In Jesus' day, Nazareth was not an important city. There were only 300-400 residents and it was held in contempt. The word itself means "branch" or "stick." The people from Nazareth were considered to be unsophisticated, "from the sticks." Now more than 50,000 people reside in Nazareth, many of them Christian Arabs.
In the photo, you may be able to see the cone-shaped roof of the Church of the Annunciation. It was built in 1969 and is the largest church in the Middle East. It's located on the traditional site of Gabriel's announcement to Mary that she would bring forth a very special child.
The traffic was terrible! The roads were narrow and most of them seemed to be undergoing repair. We really wanted to see the church, but finding a parking spot was an exercise in frustration. Finally, when we were nearly ready to give up and head for the country, we saw a place to park. We couldn't believe it! It was at the bottom of a long flight of stairs leading to the church. We looked for "No Parking" signs but didn't see any.
We returned after a couple of hours to find cars double and triple parked beside us, hemming us in completely. As we scratched our heads and wondered what to do, several people came out of a nearby shop and jockeyed their vehicles so we could escape. It was a great relief to get out of town and onto the open road again!
Go on to read about Megiddo
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