Nazareth, Norway, Nathaneal

“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” asked Nathaneal.
He was only saying what everyone was saying.
Jesus pitched up and said, “Well, now here’s an Israelite who tells it like he sees it!”
Nathaneal wasn’t sure he liked his tone. “What do you know?” he demanded.

Philip had a knack for explaining things to people who just don’t get it; possibly because Philip did not himself easily recognize boundaries of race, class, hostility, or velocity. His other claim to fame is running alongside the chariot of an highly placed Ethiopian eunuch, opening the scriptures to say, once again, “Come and see.”

Too innocent to recognize futility; too tactless to choose his audience; too excited to hold his tongue, Philip must have known that Nathaneal was a long-shot; yet he persisted.

“Can anything good come out of that _hole, Nazareth?” asked Nathaneal.
“Well, now, here is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit, who calls it as he sees it,” quipped Jesus.
“What do you know of me?” Nathaneal demanded.
“I know enough,” answered Jesus.
“Oh, Christ,” Nathaneal swore.
“You have no idea,” replied the Christ.

Philip, in the meantime, was pleased with his day’s work. He had spent time with Jesus, told his gospel story, led an old acquaintance to meet the Lord, all before supper time. For Philip, this was a good day.

Meanwhile, Andrew and Peter were watching from behind their beer.
“This one’s going to be trouble,” said one.
“Yeah,” said the other. “You know we have cousins in Nazareth, right?”
“I’m not saying trouble’s all wrong.”
They looked over at Jesus, Philip, Nathaneal, still deep in debate; then back at one another, brothers of few words.
“Cheers,” they said, raising their glasses.

About Rosalind C Hughes

Rosalind C Hughes is a priest and author living near the shores of Lake Erie. After growing up in England and Wales, and living briefly in Singapore, she is now settled in Ohio. She serves an Episcopal church just outside Cleveland. Rosalind is the author of A Family Like Mine: Biblical Stories of Love, Loss, and Longing , and Whom Shall I Fear? Urgent Questions for Christians in an Age of Violence, both from Upper Room Books. She loves the lake, misses the ocean, and is finally coming to terms with snow.
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