A tiny backwater village, Nazareth was a place of no consequence, without any expectation that anyone from there would amount to anything. To award someone from there as “least likely to succeed” does not go far enough: they would be viewed derisively and with contempt by anyone from any sort of privilege.
And such is the lineage of the Lord. That God works from hidden, offensive, and even scandalous places is not to be missed. Paul calls the cross – the place where God works his work finally, fully, and completely – folly to the Gentiles and a stumbling block to Jews. God works through opposites, bringing life from death, strength from weakness, and light from dark. For those among us who think they could never pass the muster of being a disciple, as if discipleship is advanced Christianity and only for people who are “serious”, remember this: the Lord came from Nazareth, God-made-flesh and born of a virgin. And then the same Lord who was present as the Word even before there was a beginning was killed on a cross for our redemption. There is no thing more surprising or unexpected that that. Come and see.
Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” (John 1:46)
Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. You hate nothing that you have made, and will not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live: have mercy on us, at once calling us and giving us courage to follow, for Christ’s sake. Amen.