Thesis: Jesus burst out of the box that we put him in.
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
- Can anything good come from Nazareth – SPY Lesson PowerPoint
- Walking Others toward Jesus Lesson Plan (pdf)
- Walking Others Toward Jesus Commentary (pdf)
John 1: 35-51 (main section in bold)
The following day John was again standing with two of his disciples.36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus.
Jesus looked around and saw them following. “What do you want?” he asked them.
They replied, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come and see,” he said. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon when they went with him to the place where he was staying, and they remained with him the rest of the day.
Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”).
The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Come, follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, Andrew and Peter’s hometown.
Philip went to look for Nathanael and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
“Nazareth!” exclaimed Nathanael. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?”
“Come and see for yourself,” Philip replied.
As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”
Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel!”
Jesus asked him, “Do you believe this just because I told you I had seen you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.”
Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-16
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
Opening activities: Nathaniel asks if anything good comes from Nazareth, so we will look at how we judge people based on where they are from.
I’ve Been Everywhere Man! Watch the video for the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere man”
Have students list as many locations that Johnny mentions in his song. (here are the lyrics)
Here are the places that he says (in alphabetical order): Adimore, Alaska, Amarillo, Amperdllo, Argentina, Bakersfield, Baltimore, Bangor, Baraboo, Buffalo, Cadallic, Catalina, Cedar City, Chadanocka, Chicago, Colorado, Costa Rock, Davenport, Diamondtina, Dodge City, Eldorado, Ellisburg, Fargo, Fond do Lac, Gravelburg, Habastock, Hakensack, Idaho, Jacksonville, Jellico, Kalamazoo, Kansas City, Knoxville, LaPaloma, Larimore, Louisville, Mattua, Minnesota, Nashville, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Omerback, Opalacka, Ottowa, Panama, Parkersburg Pasadena, Pittsburgh, Pocotello, Reno, Rexburg, Richfield, Salvador, Sarasota, Shasta, Shereville, Shreveport, Souix City, Springfield, Tampa, Tocapillo, Toronto, Tulsa, Vicksburg, Waterloo, Waterville, Whichta, Winslow
- Which of these places have you been?
- What has been the worst place you have visited?
- How might your experience there shape the way you view people from there?
- Are there people you look down on because of where they are from?
10 Best and 10 Worst cities to VISIT (according to www.escapehere.com): Use the list below to have the group rank the 10 best and 10 worst US cities to VISIT. (please note that these lists are very subjective)
Note: This activity is because Nathaniel asks if anything good an come from Nazareth. This may mean that Nazareth has a bad reputation. It is like me asking, can anything good come from New Jersey (right Karl?).
Visit the websites to see what the official rankings are.
Here is the list in alphabetical order: Anchorage, AK; Camden, NJ; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Hershey, PA; Honolulu, HI; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Memphis, TN; New Haven, CT; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Orlando, FL; Reno, NV; San Antonio, TX; St. Lois, MO;& Stockton, CA
10: New York, NY
9: Orlando, FL
8: Las Vegas, NV
7: Los Angeles, CA
6: New Orleans, LA
5: Denver, CO
4: Anchorage, AK
3: Honolulu, HI
2: San Antonio, TX
1: Hershey, PA
1: Detroit, MI
2: St. Lois, MO
3: Reno, NV
4: Cleveland, OH
5: Chicago, IL
6: Camden, NJ
7: Memphis, TN
8: New Haven, CT
9: Stockton, CA
10: Oakland, CA
- Do you agree/disagree with this list?
- Do you think the people from Detroit, St Lois, Hershey, or San Antonio would agree with their ranking?
Review the last week’s lesson by reading John 1:37-41
Jesus invites Andrew to come and see.
Andrew invites Peter to come and see.
Read John 1: 43-46
Say: We can assume that Philip was the other disciple of John (verse 35), and that he and Andrew were the ones that spent the day with Jesus.
- How does Philip respond to spending the day with Jesus?
Say: The same pattern is repeated. As we meet with Jesus, our response is to bring others to “come and see” Jesus. Meeting Jesus transforms us, and builds a desire for others to come and see Jesus.
Jesus invites Philip to come and see
Philip invites Nathaniel to come and see
- How does Philip describe Jesus in verse 45?
- How does that compare to Andrew’s description in verse 41?
- What does that say about their understanding of who Jesus was?
- What is Nathaniel’s reaction Philip’s description of Jesus?
- What might Nathaniel’s reaction his understanding of Nazareth or the Messiah?
- How is Nathaniel putting Jesus in a box?
Read Verses 45-49
Say: People often have their guard up when they first get to know someone.
- How did Nathaniel have his guard up?
- In what way did Jesus begin to remove the barriers so that Nathaniel could get closer to him?
- What was the secret that Jesus knew about Nathaniel?
- What does that tell you about Jesus?
- Why does that change Nathaniel’s perception of Jesus & the Messiah?
- How does that change Nathaniel?
Say: Nathaniel is changed because he realizes that Jesus really sees him and knows him.
Read Psalm 139: 1-6, 13-16
- What does this Psalm say about how intimately God knows us?
- Do you ever think about God’s intimate knowledge of you?
- What does that say about his love for you?
Say: When you invited people to come and see Jesus, they may also have their guard up. Most people, ourselves included have put Jesus in a box. They want to see Jesus a certain way.
Video: Sweet Baby Jesus From Taladega Nights. (Do not use YouTube version, I have edited the inappropriate things out of this video) Taladega Nights Jesus compress
- What are some of the ways these people put Jesus in a box?
- What are some ways real people put Jesus in a box? (ie: he was just a good guy, great teacher, he does not care about me).
- What are some ways that you have put Jesus in a box? (Leader, share examples with the class)
- How does Jesus shatter the boxes people put him in?
- How can we help others have a clearer picture of who Jesus is?
Make it personal:
- Confess the ways that you put Jesus in a Box?
- Ask that Jesus will shatter that box, so that you can know him better.
- Who are some people you can help to “come and see” jesus more clearly.