Started this on my my family vacation at the beach…just never finished!!
Here in John Chapter 1, we find a question and answer for the ages. Jesus is just calling his first disciples. He’s already called Andrew, Peter and John, now he’s calling Philip and Nathanael. He gets Philip first, then Philip goes to bring his friend to Jesus. “Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”” John 1:45 ESV.
We know about doubting Thomas. Did you know Thomas was not Jesus’ first doubter? Doubting Nathanael responds with an ageless question – “Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Fair question, isn’t it? Jesus hadn’t even turned water into wine yet. Is this young Nazarene carpenter really worth following? What makes him so special??
It really is a question that still lingers two thousand years later. Have 2000 years of Christianity changed the world? Are we better off for the life of Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God-with-us, than we would have been without?? What can we say to someone who basically has the same doubts Nathanael did 2000 years ago?
Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Brilliant!! Come and see. Come and see the flame years of oppression could could not extinguish. Come and see what crucifixions, beheadings, burnings at the stake and boilings in pots of oil couldn’t force followers to turn away from.
Come and see what kings and queens and guillotines couldn’t stop.
Come and see the hospitals and orphanages rising.
Come and see the beauty that inspired histories greatest art and most poetic literature.
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Did anything good come out of Nazareth?
Come and see the dry alcoholic.
Come and see the sober addict.
Come and see the bitter find joy.
Come and see the shamed forgiven.
Come and see hearts changed in SuperMax. (Side note – kinda strange we can bring Jesus into prison but not school, isn’t it?)
Come and see the church thriving behind closed doors under Communism.
Tell them, come and see.
I tell you, come and see.
“Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!””
John 1:46-49 ESV