Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3604

Jump Start # 3604

John 1:46 “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’”

  Recently we took a wonderful trip to France. My wife and I cruised a river and spent a week in Paris and the area, including Normandy. I tried really hard to rest my mind, which is hard for me to unplug. No writing was the order I gave myself that week. However, I did jot down a few ideas that will be our Jump Starts for this week.

  This was not our first trip to Europe. We have been blessed to visit so many beautiful places and we often say to each other, “I can’t believe that we are here.” But Paris was different. I wasn’t really looking forward to this one. I was going along because of others and I would be a team player, but I anticipated it would be a long, long week. I didn’t know much about Paris and have always heard how dirty it was and how much the locals hated Americans. Just the right ingredients for a trip of a lifetime, I told myself. But how wrong all of this was.

  It was a fabulous trip. The French food is amazing. The people are extremely friendly. The history, museums and culture is top notch. Now maybe they polished the place up because the Olympics are a few weeks away, but it wasn’t dirty. We walked the streets and always felt safe. I would not recommend driving there, what a scare that could be, but we were on buses, taxis, subway and Ubers and had no problems.

  And, all of this leads to our verse today and the first thought from this trip: Assumptions. We hear the horror stories about surgeries, overseas cities, certain restaurants and even congregations. “You won’t like it,” we are told. Terrible service. Long lines. And, with that, we allow others to make up our minds for us. Because they have had a bad experience, we assume, that we will too.

  In our verse today, Nathanael is told by Philip that Jesus has been found. It’s not just Jesus, but the one Moses and the Prophets wrote about, indicating, implying and meaning, “The Messiah.” But Nathanael’s first words are built upon years of assumptions, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Because Jesus was coming from Nazareth, He couldn’t be the Messiah. Not from that place. If anything, the Messiah ought to come from Egypt, Rome, or most likely, Jerusalem, the city of David. But Nazareth?

  Assumptions—and many times, because of assumptions, we get ourselves into trouble. Consider:

  First, we can assume that most people in the world never read the Bible. Most couldn’t find Malachi if you paid them. Yet, YouVersion Bible app has been installed on 500 million devices worldwide. Why would so many have a Bible app on their phones and tablets if they never intended to use it? Assumption. Many of the great Biblical research scholars are those outside of our immediate fellowship. We use their credible work because it is helpful.

  Second, we can assume that where someone sits in a church building on Sunday morning is an indicator of their faith. Those who truly believe sit up front. Those that barely believe, sit in the back. And, as long as we keep believing this assumption, the more we sound and look like the Pharisees of old. We can’t judge the faith of someone based upon where they sit during worship. In fact, we ought to be very careful about judging anyone’s faith. Rejoice that everyone is there. Welcome all.

  Third, we can assume that the preacher knows just about everything and has an answer to every one of our questions. I love it when people ask me questions, but the older I get, it seems the less I know. Some of the greatest knowledge of God’s word is often found within the heart of one of the little widows that has known and walked with the Lord for decades. Don’t assume that the preacher is always right, because he’s not.

  Did any good come from Nazareth? It sure did. Jesus came from there. Jesus was more than good, He was the best. Don’t close doors because of assumptions. Find out. Do a little digging. Go see for yourself. You might learn that what you always thought, what you always heard, what you always believed, just isn’t so.

  And, for me, Paris is a beautiful city.