Come & See

A sermon based on John 1: 43-51

When Philip invites his friend Nathanael to join him and meet this great new preacher, Jesus from Nazareth, Nathanael doesn’t have much good to say.

It’s not just that Nazareth was a small town, hardly worth noticing – though it was that.  It’s that for more than 100 years before Jesus is seeking followers, it’s been a political maelstrom.  Nazareth wasn’t a place for winners.

Do you relate to Nathanael, wondering what all the hoopla about Jesus is all about anyway? Or maybe you relate more to Philip, intent on telling the world about your Lord and Savior only to have the world rain on your parade.

The strange thing about this passage is that despite the best intentions of many “Christians,” Philip’s story doesn’t counsel us to argue doubters into belief. Instead Philip merely offers Nathanael an invitation: “Come and see.” And when Nathanael meets Jesus, he is indeed awestruck by a man who welcomes even doubters into a place of sincere belonging and love.

So our job as followers of Jesus, it seems, is not to bully disbelievers into belief, but rather to invite them into a truly welcoming and loving community. Which, of course, means we have to BE a welcoming and loving community. Are we up for the challenge?

See the full sermon here.