Nazareth was a lovely little town snuggled in the hills overlooking the broad and fertile Plain of Esdraelon. It consisted primarily of some small white stone houses, a synagogue built on its highest knoll, and a marketplace at the entrance to the village. When the New Testament era dawned, its population seems to have numbered little more than one hundred, mostly farmers, but also some skilled craftsmen whose shops were found in the marketplace—a potter, a weaver, a dyer, a blacksmith, and a carpenter. The most momentous events of all human history were to involve the people associated with that humble carpenter shop in Nazareth.
The carpenter himself, a robust man in the prime of life named Joseph, was engaged to a young girl named Mary, probably still in her teen years. She was a girl upon whom God had bestowed much grace (“favored one,” Luke 1:28). She was a sinner like all the rest of us, and she frankly admitted her low estate and her need for God’s gracious salvation (cf. Luke 1:47, 48). But she had responded enthusiastically to His offer of forgiveness and had been daily appropriating His limitless grace for growth and godliness. She was greatly graced of God. And she lived with a sense of God’s presence in her life. The Lord was with her (Luke 1:28). She enjoyed a beautiful moment-by-moment fellowship with God.