The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

John 1:43-46


In Jesus’ time the small town of Nazareth had a bad reputation politically. Being a Galilean or Nazarene was to be held in contempt. When Nathanael asked, he did not think the Messiah could possibly come from such a place. How could anyone from there bring forth anything good?

Prejudice like this is rampant in our world today as well. We think that good only comes from those with power, those who are economically well off, those with higher education. We tend to think that only bad news comes from the poor, from outsiders, from people with mental health issues and other disabilities. We look down on those less fortunate.

The trouble is that those of us who feel looked down on start believing we don’t deserve anything better. And how wrong that is!

The idea of prejudice, of one person having greater worth than another, did not come from God. In Philippians 2:3-4 the apostle Paul wrote the following about how to imitate Jesus: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

You can see how we should never buy into the idea of ourselves being less worthy – no matter how powerful, smart, rich, or good-looking others may be. If God made us different from others that could be a good thing. We will have gifts others might not have, making it possible to serve God in a special way. Each of us has such gifts. Each of us has worth. Each of us has the opportunity to do what might be least expected from him.

We are not Jesus, but when we follow him good can come from us as well – no matter who we are or where we come from.

Would anyone at the time have expected Jesus of Nazareth to have the impact he’s had on the world? If Jesus lived today, he would be considered the most unlikely world-changer. Yet he became the greatest influencer in human history.