Question: "Where did Jesus live?"
Answer: Jesus lived in a variety of places. Before coming to earth, the Son of God was with the Father heaven. In John 17:5, just before His crucifixion, Jesus prays, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Also see John 1:1–2, 14.
Upon coming to earth, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The story is narrated in Luke 2. Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth but traveled to Bethlehem for a census. Apparently, they had no immediate family there because they had no place to stay. How long Jesus and Mary and Joseph stayed in Bethlehem is not known. We know that the wise men came to visit him in Bethlehem as well, but by this time, the family was in a house, not at the stable where He had been born. When King Herod heard of the purpose of the wise men’s visit, he attempted to kill Jesus as a potential rival. Based on the time frame that the wise men gave him regarding the star, Herod ordered that all boys in the vicinity of Bethlehem two years old and under should be killed (see Matthew 2).
Because of Herod’s plot, an angel warned Joseph in a dream to take the family to Egypt. They stayed in Egypt until the death of Herod. Again, we do not know how long that was (Matthew 2: 13–15). According to secular historical sources, Herod died in 4 BC, which tells us that it must not have been very long after Jesus’ birth that Herod died and the family was free to return to Israel.
Upon returning to Israel, Joseph moved the family back to Nazareth, where he and Mary had originally started out (Matthew 2:23; Luke 2:39). Bethlehem was in Judea, but Nazareth was about 90 miles north in Galilee. This was Jesus’ hometown—where He grew up. Thus, He was often referred to as “Jesus of Nazareth” (Matthew 26:71; Mark 1:24; 10:47; Luke 4:34; 18:37; 24:19; John 1:45; 18:5–7; 19:19; Acts 2:22; 3:6; 26:9).
After He began His public ministry, Jesus moved His base of operations to Capernaum, also in Galilee, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, about a day’s walk from Nazareth (Matthew 4:13). From Capernaum He made several trips to Jerusalem, and many of the events reported in the gospels took place in Jerusalem.
Giving us a hint of Jesus’ specific living quarters, Luke 9:57–58 records this exchange: “As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.’” This seems to indicate that Jesus owned no home and had no property of His own. No doubt He stayed with friends from time to time as a guest, as He did with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany outside of Jerusalem (Luke 10:38). Also, He and the disciples may have simply camped wherever they were, as He carried on an itinerate ministry. Claims that Jesus was a rich man (and that He wants all of His followers to be rich as well) are simply not supported by the biblical evidence.
After Jesus’ resurrection, He ascended back to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 8:1).
Jesus temporarily made His home on earth to secure for us a place in his Father’s house (John 14:1–4). One day, all who have put their faith in Him will enjoy living in His presence:
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22:1–5).