"The next day He wanted to set out for Galilee." —John 1:43
Nathanael (Bartholomew), like many people from Jerusalem and its surrounding area, was prejudiced against the "hillbillies" from Galilee (see Jn 7:52). When Philip announced to Nathanael that Jesus was the Messiah, the One of Whom Moses and the prophets spoke, Nathanael responded: "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" (Jn 1:46) Nazareth was a village in Galilee. To accept Jesus as the Messiah, Nathanael had to repent of his prejudice against Galileans. In fact, the first thing Nathanael had to do in following Jesus was to go with Galileans (like Peter, Andrew, James, and John) to a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee (Jn 2:1). Next, he had to spend a few more days in Galilee (Jn 2:12).
If Nathanael ever grew to like the company of Galileans, he still had to face further challenges. Jesus called His disciples to also relate to the despised Samaritans, the shameful tax collectors, and even the untouchable Gentiles.
Following Jesus involves breaking down the walls between races, nationalities, and enemies (see Eph 2:14). Following Jesus is putting brotherhood and sisterhood in Him ahead of our selfish concerns. Accepting Jesus means accepting His family — all of His family and the entire human race.
Prayer: Jesus, in You there does not exist "Jew or Greek, slave or freeman, male or female" (Gal 3:28), black or white, rich or poor. May I see others as You do.
Promise: "The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." —Rv 21:14
Praise: St. Bartholomew followed the lead of his beloved Savior and embraced all people even at the expense of his own life.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Pride and Faith on audio AV 64-1 or video V-64.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010
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