Can anything good come from Nazareth?

Saint Bartholomew, Apostle (Feast)

How easy it is to judge people and situations only based on “earthly” assumptions!   That’s what Nathanael did when he first heard about Jesus. Nathanael, who is thought to be the same person as Bartholomew, saw only a carpenter’s son, a man from a small town in Galilee.   But when Jesus told him, “I saw you under the fig tree,” Nathanael’s eyes were opened (John 1:48).   He saw Jesus in a whole new light—not just a man from Nazareth, but as “the Son of God” and “the King of Israel” (1:49).

It can be very challenging to look at things through the lens of God’s great wisdom. Nathanael made his first disparaging comment about Jesus before he had encountered him.   But once Jesus spoke with him, Nathanael’s vision was enlarged.   He saw that Jesus already knew him and that he had a wonderful future in store for him.   After that one conversation, Nathanael’s life was never the same.   He chose to follow Jesus. In turn, Jesus chose him as one of the Twelve.

Like Nathanael, we too may see only the earthly reality but miss the heavenly one.   We might wonder, “What good can come from X situation?” or “What good can come from Y relationship?”   But as he did for Nathanael, Jesus wants to open our minds and give us a heavenly perspective.   He wants to help us see everything in a new light, the light of his love and his purpose for all of our lives.

Let Jesus open your mind today.   Close your eyes and picture yourself resting under the shade of a leafy tree, like Nathanael.   Imagine Jesus walking toward you.   He sits down next to you, looks at you intently, and says, “Before the creation of the world, I saw you and I loved you.   Now what’s on your mind?”   Go ahead and share your heart with him.   Then wait and see how he responds.   Even if you don’t hear anything in that moment, trust that over time, Jesus will open your eyes to see your life in a heavenly light.

God has “greater things” in store for you (John 1:50)—and he wants you to set your sights on them, even now!

“Jesus, open my mind and my heart today to heaven!”

Revelation 21:9-14
Psalm 145:10-13, 17-18

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