Since the middle of the week, when I sat with some church and community folk to read and re-read the Gospel I have been praying on Nathanial’s question “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Nathanial was a lot like us. The commentaries say that the reference to sitting under the fig tree was an allusion to the practice of Jewish people who sat under the fig tree and studied Torah. When Jesus said “I saw you sitting under the fig tree” he was saying to Nathanial “I know you and I know that you have been waiting a long time for the Messiah and you know that way before you were sitting here God created the whole wide world and declared it good.”
Nathanial was yearning for something good to come and yet he doubted that this something good would ever arise from the back waters. His heart was in the right place but his eyes were clouded by his prejudice. Like our eyes are clouded, if not blinded, by what we think God’s gift should look like and where it should come from.
This week while praying on Nathanial’s question, I heard on the news terrible comments reportedly said by the President about people from Haiti, El Salvador, and African countries, places that you might call a Nazareth. I thought: We have not come so far. We, meaning the President and you and me too, have not come far from Nathanial’s question. When I hear Nathanial and I hear the President and I hear the rants and raves of the commentators, both the Bible commentators and the news reporters, I hear my… [Read more…] about Something good comes out of…