Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Can Anything Good Come from Nazareth?

"Nazareth!" exclaimed Nathanael. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" "Come and see for yourself," Philip replied. (John 1:46, NLT).

You can probably think of some place near you that everybody considers to be a dump. That part of town that good people simply stay away from, or that neighboring city that is crime-ridden, or that part of the country that is backwards, or immoral. Nazareth was just such a place in the estimation of others.

Indeed, the whole country of Galilee was held in contempt by the Jews; but Nazareth was so mean a place, that it seems it was even despised by its neighbors, the Galilaeans themselves -- for Nathaniel is from Galilee. "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" he asked.

Nathaniel thought that surely the Messiah would come from Jerusalem, Hebron, or some other prominent city. But, Nazareth? "You got to be kidding me!" See in this how close he came to letting his prejudice and false assumptions prevent him from meeting Jesus.

Is it possible that you may be "looking for Jesus" to come to you in so exalted a manner that you risk missing Him because He comes lowly, and riding upon a donkey?

What is your Nazareth? What is that thing or place -- or person -- through which the Lord wants to reveal Himself to you; but in order to see Him, you must get past your prejudice and opinions?

"Come and see," Phillip said to Nathaniel -- and he did so. And is so doing He found Jesus -- Jesus of Nazareth. And He can still be found today by those who are willing to "come and see."

Here's a poem I wrote about this --

N is for the nothing you will find there.
A is for the awful sight you see.
Z stands to say that it is last there.
A is anger walking in the streets.
R is really wanting so to leave there.
E is evil coming for to dwell.
T is trouble standing on the corner.
H of course has got to stand for hell.

Put them all together, they spell Nazareth.
Lowly town of ancient Galilee.
Can anything good come from such a place as this?
The answer is surprising as you'll see!
For out of ashes beauty has arisen,
and out of darkness light has come to be.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the answer.
Jesus Christ of Nazareth is He.

And now...
N is for the new life found in Jesus.
A is for the all He is to me.
Z stands for Zion's walls around me.
A says I'm absolutely free.
R is for redemption's blessed story.
E says that He is mine eternally!
T is for the thankfulness I give Him.
H is for the heaven where I'll be!

Can anything good come from Nazareth?
Can anything good come from me?



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