Nazareth, which began as a small Jewish village about 2,000 years ago, became a stronghold of Christianity in the Byzantine period. During that time the name of Nazareth spread far and wide, and the yearnings to see the place where the Virgin Mary and Jesus had lived turned the city into a popular pilgrimage site. In the time of Jesus, it was an isolated village with a population less than two hundred. Today Nazareth is home to more than 60,000 Israeli Arabs, and Upper Nazareth is home to thousands of Jewish residents.
Here Jesus grew up from his infancy to manhood (4:16); and here he began his public ministry in the synagogue (Matthew 13:54), at which the people were so offended that they sought to cast him down from the precipice whereon their city was built (Luke 4:29).