“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

A Man Who Overcame Prejudice

(Please read John 1:43-51)

May 21

Nathanael’s name occurs only twice in the gospel accounts, here and in John 21:2. Both times he is listed with apostles, indicating that he also was an apostle. He is not mentioned by other gospel authors, while Bartholomew is not mentioned by John. Thus it seems probable that he and Bartholomew were one and the same. Apparently he lived in Bethsaida, the city of Andrew, Peter and Philip.

The sequence of events in John 1 shows that a chain reaction occurred after John the Baptist hailed Jesus as “the Lamb of God” (Verse 36). Peter was one of John’s two disciples who heard that and began to follow Jesus. He then found his brother Andrew and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (NIV). The next day Jesus invited Philip to follow him, and Philip went to tell Nathanael, identifying Him as Jesus of Nazareth.

But Nathanael didn’t seem impressed by the news which was causing the others to rejoice. It must have been a downer for Philip to hear Nathanael grouse, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael reached a prejudgment (prejudice) about the matter which could have kept him from meeting Jesus. Fortunately for him, Philip persisted, “Come and see.” It was to his credit and everlasting benefit that Nathanael followed that advice.

Don’t you suppose that most of our prejudices are as ill-founded as Nathanael’s was? In our decisions, especially those with possible eternal questions, let’s try to lay our prejudices aside and “come and see” the evidence that matters. May God bless you in that effort this very day.

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