Stereotypes

October 21, 2020

43 The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” 44 Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew, and Peter’s hometown.

45 Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”

46 “Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”

“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

47 As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

48 “How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.

Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

49 Then, Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”

50 Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.” -John 1:43-51 NLT

The wording in verse 46 is essential. “Come and see.” The question asked is, “Nazareth! Can anything come good from there?” What we experience in life is stereotypes in different situations. For example, in the NY Times, people told real stories about racially stereotyping someone. One woman accused a young man of stealing change from a woman drinking at the bar after the young man asked for a drink of water. Coming to find out, the woman left the bar and took her money with her. She regrets blaming the young man for stereotyping him, in other words, automatically assuming that all black men steal. Moral of the story? Do not automatically think that all black men steal. With Jesus, there is so much stereotyping in today’s world that it is unbelievable. Learn about Jesus instead of doubting and questioning the things the Messiah can do for you or others.

People will act like they are someone they are not. That can annoy so many people. Here is the beautiful part about that. Jesus knows who we are. You can’t fake Jesus, but people will pretend in front of you. Jesus knew who you were from day one. If you are not an honest person, then you will be uncomfortable at the thought that someone knows you, and you didn’t know it. That speaks volumes about the character of that person. If you are an honest person, then you will be comfortable knowing that someone knows you. There is nothing to hide since you are being who you are and not have to pretend. Be bold, be who you are without having to pretend. You will peacefully be knowing you don’t have to make up story after story. Nathanael couldn’t believe Jesus already knew him. When Jesus told him he saw him under the fig tree, he was surprised. Jesus reminded him that he believes because he saw him under the fig tree.

Finally, Jesus added that Nathanael would see heaven open and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. In Genesis 28:12, Jacob’s dream is on the record for what he experienced. Jacob saw this in his dream. Understand that when Jesus says things like this that it is not supposed to be seen by the human eyes physically. Believing Jesus is essential because things like this are supposed to happen from a spiritual aspect. These are things that most people won’t see. If Jesus says that you will see something, believe it, and be ready for you to see it only. Jesus didn’t intend for anyone else to see what he have you seen.

Father, thank you for today. I pray during our times of meditation that we can see what you want us to see. Not everybody can see what you have for each person. Let us understand that you are faithful to us and that you will never deceive us. Remind us that there are stereotypes in the world about you and that we should not let it distract us from you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Resource:

Phillip, N. (2018, May 25). 9 People Reveal a Time They Racially Stereotyped a Stranger. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/reader-center/racial-stereotypes.html 

Author: Darren Watts

My name is Darren. I started sharing devotions in June 2019. As one of the ministry leaders at my church. One reason why I started devotions is because of the lack of inspiration and motivation in our lives. It is hard to be encouraged with a lot of negativity going around. I invite you to be encouraged by the word of God. Our struggles can be personal, at the workplace, and the lack of community in our lives. When we go through hard times, we need the word of God. Please read them and be encouraged. I also started a podcast talking about racism and discrimination. Please take a moment to check that out as well. Afternoon Coffee Break with Darren Watts.