Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, ‘Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ (John 1:45-46)
Jesus came from a small town. Nazareth had no academy, no noteworthy buildings, no beautiful sights.
Nathanael couldn’t imagine that anything good could come from Nazareth. He assumed that the Messiah had to come from a more consequential place.
One of the things we see with Jesus is that He didn’t care about where anyone was from. It wasn’t an address or background or pedigree that impressed Jesus; it was people knowing their need for God.
When I was growing up, my grandparents warned me not to play with the kids who lived on the “wrong side of tracks.” I was always confused about this expression because there weren’t any railroad tracks that divided our neighborhood from the forbidden neighborhoods.
Jesus would never have used the expression “the wrong side of the tracks.” He wouldn’t have used that phrase because God owned both sides of the tracks and because He loved people from both sides. With Jesus there was actually no “wrong side.” We make Jesus sad when we try to divide up the world by who lives where.
When Nathanael met Jesus, Jesus said, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” (1:47). It quickly became apparent to Nathanael that instead of meeting a yokel, he was meeting his Lord and Savior.
Nathanael got over being a snob about Jesus being from Nazareth. He came to understand that what matters isn’t where a person is from but who a person is and who a person belongs to.
If we have any snobbery about where someone is from, Jesus encourages us to get over it. Because we all come from God, the town or address we come from doesn’t count for much. And, let’s remember that our home isn’t finally a place; our home is with God.