Does Prejudice Keep People from Jesus?

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth!” “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered. John 1:45-46 HCSB

World War II resulted in prejudice toward Japanese people in the United States. The Germans displayed prejudice against the Jews. Today many Americans exhibit prejudice against people who appear to have Middle Eastern descent post 911. We all have observed people who are prejudiced. They may dislike someone because of his skin color or the geographic location of residence in town. Their preconceived ideas suggest that those who have a certain skin color or socio-economic class are not worthy of acceptance.

Nathanael had a preconceived idea that nothing good could come from Nazareth. Evidently Nazareth was despised by the Jews because it housed a Roman government post. There may have also been a lax attitude toward religion and moral standards in Nazareth that caused Nathanael to have such a poor attitude toward the town. Regardless of the cause, Nathanael was prejudiced toward the people from Nazareth and as a result, he almost missed Jesus. Fortunately he did not allow his prejudice to get in the way and he went with Philip to meet Jesus. Biblical scholars believe that Nathanael was Bartholomew, who later became one of Jesus’ disciples.

Challenge: What prejudices do you have? Are you allowing them to keep you from ministering to certain people in the name of Jesus Christ? Do not allow your prejudices to keep you from Jesus. Who have you told about Jesus this week?

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