Bible Review 12:1, February 1996

Why Jesus Went Back to Galilee

By Jerome Murphy-O’Connor

Why did Jesus go back to preach in Galilee? The question may seem a silly one. After all, he was a native of Nazareth in Galilee, and it was natural that he should preach to his own people. The prophet Amos, however, came from Tekoa (Amos 1:1), a village that differed little from Nazareth, but he did not waste his breath on his neighbors in the rural south of Judah. His mission was to the kingdom of Israel, and he went straight to “the very center of the house of Israel” (Amos 7:10), to the sanctuary of the king and the national temple at Bethel (Amos 7:13). The prophet Elijah was apparently from Gilead, east of the Jordan (1 Kings 17:1), but as the champion of Yahweh he crossed the Jordan Valley to confront King Ahab in Samaria (1 Kings 18 and 21).

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