Do you know who you are or do you let people tell you who you are?

what was it about Nazareth that made

them push away the one who came to set

them free what was it about Nazareth

well Nathaniel is gonna tell us

Nathaniel doesn’t get a lot of speaking

parts in the Bible so let’s pay close

attention it’s very uncommon that

Nathaniel speaks but the Bible tells us

one thing that he said that this whole

text and our entire understanding of why

God often cannot do what he wants to do

in our lives it hinges on this because

when Philip came to find Nathaniel he

was excited about Jesus this is when

Jesus was first assembling his squad

this is before he sent them out to do

any miracles and Philip comes running up

to his friend Nathaniel

he’s called Nathaniel in John’s Gospel

other writers call him Bartholomew

he had an alias here he’s called

Nathaniel and Philip comes to Nathaniel

because sometimes the first thing you do

when you really meet Jesus is drag

people with you

sometimes when God really gets ahold of

your life you will bribe people into

coming to church with you you’ll buy a

Starbucks to get them to sit with you in

church because you know how messed up

they are but you can’t tell them that

but if you drag them in this church and

let me open the Bible God will tell them

and together the Holy Spirit and you can

get them fixed and so you say come with

me to church and they say I don’t like

Church and you say well this isn’t

normal Church and they say I’ve been to

church before I heard about that

evolution Church I don’t really uh know

animation in the church yeah that’s the

church where you’re coming with me now

shut up and come and so philip found

nathanael verse 45 john 1 and told him

we have found the one somebody shot we

found him this is the one Moses wrote

about in the law and whom the prophets

also wrote watch Jesus of Nazareth

where’s he from again Nazareth the son

of Joseph and Nathaniel’s reaction

helped me to understand why the people

of Nazareth resisted Jesus and missed

his miracles and it helped me understand

why I tend to push people away sometimes

and it helped me understand why

sometimes I reject the love people are

trying to give me but really I’m

rejecting something else because when

Philip said we found the one Nathaniel

was excited but when he said where he

was from Jesus of Nazareth Philip say 46

as Earth let me do this in my best AI

voice practice Nazareth

NASA someone as ER

watch what he says it hinges on this I

thought they only rejected Jesus and

took offense and were trapped scandal on

to set a trap I thought they were

offended by Jesus because they were so

familiar with him but now I think the

reason that they rejected Jesus is

because they rejected themselves

apparently Nazareth had a reputation

because the first thing that Daniel said

was Ezra can anything good come from

there that’s how I feel about myself

sometimes you know because I know myself

and when they took offense at him at

first I was angry with them then I

realized they weren’t really rejecting


they had a reputation Nazareth is this a

backwoods town Nazareth is on nobody’s

bucket list they talk funny in Nazareth

it’s not like Jerusalem it’s not a very

religious place Nazareth you mean the

boy with a baby daddy who were not even

short Nazareth he came from us it wasn’t

that they couldn’t believe what he did

they couldn’t believe it came from them

his miracles to them were remarkable but

when they tried to reconcile the fact

that he was one of them with what he was

doing they they couldn’t reconcile the

fact that something good could come from

us and when you have a view of yourself

that has been shaped year after year

even generation after generation by

stereotypes or by generalizations or by

failures it comes to a point where you

really start to believe that nothing

good can come from you and some of you

are right there today trapped in

Nazareth because you got some things in

your past and some of them aren’t even

your fault but just because it wasn’t

your fault doesn’t mean it’s not your

prison and in this room there is sexual

molestation that happened twenty-three

years ago and still dominates your

perception of what your future can be

and there are many in this room who are

still imprisoned in a failed

relationship the relationship failed

five years ago but you are living in it

in this very moment Nazareth can

anything good come from someone like me

he’s just like us he’s one of us and

they were amazed at first and then they

began to despise what they were first

amazed at when they realized wait a

minute he’s one of us there’s a part of

us that is able to believe that God is

great but when we try to reconcile the

fact of his greatness with the reality

of our brokenness we start to feel like

these people and we push Jesus away and

it’s not that we can’t believe that he’s

great it’s just that we can’t believe

that anything good could come from our


because there’s so much that I don’t

know and there’s so much that I should

have done it so much that I shouldn’t

have done and now I’m trapped in

Nazareth because see I’ve made some

mistakes and I know Jesus is a healer

and I know he’s amazing and I know he’s

a miracle worker it’s not his

miracle-working power that’s in question

here is me I’m trapped in Nazareth it’s

me and I’m a preach to all of your

facade comes falling off because you

come in this church and you look at me a

certain way and you come with this

sterile approach to God but he can’t do

what he really wants to do in your life

because you’re trapped in Nazareth so

you listen to me preach you sing a few

songs you say a few prayers but Jesus is

limited in what he can do through your

life because you are trapped in what you

were Nazareth was so unknown and so

disregarded that Nathaniel’s first

response was not Nazareth not Nazareth

like the devil tells you not you you

really think you can race those kids you

never saw it done what makes you think

you’re gonna be any better than your dad

was is what tells you you can’t it’s

what can be in proximity of the power of

God but not receive they were right

there but they resisted and rejected and

yet it wasn’t Jesus they were rejecting

it was that they had been rejected and

people have said something about you

long enough you start to believe this

really true

and I am convinced that the people of

Nazareth that day

we’re not rejecting Jesus as much as

they were rejecting themselves see you

have to develop your view of who God is

through the prism of who you think you

are and if you believe the rest of your

life that you are worthless it will be

very hard for you to worship a God who

thought you were worth dying for


as a matter of fact I want to helps set

somebody free who has been disappointed

because someone rejected you a lot of

times they’re not rejecting you a lot of

times what they are rejecting is

something that had nothing to do with

you and sometimes they push you away

because there’s something pushing on the

inside of them a lot of what we

experience as rejection is really just

projection it’s people who have been

disappointed who have been hurt and now

you’re thinking what’s wrong with me

why doesn’t she appreciate me it’s not

you she doesn’t appreciate it said she

can’t appreciate herself because she has

not yet healed from something sometimes

when people are pushing you away it’s

not even about you stop being so

self-centered stop thinking that people

are responding to you people have real

hurts people have real issues sometimes

they can’t get over what happened to

them to celebrate you will you love them

anyway are you strong enough in God is

your relationship with him strong enough

to know that what they say about me

doesn’t change who I am


men’s denial cannot block my destiny

Jesus was still a prophet whether they

knew it or not whether they celebrated

him or not whether they rolled out a red

carpet or ran him out of town he knew

who he was

do you know who you are or do you need

people to tell you who you are because

if you let people tell you who you are

they’ll say you’re just a carpenter

they’ll say you’re just a single mom

they’ll say you’re just a teenager

they’ll say you’re just a divorcee but

if you know who God is you realize your

life is not defined by an event Oh as a

matter of fact it actually is that event

happened on a hill called Calvary when

He shed his blood for me when the

precious Lamb of God look

me through time and said I’ll die for

him so now I know that I am accepted by

him hey thanks for watching if you

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