Prepare yourself to discern what is and what is not of God today. Still yourself so you can hear how God is calling you.
John 1:43-51 (NRSV)
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” asked Nathanael. “Come and see,” said his brother Philip. Nazareth obviously had a reputation, and it wasn’t a particularly good one. Its very name may well have been given in jest or dishonor. It might translate into literal English as “Stump-town.” When Philip asked if anything good could come from Nazareth, he obviously had low expectations.
How many times do I look at someone’s appearance, or their family, or the side of town they’re from, and pass judgment upon that person. “Nothing good could come from someone dressed like that!” “Nothing good could come from that family!” “Nothing good could come from that side of town!” I’ve learned over the years to stop and rethink my first impressions when a thought like that occurs—but I’ve never quite gotten to the point so that my mind doesn’t go that direction.
Nathanael expected the worst when he heard of Jesus’ hometown. But Jesus looked deep into Nathanael’s life and saw his dignity, his inherent worth as a human being, his infinite potential. “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”
May I learn to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Amen.
Go with God.