Does the Bible specify where Jesus lived while on the earth? Did He even have a home? Where did He call home?
Born in a Stable
When Jesus came to earth and was born of a virgin and God became both God and Man, He came in the lowliest and most humble of places…a stable or perhaps a cave or dugout where the animals were kept. He was overlooked by most and no one saw this as being the fulfillment of prophecy until after the fact. Even though He is called “Jesus of Nazareth” does this mean that this was Him hometown? He was actually born in Bethlehem which was long ago prophesied in Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” In the Gospel of Matthew, he quotes this very prophecy as being fulfilled in Matthew 2:5-6. Sadly, the religious leaders should have known this but they were not even looking to see so this fulfillment of prophesy was missed.
Jesus of Nazareth
John 18:4-6 “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.”
Here is direct biblical evidence that everyone believed that Jesus was from Nazareth because they often identified someone who was not from Jerusalem with the town in which they either lived in or grew up in. How tragic that even the residents of Nazareth “took offense at him. And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:3c-6a). When Jesus “entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee” (Matt 21:10-11).
Jesus of Galilee
Was Jesus from Galilee or from Nazareth? The answer is yes…He is from both because Nazareth is a city in the region of Galilee, specifically from Lower Galilee and not far from where He called His first two disciples, at the Sea of Galilee(Matt 4:18-19). Matthew 4:23 states that Jesus “went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people” and remember Matthew 21:11 associated Nazareth as being part of Galilee as it was written, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
No Place to Lay His Head
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, then later His parents moved to Nazareth which was in Lower Galilee but truly He did not have a home that was ever identified. In fact He said to those who would follow Him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Luke 9:58; Matthew 8:20). Notice where Jesus often spent the night in Luke 21:37 “And every day he was teaching in the temple, but at night he went out and lodged on the mount called Olivet” and then after sleeping outside all night it was “early in the morning [that] all the people came to him in the temple to hear him” (Luke 21:38). Now if Jesus had a home, and I am not saying that He slept outside every night for we just don’t have enough information in the Bible to conclude that, why would He frequently sleep outside? Was it because no one would want Him in their home for fear of being put out of the temple or would it be because Jesus would often be up much of the night praying…sometimes all night and so He possibly didn’t want to wake those who were sleeping in their home? Why would I say that Jesus often slept outside and then sometimes prayed much of the night? Luke 6:12 says “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” Why does Luke say “In these days?” By Luke saying “These days” in chapter six we see that this was early in Jesus’ ministry and in Luke 21 it was late in His ministry and both times He was sleeping outside so we can safely assume that this was Jesus’ habit. We can say with authority that Jesus slept outside at least many of the nights and that He was praying in many of those nights and so it’s no wonder that He said in Luke 9:58 that the “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” because it was true! Can you remember a Scripture where it was said that Jesus spent the night as someone’s house? There may be one or two occasions but I couldn’t find it. Maybe you can find one but if you do find one or two, I believe those were the exceptions.
Jesus’ real home is in heaven and with the Father and your home can also be with Jesus and wherever God is that is truly where heaven is. If you have trusted in the only name by which you can be saved (Acts 4:12) then Jesus is presently preparing a place for you too, just as He was the disciples (John 14:3a) and as He said, “Where I am at, you may be also” (John 14:3b). That is my prayer for you my friend. Then you will have an eternal home with God but there will be no sleeping…we will be doing the work of the Kingdom of God and doing it without the need for sleep and never tire of it…and it will be unlike anything that you can even imagine.
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon