A post from several years ago about getting past our petty hang-ups.
43The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45Philip 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.” 46Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael 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.” 49Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” John 1:43-51
I get what Nathanael says in verse 46 of this passage. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” This morning I am listening to country recording artist Blake Shelton as I write. I try hard not to care for him or his music. It is not that I dislike country music at all. A majority of the 900 something CD’s I own are country. I just do not want to be a fan of his. I really do not have a problem with his personality; in fact when I have seen him on television he comes across as funny, personable, and engaging. You know those traits really screw up my efforts to not like the guy. See, he is from Ada, Oklahoma. I am from McAlester. The Ada Cougars were our number one arch rival. I graduated from high school almost 15 years ago, yet I still do not want to admit that good things can come from Ada High. So when Nathanael makes this comment about Nazareth I think about Ada. It makes perfect sense to me.
There is another somewhat famous person from Ada. He plays in the National Football League and shall remain nameless. He is very brash and cocky and seems to be a jerk. He comes across so abrasive he that he almost epitomizes how I want all people from Ada to be viewed. (Editorial Comment: Actually I think most people from this town are pretty good and very decent people, it is just old rivalries die slow and hard). I bet Nazareth had a number of residents that were known to be scoundrels and not so great characters. That is probably why Nathanael responds this way so quickly. His knowledge of and experience with the town must have not been so good.
My opinion of Blake Shelton changes the more I get to know about him. My opinion of people in Ada in general has drastically changed as I have gotten to know them and see them live their lives. Nathanael’s opinion of the ability of good to come from Nazareth changed because of the character and wisdom of Jesus.
There are multitudes of people in and around us who doubt anything beneficial can come from the Bible or that good can exist in those “church” people. It is up to you and me to change their opinions. We cannot do it on our own; in fact if we try that, we will fail. We have to do it by allowing Jesus to not only direct our steps but to fill the footprints as well.
Today I encourage you to leave His footprints by letting Him live through you in a manner that will change other’s opinion of Him.