I always wondered why Jesus insisted on calling Himself, “Jesus of Nazareth”, or “Jesus of Galilee”, until one day while meditating on the issue with a heavy burden in my heart, blaming almost every reason for failure on where I come from, gently, but firmly, the Holy Spirit led me to a Scripture, and I understood. The Pharisees were angry with Jesus for teaching with authority in the temple. When Nicodemus tried to defend Jesus, this was their argument:
“Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their number, asked, ‘Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is DOING?’ They replied, ‘Are you from GALILEE, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does NOT come out of Galilee.”
John 7:50-52 (NIV)
Also, when Jesus was “calling” the first disciples, Philip found Nathanael, and this is what happened:
“Philip found Nathanael and told him, ‘We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote about
Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.
‘Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?’ Nathanael asked.
‘Come and see,’ said Philip.” John 1:45-46 (NIV)
It was until Jesus told Nathanael that he had seen him standing under the fig tree (which from the context of the story, had to be impossible), that Nathanael believed Jesus was a prophet. And a prophet, at the time, was the highest spiritual calling bestowed on a Jew by God.
“When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, ‘Here is a true Israelite in whom there’s nothing false.’
‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.’
Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.’
Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.'”
John 1:47-50 (NIV)
There are some people that believe that good can only come from certain parts of the world, certain classes of people, with certain levels of education. This is NOT true. The Holy Spirit showed me another Scripture that proved God wanted to defy man’s logic and reasoning on this matter, so He sent His son from a low class family (with carpentry skills), and from a people least respected:
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things
and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.” 1 Cor. 1:27-29. (NIV)
If you find yourself in this situation, don’t despair, because God knows EXACTLY what He’s doing. EVERYTHING about you is not a mistake, but the intentional plan of God. Hear this:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, is the Lord of heaven and earth, and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath, and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him, and find Him, though He is not far from each of us. For in Him, we live, and move, and have our being.”
Acts 17:24-28 (NIV)
So don’t worry about the demographics/geographics. He got you covered from the foundations of the earth.
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom that has been hidden, and that God destined for our glory before time began.”
1 Cor. 2:6-7
He will prepare you adequately for every job He has called you to do, and every dream He has put in your heart.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Eph. 2:10 (NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, and who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, he also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God be for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all
how will He not also, along with Him, give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is He that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died more than that, who was raised to life is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written, ‘For Your sake we face death all day along; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Rom. 8:28-37 (NIV)
Like Jesus, to Nathanael, it is only until the world sees what you can do, what stuff you’re made of, before some will accept who God has called you to be. Some, still, will insist on being stubborn and resist you like the pharisees did Jesus, but people like that can’t get in your way. Here’s what God told Jeremiah, another prophet, who was going to be great, but would face fierce opposition:
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jer. 1:5 (NIV)
“‘Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the land … They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you, and will rescue you,’ declares the Lord.”
Jer. 1:17-19 (NIV)
In case you’re wondering, yes, God gave me this particular Scripture one morning in my time of prayer, because I’ve been called to tell people the truth of God’s Word. So, like Jesus, for that reason alone, the world will rebuke you. I, too, offer this Scripture to you as a balm to your soul. Don’t let anything, including where you come from, stop you or keep you afraid.
Finally, I leave you with this! Selah.
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