physical) for her abominations and rebellion. But let’s step back for a moment. Remember way back early in our inquiry of this topic it was mentioned that the Jews, since they had no Hebrew Aramaic word for Christians, called them “notsriym’? Here is that very word in a prophetic statement by the prophet Jeremiah! Now consider the text and fast forward to the time after Jesus the Nazarene’s death and the coming judgment upon physical Jerusalem once more for her rebellion and rejection of the prophesied Branch (Nazarene). Did not Jesus Himself warn those rebels and His disciples of its coming? Yes! Wasn’t that one of the primary charges the Jews levied against Stephen as well when he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ? Didn’t Stephen speak of the destruction of the Temple (implying the surrounding city too) and the altering of the law of Moses? Yup. So it would seem the warning by Jeremiah was a foreshadow of another siege to come to Jerusalem because of her rebellion against God and His Christ. This message was delivered by besiegers (notsriym) of a spiritual country against the cities of Judah as well. Hmmm, pretty interesting stuff here. Now let’s consider Jeremiah 31:6: “For there shall be a day when watchmen (notsriym) on the hills of Ephraim shall call out, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'” (NAS) There’s that word again brethren! Now this is the chapter that also prophesies the coming New Covenant. In context , Jeremiah is speaking about the watchmen calling out to those in Samaria. Who would be these watchmen who would call the people out to “go up to Zion, to the LORD our God” ? How about only those that would know the way that have already “come to Mount Zion” (Heb 12:22) where the King has been installed and now reigns? (Psalm 2:6) So, according to the New Testament, when did this happen? How about Acts chapter eight, friends? And these watchmen (notsriym), more readily known as Christians, are still calling out the message on every hill throughout the earth pleading mankind to arise and go up to true Zion located in heavenly Jerusalem. This is great stuff, brothers and sisters. Maybe now you’ll see some more reasons why Matthew was moved by the Spirit to pen the transliterated term Nazarene (notsri, nazer) in his record of the good news concerning Jesus Christ. One last passage from the prophet Isaiah thrown in for free, as they say. “No longer will you have the sun for light by day, nor for brightness will the moon give you light; but you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory. Your sun will set no more, neither will your moon wane; for you will have the LORD for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning will be finished. Then all your people will be righteous; they will possess the land forever, the branch (netser) of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. The smallest one will become a clan, and the least one a mighty nation. I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.” (Isa. 60:19-22 NAS) Another awe inspiring prophecy about the Redeemer’s (Nazarene’s) offspring. Take the time and read Isaiah chapter sixty in light of what we have been studying, then ponder the great calling and purpose He has intended from the beginning for His church. Amen!!