“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?’” (John 1:45-46)
Jesus came from a small town. Nazareth had no recognized academy, no noteworthy buildings, no famous citizens, and no beautiful sights.
Nathanael couldn’t imagine that anything good could come from Nazareth. He assumed the Messiah had to come from an important and consequential place.
One of the things we see with Jesus is that He didn’t care about where anyone was from. It wasn’t an address or background, or pedigree that impressed Jesus; it was people knowing their need for God.
When I was growing up, my grandparents warned me not to play with the kids who lived on “the wrong side of the tracks.” I was always confused about this expression because there weren’t any railroad tracks that divided our neighborhood from the forbidden neighborhoods.
Jesus would never have used the expression “the wrong side of the tracks” because God owned both sides of the tracks and because He loved people from both sides. With Jesus, there wasn’t actually any “wrong side.” We make Jesus sad when we try to divide up the world by who lives where.
When Nathanael met Jesus, He said, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (1:47). It quickly became apparent to Nathanael that instead of meeting a yokel, he was meeting the long-awaited Savior of the world.
Nathanael got over being a snob about Jesus being from Nazareth. He came to understand that what matters isn’t where a person is from but who a person is and who a person belongs to.
If we have any snobbery or judgment about where someone is from, Jesus encourages us to get over it. Because we all come from God, our address doesn’t count for much. Our home isn’t finally a place; our home is with God.
- Do you ever make Jesus sad by dividing up the world by who lives where? If so, what could you do to make Jesus happy?
- If you always remembered that everyone’s home is with God, would you see or treat or talk to some people differently?
- If where you live causes you to think of yourself as less than or greater than others, what is today’s scripture saying to you?