Jesus’ Life in Nazareth and Why He Left

By Carmen Slabbert
Edited by Taj Schlebusch

Published August 30, 2021.


It is commonly accepted that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. What about where Jesus grew up? Let us briefly look at what Jesus would have experienced while living in Nazareth.

How Jesus Lived His Life in Nazareth

Jesus’ life in Nazareth was simple. He spent his childhood in Nazareth with his parents, Joseph and Mary, following their return from Egypt.

"Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.” (Matthew 2:23; Luke 2:39-52).

Nazarenes used to live very simplistic lifestyles as farmers and tradespeople.

Juvenile Jesus would have had to help his parents with daily chores like caring for livestock. As Jewish tradition required, Joseph would have initiated Jesus to his carpentry trade from the age of twelve, carrying Joseph’s legacy forward.

How Long Did Jesus Live In Nazareth?

According to the Gospels, Jesus lived in Nazareth until the age of 12. Then, there are about 18 years for which there are no records. These years are called Jesus’ lost years. So Jesus’ adolescence remains a mystery. We only then hear about Jesus again at the age of 30 when he left Nazareth and started his ministry.

"Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry." (Luke 3:23)

Jesus’ Departure From Nazareth

Why Did Jesus Leave Nazareth?

Jesus felt he had to move to fulfill God’s will, as the Nazarenes rejected his teachings. He needed to find a place where the people would listen to his teachings and the messages he brings.

Where Did Jesus Go After Being Rejected in Nazareth?

When Jesus left Nazareth, he went to live in a fishing community called Capernaum on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee to establish His new ministry. He started traveling through Israel, performing miracles and bringing the word of God to the people.

In the End

Eventually, one would need to leave one's hometown for one reason or another. In Jesus' case, it was due to his calling and his mission to bring the people the word of God.