Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? (John 1:46)
Phillip had come to find Nathanael. He told him that they had found “Him”.
The One Moses prophesied of.
Joseph, the carpenter’s son.
And Nathanael wondered at the thought.
Can there any good thing come of Nazareth?
I read an article once about the stories we tell.
It talked about students in classrooms and how what their teachers said or felt about them mattered, even if the students never heard it.
My first class student teaching was hard.
I told myself that the students didn’t care.
I thought they didn’t want to be taught.
One day another teacher came to watch.
“These kids kind of bother you don’t they?” He said.
“If I can tell, they can.”
When he left I cried.
The Spirit whispered, “pray for them”.
And so I did,
for a while.
I prayed that they would listen, that they would come on time, and that they would be better.
That they would change.
And those prayers were the wrong ones.
The Spirit taught me that it wasn’t them who needed to change.
It was me.
So I prayed for me.
That I would love them.
And they weren’t different,
but somehow they were.
The stories I told myself about them were new. They were beautiful.
They were true.
And the class changed.
Jesus was in the temple when a woman taken in adultery was brought before him.
Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. (John 8:1-11)
The scriptures say she glorified God “from that hour and believed Him.
He changed her story forever.
God called Enoch to be a prophet.
Enoch was worried.
He was young.
He wasn’t a great speaker.
And nobody liked him.
And so God said,
Go forth and do as I have commanded thee…Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good…..all thy words will I justify;
and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me. (Moses 6:31-36)
The mountains fled, rivers turned, and Enoch walked with God.
He changed his story.
I have loved Jake for a long time.
Our first date was over 8 years ago.
He still loves me.
He lets me be different.
And I think it’s the most Christlike thing he could ever do for me.
Give me the room and permission to change.
The story he tells about me is better than I am.
It makes me want to be better than I am.
Phillip told Nathanael to come and see.
When Nathanael came to Him Jesus called out,
Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:46-51)
Nathanael did see greater things.
The heavens did open.
And our stories changed forever.
Now mistakes can be miracles.
A fall, a fall forward.
So I listen close to the stories I tell because He tells them better.
The Greatest of all came out of Nazareth.
That makes me happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!