When was the last time someone said you were good at something, whether it was your good cooking, your sense of good directions, or your good rapport with children? Believe it or not, we all are good at one thing or another. It could be that overtime you had a chance to cultivate your set of skills and expertise and when called upon to perform it, you do it without as much as breaking a sweat. Or perhaps it is your unshakable confidence within yourself that makes what you do so easy. Why is that? Whatever the case, easy or hard, you become known for what you do, including what you do for God.
Speaking of being known, in the New Testament of the Bible, Nathaneal questioned Philip, one of Jesus’ disciples, saying, “Can any good come from Nazareth?” Nazareth was the childhood hometown of Jesus Christ and Nathaneal’s question implied Nazareth was equivalent to some of todays harder neighborhoods or towns. In vernacular terms today, Nazareth was probably considered from Nathaneal’s point of view the “hood” of Galilee. Nathaneal clearly expressed his prejudice against Jesus’ old stomping grounds were the Savior of the World grew up. There are other passages of the scripture where Jesus’ humble upbringing was under much scrutiny in the Gospel according to John Chapter 1 verse 46 and in Matthew Chapter 2 verse 23. “There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, “He (Jesus) will be called a Nazorean.” At the time of his assumption, Nathaneal only knew part of the truth. Yes Jesus was from Nazareth, but more importantly, Jesus was also from God. “Can any good come from Nazareth?” and Philip’s response to Nathaneal’s inquiry was a simple one. Philip responded, “Come and see.”
This open invitation,”Come and see” echoed in another passage of scriptures involving a certain woman by the well in Samaria, who also invited others in her hometown to “Come and see a man who told me all about myself.”
The irony of Nathaneal’s statement is found in Chapter 1 of John verses 47-48, which states, “When Jesus saw Nathaneal coming toward him, Jesus said to him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathaneal asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered him, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Further in the passage Jesus went on to inform Nathaneal he would witness angels ascending and descending on the Son of God in John 1:51.
In each account Nathaneal and the woman by the well were first known for their skepticism and unbelief. But after an encounter with Jesus their unbelief was overruled by faith. Simply put, before Christ they were known by what they said. But in Christ, Nathaneal and the Samaritan woman were known for what they did–believing in the One who already knew them best.
In the grand scheme of things present and to come, the question is what will you be known for?