Philip had a bunch of information about Jesus.
He was the one that Moses wrote about. He’s one that the prophets wrote about. He’s from Nazareth. He’s the son of Joseph.
From one little conversation with Jesus, it seems, Philip knew a lot.
We guess this because right after Jesus invited Philip to follow him, Philip went to find his friend, Nathanael. And Philip told Nathanael everything he knew about Jesus. And Nathanael, responding to this sweeping review of Old Testament history, responded with “Nazareth! Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
Here’s Philip pointing to the biggest story ever, and Nathanael focuses on the competition between Purdue and IU, the tension between Michigan and Michigan State, the rivalry between Webster and Siren.
Nathanael was from somewhere other than Nazareth, some other little town in the region. He heard one little detail that he could pick up on, that he could pick on. And pick he did.
Nathanael was exactly like us. People try to show us things, offer hope, provide information about someone who can make a difference. And we point out where they came from, what school they didn’t graduate from, what their parents didn’t do, couldn’t accomplish.
Rather than dealing with the possibility that we could be wrong, we zero in one little thing that we think we know.
And Philip provides the only possible response. He doesn’t argue. He doesn’t debate football team statistics. He doesn’t question Nathanael’s intelligence or discernment or lack of sophisticated travel.
Philip tells Nathanael, “Come and see.”
Of course, Philip could say that with confidence. Because he knew Jesus.
We work hard to convince people about facts about Jesus. We work hard to convince ourselves. Philip was convinced enough that he didn’t have to argue with his friend. Instead, he simply said, “Come and see.”
And Nathanael did.