“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip. (John 1:46)

This hits my soul at exactly the right spot. Nazereth was not known for its nobility, its brilliance or for producing prophets. Nathanael is taken back that Jesus, the claimed Messiah, would come from Nazareth. This why he asks, “Can anything good come from there?”.

This resonates with my soul. 

I’m young. I’ve only walked a short time on this earth, but I have seen and felt pain that has ripped into my soul. A great deal of this pain was due to my family bearing the name of Christ. A great deal of this pain was also caused just by being human. 

One of the many things that I have learned while in D.C. is that we all walk with a limp. Sin has reached its crooked claws into many families, relationships, workplaces, and communities. We all are trying to hide a slight stagger. We do our best to hide the lame leg, or the deformed foot, but sooner or later we lie on our face and people see our hurt. 

But why do we hide such pain in the first place? What makes us think it is wise to disguise our limp? I believe we have entertained the same question Nathanael posed to Philip, “Can anything good come out of _____?” You fill in the blank. Insert your pain, your past, your bad relationship, your wrecked marriage, your broken family here. 

Sin knocks us down, pain fills our hearts and instead of reaching out to community we entertain the thought that redemption is impossible. 

The devil plays the mockers role, and asks, “Really! Can anything good come out of this? Will you actually be made whole? Ha!” 

When this thought grows, and rolls around in our head, we start to actually wonder. We wonder if anything good can come out of this pain. We wonder if we will be made whole. We wonder and are filled with fear and distrust. So we hide our limp, we hide our broken gait, and just wince quietly. 

But Jesus was from Nazareth. 
From the minute Jesus enters the world he makes it clear that his speciality is redemption. It’s Philip’s response that really pulls my heart strings. He simply says, “Come and see.” We are invited to follow, to see, and to trust. 

Can something good really come out of this pain? Jesus invites us to come and see. 

The end of the story is not unknown. Good really does come out of Nazareth. Jesus goes on to redeem a world of darkness, and bring hope to a hurting world. Jesus actually goes on to be the greatest good the world has ever seen. Good did not just come out of Nazareth but the greatest good came out of Nazareth!

The same God that brought redemption from an unexpected place brings wholeness and beauty from unimaginable pain. 

Although the soil of pain is costly, the seeds planted in this rich field, have the potential to grow into beautiful things

Good things do indeed come out of our pain. 

Instead of concealing our limp, let us stagger to our Father. 
Let us ask to simply touch the hem of his cloak. Let us receive His healing touch. 

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