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 from Nazareth?’ (John 1:46)
In the middle of first grade, my family moved from a little country town to St. Louis. When I told my new classmates where I had come from, they said they had never heard of it. It felt like they were dismissing me because I had come from a Podunk town.
In today’s scripture, it’s clear that Nathanael thought that Nazareth was a Podunk town. He was right then. He’s still right. I’ve been to Nazareth, and there’s nothing special or noteworthy about it.
Nathanael didn’t think anything of value or anyone of importance could come from such a small town. What he didn’t realize is that more important than where we come from is Who we come from. Nathanael had judged Jesus by the town He came from and not by the God He came from and the mission He came to accomplish.
Nathanael questioned if anything good could come out of Nazareth. Because we know that Jesus didn’t, ultimately, come from that small town but from God, Nathanael may as well have been asking if anything good can come from God. Now, that’s a silly question, isn’t it? Everything that comes from God is good.
As important as where we come from may seem, I encourage us to remember that the God we come from and the same God we are headed to is what really matters. I would also encourage us to remember that in between where we come from and where we’re headed, the Lord Jesus is walking with us every step of the way.
- Have you ever dismissed someone because of where they have come from? Have you ever been embarrassed about where you have come from?
- If you always remembered and claimed that you come from a God who loves you, how would your life change?
- If you always remembered that everyone else also comes from a God who loves them, would you treat them and talk to and about them any differently?