Philip and Nathaniel

When it comes to invitation, Nathaniel is a hard nut to crack.

He does not share his friend’s enthusiasm about Jesus. Even worse, he has already formed his own opinion about Jesus based solely on the fact that Jesus is from Nazareth.

In fact, Nathaniel is quite blunt about it, asking: “Can anything from Nazareth be good?”

I can imagine how Nathaniel unwillingly, no doubt with a smirk on his face, follows his friend Philip. He probably just wanted to make the point that nothing good could come from Nazareth.

And that is where God meets Nathanael.

We all know people like Nathanael, don’t we? People who have already decided that nothing good could come out of an encounter with Christ.

Some of them have serious reasons to believe that their negative assumptions about God and believers are true.

Do these people even deserve an invitation? How do we approach them and invite them to encounter the living Christ? In this gospel Philip provides us with an answer to how we could make such invitations work.

Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez
Associate Pastor of Grace Groups & Discipleship

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