Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
On a particular Monday morning I felt motivated to read the scriptures. But at the same time I was struggling. This discouragement was ringing in my ears – “hey you are lost. Why are you reading? You know you can’t do it.” Amidst this intense struggle, I was hoping to find just one word that would make my day.
I started reading from the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I was like, I know this, should I stop now?
It took me approximately another 931 words to get encouraged.
And here I was at John 1:46, ‘And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”’
Google informed me that Nathaniel the disciple of Jesus is mentioned only once in the entire Bible, and that too in John 1.
I was like, “Bro. Nathaniel you are only mentioned once. Though you have a meaningful name, how could you ask that question?”
I became curious as to why Nathaniel made that statement, so I started looking up for the history of Nazareth.
And this is what I found. Nazareth was a lost city, illiterate, behind the time, dead-end. Nazareth was a small village having a population of a few hundred. And after the death of Herod the great in 4 BC, the city was robbed over 2,000 Jews being crucified and the inhabitants being sold into slavery.
Their condition had been pathetic for a long time. They had no hope. They were lost. It seemed as if they had reached a dead-end.
And this is why, Nathaniel made that statement, because he could not believe that the messiah hailed from Nazareth.
When I understood this context, I began to compare this with my own personal life. I’m sure that there are many people who would ask, “can anything good come out of Jerin?” In fact, I have asked that question myself numerous times.
But as I read this passage, I realized that the answer is “yes”, because Jesus is the good thing that is there in my life. I was lost, dead in my sins and had reached a complete dead end.
Just like Jesus changed the history of Nazareth, He became the Way for me when I had reached a dead-end of my life. He saved me, giving me hope and future.
I guess every character in the Bible was somehow lost in one way or the other. And they were in pursuit of hope. But each of them became special as they got associated with God.
If Jesus is in our life, then we are not dead or hopeless. We have a great destiny and purpose in Him. He can rewrite our history.