Summary: There is a little or a lot of prejudice in all of us. It is so hard to admit, and it is so hard on us. It makes us blind to things that sometimes can help us.
Yes, I am PREJUDICED
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. (KJV)
46 Y Natanael le dijo: ¿De Nazaret puede salir algo bueno? Felipe le dijo: Ven y ve. (RVG04)
Here we have a young man named Natanael. He was from Cana of Galilee. This is an account of his first encounter with Jesus Christ.
We know only a few things about him.
1. He was genuinely honest.
That is a rare quality. So many try to be something that they are not.
Jesus recognized this quality in Natanael.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! (KJV)
47 Jesús viendo que Natanael venía hacia Él, dijo de él: He aquí un verdadero israelita en el cual no hay engaño. (RVG04)
Jesus is making a statement about Natanael being a person with nothing to hide; no deceit.
He is the exact opposite of what Jacob was before the Peniel experience.
Without a doubt, Christ has a great appreciation for this man. One thing that is very clear throughout the gospels is that Jesus had a great distaste for hypocrisy.
A hypocrite not only hurts himself, but does great harm to others as well.
With the same intensity that Christ hates hypocrisy, he loves sincerity to that same degree. It is out of sincerity that is produced frankness, simplicity, and honesty.
So it is that Jesus welcomes Natanael with this enthusiasm.
2. Evidently, Natanael was a devoutly religous man; a man of prayer. He had been studying and meditating on the Messiah who was to come. It was what he lived for.
Like others of that time period who anxiously anticipated the coming of the Lord. The watchword was Maranatha. In a general sense, it means "the Lord cometh", but it was used as a cheer, as a word of encouragement, as a password, and much more. Its use shows us the great enthusiasm that the early church had at the mere hint that the presence of Christ may be forthcoming; literally or spiritually.
3. A Defect of Sorts
When Philip told him about having found the Messiah, Natanael was overjoyed. This is what he had spent years awaiting. His emotions had to have been at an all time high. But one little word in the message from Philip almost ruined it all. When he heard the word Nazareth, his hairs almost stood on end. Why was this? The best we can figure out is that Natanael had know individuals from Nazareth who were of a questionable character. Maybe he had been wronged by a Nazarene.
Whatever it was, it was easy to perceive that Natanael had a prejudice against Nazarenes.
Definition of prejudice-----any preconceived feeling or opinion, either favorable or unfavorable.
Synonyms---predisposed, preconception, partiality, (predestinate).
We all have them.
Of course mine are not as bad as yours, simply because they are mine, and I can justify them.
Jesus had prejudices. Time and again, He had choice words and warnings towards the scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites.
God purposefully chose the Jews (Israel) to be his chosen people.
I cannot stand to be in an atmosphere of liquor. It is offensive to me; thus I have a prejudice against it.
I am prejudiced about being in a room filled with smokers.
I have a prejudice about socializing with sodomites. It is not against the people, but against their practices.
I believe that church is the place one needs to be on Sunday. I guess you could say that I have a prejudice about that.
I have a prejudice that the family that honors God, is one man and one woman, in holy matrimony, until death dost depart one of them from the other.
So you can see that some prejudices actually can be considered assets.
When we go before the Lord in prayer, who do we pray for the most? Naturally, our family and friends. Why? Because we have a special relation with them; we are partial to them, because we are close to them. That is a prejudice. We are biased.
But there are also prejudices that are liabilities.
Sometimes a prejudice will blind our eyes and stop our ears from knowing the facts.
It is easy to become prejudiced against people of certain color, race,creed, or ethnic background. Not every iraqi is like Sadam Hussein.
In Acts 22, there is an account of Paul being arrested by the Romans. He asked for permission to speak and began to converse in Hebrew. As he gives his testimony, they seem to calm down and give him great attention. Then, he tells of how God called him to preach to the Gentiles. At that point, they freak out on him. Why? They were very prejudiced concerning that topic.