Nathanael answered him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip replied, “Come and see.”
I’ve often read this verse as one which demeans Nazareth and denotes a sarcastic tone from Nathanael. Yet after a little research, I found a different perspective–one that encourages me and I pray encourages you as well.
Instead of reading the above as Nathanael demeaning Nazareth, we should read it as Nathanael questioning God’s Anointed One being a Nazarene. In other words, Nathanael was really asking, “Can the Messiah come from Nazareth?” You see, everyone read the Scriptures and assumed Jesus would come from Bethlehem, and indeed He was born there, thus fulfilling the Scriptures. Yet He was also a Nazarene, another prophecy that many Jews had not considered since it had only been spoken, not written (see Matthew 2:23).
So how is this encouraging? Well, Nazareth wasn’t an area of high regard. It was considered lesser than the other areas of Galilee. Yet God chose His Son to be a Nazarene. The Savior of the world was raised in an overlooked area. He wasn’t popular. He wasn’t privileged. He was a carpenter’s son living life in a small town.
So where do you live? In a big city? A little town? A popular tourist destination? A town that rarely makes it on a map? Well, regardless your location, God has a plan for your life.
Go ahead and place your town where it says Nazareth: “Can anything good come out of _______?”
Can anything good come out of where you live? Yes! Yes it can. Because if God can call His Son out of a detestable city, He can easily call you out of where you are. It’s not where you are that determines your future; it’s whose you are. And you, my friend, are a child of the King. Therefore God has not only called you, but God can and will use you. If you let Him.
The reputation of where you are from doesn’t determine where you will go. God doesn’t look at situations and circumstances; He looks at hearts. And a heart like His is a powerful tool.
Therefore let God use you today. Allow His light to shine right where you are. And know that no matter where you are and where you are from, when Jesus shines through you, people will “...see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).