Come and See: An Advent Devotional – Day Sixteen

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow Me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
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.”
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.

As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel — a man of complete integrity.
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.
Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God — the King of Israel!”

— John 1:43-49

Notoriously known for little, Nazareth was perhaps the last place from which Nathanael would expect the Messiah to hail. This simple village was looked upon with disdain and skepticism, and conspicuously was not a place honored with a position in prophecy as was the little town of Bethlehem.

In typical 1 Corinthians: 1:27-28 fashion, God chose to work His miracles through mysterious means. Thwarting the wisdom of the world by running counter to its logic, God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly and despised things of the world, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast in His presence.

Things like choosing an unwed, teenage girl named Mary to birth the Savior of the world. Choosing to bypass kingdom hallways for an isolated manger as Messiah’s birthplace. Choosing a simple carpenter named Joseph to raise the Son of God in the nondescript village of Nazareth. What good could possibly come from such humble beginnings?

“Come and see,” God smiles.

God’s ways remain mysterious to this day. He calls us to wait upon Him as we patiently endure times of testing. He challenges us to be courageous and to place our trust in Him, no matter how hopeless things may appear to finite eyes. And sometimes He calls us to “Come and see” good in the most awful of places. Not to just sit by the wayside, but to activate our faith as we move toward it against all odds. To open our eyes and search for good coming from the least likely places. The invitation to Nathanael remains the same one extended to you and me today.

“Come and see,” God smiles. “Come and see.”

Jesus knew the secrets of Nathanael’s heart. He knows yours, too. He sees both the hope and the doubts as we struggle through our pain. “How can this be God’s will for my life? Can anything good come from it?” we find ourselves wondering in the midst of our own personal Nazareths.

“Come and see,” God smiles.

Bring your cares to Me and we will put them together with My power, here where mankind is reconciled with Divine. Come and see the very One whom the prophets foretold. Come and see the Messiah.

What good can possibly come from this (whatever your “this” may be)?

What good, indeed: It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God: our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. — 1 Corinthians.1:30

Wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and redemption —  the greatest of gifts can come from the lowliest of places.

“Come and see,” God smiles.

come-and-see-1FOR REFLECTION
Do you find yourself in an unlikely place for seeing the goodness of God? If so, you are in a perfect position to experience the miraculous presence of Messiah come. Jesus continues to show up in the most unlikely of ways in unlikely places to seemingly insignificant people. Which makes all of us prime for His presence.
What steps can you take toward seeing the good in your present situation? Are there things you can do to improve the situation? If so, then determine to do those things today. If, however, you are facing a trial that is beyond the help of any human efforts, rest assured you are are still seen by Jesus. He knows exactly what you are facing, and He also knows exactly how to intervene on your behalf. Ask Him to do so, beloved, then be willing to take a step toward the good He is extending. Ask for eyes of faith to see His kingdom advancing, even if it seems like the least likely place to find Him. Come and see, dear friend. He is near. Open your eyes to the wonder of Messiah come for you.

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