January 16

John 1:43-46

“Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” vs. 46

Philip didn’t try to argue with Nathanael. It wouldn’t have done any good. As soon as Nathanael had heard where Jesus was from, he had discounted any possibility that Jesus could be the promised messiah. We’re like that in our interactions with new people. We have our own preconceived notions of value and worth, and when people don’t measure up, it’s an immediate black mark. And so we ask our questions, “Where are you from?” or “What college did you go to?” or “Who did you vote for?” and their answers color our perceptions. And there’s no amount of arguing that can change our minds. Philip knew that, and simply said, “Come and see.” And that remains for us the best way of changing hardened minds. Our prejudices are so ingrained that personal interaction is the only way to open our hearts to new possibilities and new friendships. Many times it’s those previously discounted folks who connect us to the incarnate Word in the most lasting and fruitful ways. They become sources of love and bring regular joy in the continuing relationship. Wonderful surprises come our way from totally unexpected sources, and it happens again and again. Sometimes those uncredentialed folks can even change our lives, just like Jesus did for Nathaniel and Philip. We’ll never know who they are until we stop talking and start listening!

Thought for the Day: My most unexpected friend.

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