"Can anything good come from Nazareth?" —John 1:46
How do you deal with a bigot? What do you say to someone who is racially prejudiced? Nathanael (Bartholomew) was prejudiced. He judged Jesus to be a "no-good" Nazarean before even meeting the Lord. Nathanael is apparently a person who judges others by the color of their skin or their place of birth. How do you deal with him?
Philip did not argue with Nathanael but simply invited him to come and see the Lord for himself (Jn 1:46). Bigots need an invitation to meet Jesus. The Lord alone can search, convict, and transform their hearts. Jesus affirms Nathanael and calls him a real Israelite without guile (Jn 1:47). Although he doesn't deserve the compliment, Nathanael accepts it. His hard heart is beginning to melt. Very shortly, he acknowledges Jesus as Son of God and King of Israel (Jn 1:49). Bigots need to receive the invitation to meet Jesus and then receive His unconditional love.
Prayer: Jesus, change the bigots in the world and the bigot in me. Convict me of my sin. Lead me to repentance and confession.
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 expressed his repentance of prejudice by accepting Jesus' call to join the ranks of the Twelve, which were composed of some of those he had prejudged.
Reference: (To deepen your love for Jesus, "come away for a while" to one of Presentation Ministries' discipleship retreats: Beyond the Life in the Spirit Seminar, September 28-30, 2005; Mother/Daughter Retreat, October 23; Ethics of Life, November 4-5; and Men's Retreat, November 19. For information or to register, call 937-587-5464 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005
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