Tuesday, May 12, 2020
We are greatly influenced by what we have heard from others and what we believe would accomplish the greater good for people and society. We may be in denial about how much our thoughts and words are the product of pre-determined preferences. For example, our opinions about people, places, and politics are probably determined by what we have heard rather than by facts. We tend to draw conclusions and make judgments that are not in agreement with reality.
This is exactly what happened when Philip found Nathanael and told him about Jesus. In John 1:45-46, as Philip informs Nathanael about Jesus, he includes information about where Jesus is from. He probably learned this information while in conversation with Jesus. When Nathanael heard that the supposed Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament was from Nazareth, he responds, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Nazareth was a tiny, insignificant village known for its poverty. Surely the Messiah would not come from such lowly beginnings. Nathanael had bought into the cultural view of the Messiah, that He would be royalty and come from a place of prominence. He quickly made a judgment about Jesus based on what he had heard. He chose his personal preference of what to believe rather than experience the reality of who Jesus was.
We still do the same thing. We make judgments about people based on where they are from, what color they are, what status they have or don’t have, and other irrelevant criteria. Before we even get to know the person and hear their story, we decide whether or not they are worthy of our time.
There is only one productive response to people who make such judgments. It is the response Philip gives to Nathanael. “Come and see.” In other words, before you make your final declaration about the nature of any person, spend time with them. Observe them. Talk to them. Discover who they are on the inside before you make a judgment about them based on the externals.
Ponder this point today. How many people are excluded from your life because you made a hasty and uninformed judgment about them based on some criteria other than getting to know them?
Now, how can you fix that?