46,47 “Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’ Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said of him, ‘Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!’”
John 1:46,47 (ESV)
When the doctor walked into the hospital room, our daughter, very pregnant Bethany, greeted him with these confident words, "Let's do this!" Five minutes and two pushes later, our first grandchild was born!
Good expectations are a powerful thing. So are negative ones. To confess is to confirm.
Our belief and unbelief factor so strongly into any given day. What we choose to believe about ourselves and others proves either toxic or beneficial.
Let's take a look at how Jesus dealt with expectations in the text, and let Him give us some valuable pointers.
WE STRUGGLE WITH UNBELIEF: It sure gets in our blood. We fail to hold good belief in ourselves or others or both.
We too often want the best but expect the worst. Jesus witnessed this bleed-out upon first meeting Nathanael.
JESUS SEES THE BEST IN US: Jesus's first words to Nathanael were so praiseworthy. He set a high, positive expectation for him in their first meeting. That had to feel so good.
Jesus always sees more in us than we see in ourselves.
JESUS SEES THE WORST IN US, YET LOVES US STILL: Though Jesus saw Nathanael bring an unwarranted, unfair expectation right out of the gate, Jesus responded positively, forgivingly, beautifully.
He loved the unlovely. His positive focus was not determined by the circumstances around Him. His love and respect flew above, unconditional.
“COME AND SEE” CHANGES EVERYTHING: Expectations changed wonderfully for Nathanael, as they did for Philip.
A move, a good look toward Him, went on to change everything. It always does when we come and see Jesus for ourselves.
Reflect: How are you doing with the expectations you set for others and yourself? Are you dealing fairly? Are you letting Jesus set some good ones for you?
Is there enough “come and see Jesus” taking place in your life?
A prayer to consider: LORD, thank You for seeing more in me than I see in myself. You express such life-giving words.
Help me set right expectations for myself and for others. Coach me to great expectations. I will continue to come and see!