To help us feel closer to Jesus and his life, it’s important to be familiar with his surroundings.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He and his parents fled to Egypt for a time to escape King Herod’s wicked decree that all baby boys should be killed. Once Herod had died, they could safely go to Nazareth, where Jesus probably spent his childhood.

Later, Jesus made Capernaum the center of his ministry work for a significant period of time (see R2581). This ancient fishing village is located in the region of Galilee in the modern day country of Israel.

Jesus did much work in Galilee. Matthew (4:23 RVIC) says, “And he went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and…sickness among the people.”

Another city that Jesus often visited was Bethany where his close friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived. When Jesus learned that Lazarus had died, he told his disciples that Lazarus was sleeping, but he was going to go and awaken him. This Scripture helps us understand that when a person dies, it’s as if they are sleeping, waiting until God’s kingdom when Jesus will awaken them out of sleep. Later, Mary poured costly perfume on Jesus’ head and feet, signifying the preparation for his death and burial that would be only a few days away.

We might be fortunate to live in an apartment or house, but consider this scripture in Luke (9:58, NIV) where Jesus says about himself, “…Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Imagine that! God’s only begotten son, who willingly gave up his heavenly home to die on the cross for the sins of ALL people had no place to call his own. He may have stayed with friends or followers as he traveled. We should count our blessings and appreciate ALL that we have, giving thanks to God.

So, where did Jesus live and work? He was born in Bethlehem, then moved to Egypt and probably spent his youth in Nazareth. Later, he moved to Capernaum, in the region of Galilee, where he did much of his ministry work. In Bethany, he raised Lazarus from the dead and Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ head and feet. Knowing that our Savior had nowhere of his own to rest his head should make us very thankful to God for everything we have.

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