John 1:45 – 51
Philip found Nathan’a-el, and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
Nathan’a-el said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
Jesus saw Nathan’a-el coming to him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
Nathan’a-el said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Nathan’a-el answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these.”
And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
How many times have we written off a person, before meeting them?
We are conditioned and we condition ourselves to simplify the world, by attaching general labels, even with insufficient data.
Labels include – “People from that tribe are idol worshipers”, “Everyone in that religion or with no religion will go to hell”, “They are immoral, look at their dressing”, “They do not read the bible in that church”, and many more.
Even the holy are prone to hasty generalisation, if they do not cultivate the habit of checking.
Jesus extolled the qualities of Nathan’a-el – “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”. Yet, even Nathan’a-el was guilty of hasty generalisation – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Interestingly, in spite of Nathan’a-el’s bias, he heeded to Philip’s nudging to “Come and see”.
For many of us, we will rather cut relations with Philip (and miss the opportunity to meet the Son of God), than open up to anything or anyone that threatens our bias.
Nathan’a-el might have had an error in judgment, but he demonstrated the humility to follow Philip’s advice, and not stay fixed on his stand.
When he met Jesus, the experience made him proclaim to a man from the same Nazareth – “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
Delay judgment. Engage.
There is an opportunity to meet the Son of God in every human, you only need to come and see.