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From Nazareth?
Bible Passage John 1: 43-46
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2024 & book John.

From Nazareth?

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached January 2, 2024

43 The next day, Jesus decided to go away to Galilee, where he found Philip and told him, “Follow me.”

44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip found Nathaniel and told him, “We have found the man about whom Moses in the Law and the Prophets wrote—Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.”

46 Nathaniel asked him, “From Nazareth? Can anything good come from there?” Philip told him, “Come and see!”

John the Baptist baptised Jesus near Bethany which was in Judea. Afterward, Jesus decided to leave Judea and travel to Galilee in the northern province. He met a man called Philip there. Philip became Jesus’ disciple.

Philip was probably Andrew and Simon’s friend. They were all from Bethsaida, a town in Galilee. Like Andrew, Philip wanted to tell the good news about Jesus to other people. So Philip went to find his friend called Nathanael. Once we have that encounter with Jesus, we must also work hard to bring other people to Him. You must make it a part of your plan to evangelize people and bring them to the sheepfold. This is not an assignment for only a particular group of people, but all believers.

The other Gospels do not mention a disciple called Nathanael. But they do mention a disciple called Bartholomew, who was Philip’s friend. John did not mention Bartholomew. So it is likely that the names Nathanael and Bartholomew refer to the same person. Bartholomew was a second name, which meant ‘Ptolemy’s son’. So probably Bartholomew’s first name was Nathanael.

Philip was very excited because he had found the Messiah. But Nathanael was surprised that Jesus was from Nazareth (a town in Galilee). Nathanael was from Cana, a town near Nazareth. Perhaps the Jews did not like the town of Nazareth because some Roman soldiers were staying there. Or perhaps Nathanael thought that the Messiah would come from a more important place than Nazareth.

Our backgrounds do not matter to God. We may be despised and ruled out, but God is so good that He can use the seemingly foolish things of the world to shame the wise. You cannot give up on God because He has not given up on you. God will change your story and give you a new name.

Philip did not try to argue with Nathanael when he wondered how the Messiah could come from Nazareth. Instead, Philip invited Nathanael to see Jesus for himself. We can learn from this. We cannot persuade people to become Christians. It is better just to tell the good news about Jesus. We can tell people what Jesus has done on our behalf personally. We can tell them that we know Jesus as our friend. We can tell others of the peace Christ gives. We can invite them to believe in Him. Then, they will know His power and His love. He will be their friend too.

🔷 God can use anyone or anything to glorify His name. Your origin or background does not matter to God.

🔷 We must carry the message of Christ to others once we encounter Christ ourselves

🔷 No need to always argue with others about the word. Sometimes, walk away or let it be. The best is to confront people with Christ instead of arguing.

💥 Ask God’s grace and power to guide and lead you
💥 Surrender your life to Christ to be able to bring people to Him

The only way we can invite people to Jesus is to know Jesus ourselves. The best argument will be to say to people ‘Come and see’.

In series Bright Morning Reflections