Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathaniel. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” “Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied. (John 1:45,46 NLT)
Relate: Nazareth! Nathanael was incredulous. Perhaps it was past experience or merely rumor that led Nathanael to believe that nothing good could come from a place like Nazareth. Either way, he was less than enthused by what Philip had told him. This did not cause Philip to dismay; he knew he had met the Messiah. Rather than argue or debate with Nathaniel, he simply said, “Come and see for yourself.”
Jesus looked at Nathanael and spoke truth about him. It was in this moment that Nathanael realized Philip had been right about who Jesus is. Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the son of God—the King of Israel.” When people have a genuine encounter with Christ, there is no need to convince them of the validity of his position. There is no denying his majesty as Jesus looks into our hearts and tells us who we are.
React: There are many people that believe nothing good can come from the church. The church is often viewed as a place full of self serving hypocrites and judgmental, close minded individuals. Sadly, some of these views have come from people’s experience while others are based on rumor. Either way, we need to do our part to change that. We can’t do this through confrontation and debate. Instead, we need to show people something different than what they have already experienced or heard. Our churches need to be a place where others can encounter the presence of Jesus.
The church is not restricted to the inside of a building. We can bring the presence of Jesus with us wherever we go. When we have seen the power of Jesus first hand, we can invite others to come and see the truth of the redeemer for themselves. People don’t need another lecture or an argument. They need to be introduced to one who can speak to their hearts, change their names, and heal their wounds. Because we know the reality of who Jesus is, we can say to others, “Come and see for yourself.”
If you have not yet had the opportunity to encounter Jesus for yourself, I invite you to read the Bible (starting in the book of John), attend a church that is alive and active with the presence of our savior, or join a group of believers whose lives demonstrate the love of Christ.
God, I want to be a conduit for others to see you for themselves. Help me to rely on you more and walk closer to you so that who you are can shine through me. I welcome your presence in my heart, my home, my work, and my church. I pray that you would help me to know how to bring others to come and see you for themselves. Amen.