And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. – Jn. 1:46 KJV
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Jesus Christ was about starting his ministry on earth and needed to build a team to support him in the accomplishment of his task on earth. The occasion of his baptism and the comment of John the Baptist made Andrew decide to go with him after which he brought Peter who is his brother. Jesus, the following day found Phillip in Galilee, who after interacting with Jesus Christ, got convinced about his messianic nature and decided to announce to all he met about his new discovery. One of those who heard the testimony of Phillip was Nathaniel, who out of unbelief made the statement that is the foundation scripture of today’s devotion.
The statement revealed the view of at least Nathaniel, if not more people about the city of Nazareth. As far as they are concerned, nothing good can come out of the place. What a terrible conclusion to make about a place and all its residents. Whatever it is that may have happened, how could that explain the writing off of a city, its present and its unborn generations but then that is the nature of man, especially those who have mortgaged their soul to doing evil.
Today’s Christian, if not already a victim of such conclusions, should thank God but remember that they are prone to such conclusions being made about them. For no definite or proven reason, conclusions have been made about you and your destiny in life. The belief is so entrenched that from generation to generation, this conclusion is passed and continues to gain ground. It may even be conclusions that presents your entire family, immediate and extended in such a bad light, that no one wants to deal with anyone around you.
The effect of such negative conclusion could just be why everyone keeps a distance from you. That could just be the reason for all those negative reactions you get from friends and neighbours. That could be the reason for that sudden change of mind of that person that promised to help you out of the uncomfortable situation you are in. The sad part of this kind of negative conclusions and reactions of people is that, in most cases, no one tells you anything but their reaction indicates that they believe the story, and that is when they do not have any proof and have never tried to ask for one.
The Christian who is faced with this kind of situation arising from negative conclusions really has a battle to fight because, it is one thing to have a defense but it is another to be able to find all those that have been fed with such stories, and to convince them of the falseness of such conclusions. The latter is definitely a near impossibility for man using natural abilities. The only way to go at this stage is to turn to the Lord and maximise every opportunity to re-write the story.
In the scripture today, Jesus Christ was going to be the victim of that same situation that is facing you today and his approach to resolving it remains the standard to be used in overcoming it. Jesus Christ himself is most likely aware of such a tag, after all he grew up there in Nazareth unless the view was held only by Nathaniel, which is unlikely to be the case, but seeing a new face in Nathaniel, he immediately turned on the charm and had only positive comments about to make about him. It was the reaction of Jesus Christ to Nathaniel that immediately changed his view that no good thing can come out if Nazareth. He instead became the carrier of a new and more correct version of the story. Something good has eventually come out of Nazareth and he can confirm it.
You may have been written off now but the solution is not for you to become hostile or attempt to convince such negative minded people with words. Let your actions speak for you. Let your light so shine before those negative news carriers that they may see your good side and not the wrong picture that has been painted of you. That is the only way that God’s name can be glorified through you – Matt. 5:16. Plead with God to grant you enough grace to overcome all these negative conclusions that are dragging you back and there is no doubt that you will be able to eliminate all the dregs that such negative views have brought into your life. May God grant such prayers in Jesus name. Amen.