Can Any Good Come Out Of…?

LeRoy Koopman

READ : John 1:43-51

We’re not quite sure how serious Philip was when he asked Nathanael the rhetorical question, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (v. 46).

He may merely have been making a wisecrack. Or maybe he was verbalizing the kind of half-friendly, half-contemptuous rivalry that often characterizes neighboring towns, especially when basketball or football teams are competing.

Or maybe Philip was serious. Perhaps he regarded Nazareth as a hick town that never had amounted to much and deserved no respect. Perhaps he viewed its citizens as backward, uncouth, unfashionable, uneducated, and even detestable. Perhaps he judged the citizens of Nazareth, not as individuals in their own right, but only as citizens of a certain town.

Can any good come out of the inner city? The farm? The deep south? Appalachia? The suburbs? Across the tracks? The Midwest? The East? California? Canada? The United States? Mexico? Africa? The Middle East? Russia?

We all have concocted our stereotypes, you see stereotypes that contain just enough truth to make them plausible and just enough falsehood to make them dangerous.

Yes, Philip, some good can come out of Nazareth.


Help me, God of all creation, to evaluate others on the basis of character, not on race, class, place of residence, or country of origin. In Jesus’ name. Amen.