John 1:43-46 (NLT)
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
45Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
46“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
It’s interesting. Did you know that Jesus was a victim of stereotype and prejudice? He was from Nazareth! Could there have been a smaller, more insignificant town? It isn’t even mentioned once in all the Old Testament. Not only was it small, it was remote. The people there were poor and, therefore, lacked education and culture. Nathanael summed up the common opinion with his question, “Can anything good come from there?” Of course not, he thought. All the people there are stupid and unrefined. Nobody worthwhile—most of all, the Messiah—could come from Nazareth!
I think we can agree that it isn’t fair to lump all people in a certain group under a single stereotype. I think we can also agree that considering Jesus to be stupid and unrefined is ridiculous. But, you know, all prejudices based on stereotypes are unfair and ridiculous. Yet, they are happening everyday. Philip had the answer. He didn’t give credence to the stereotype. He ignored it in search of the truth. Then, he worked to dispel it among others, as he invited them to come and see for themselves.
Find a quiet, private place to meditate on that question. Ask God to reveal to you anything that is keeping you from being a faithful follower and needs to be cut out.
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.