ODJ: dealing with scepticism

May 3, 2015 

READ: John 1:43-51 

Then Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God—the King of Israel” (v.49).

Organised religion is not for me,” a friend said to me recently. I have been praying for this friend’s salvation for more than 15 years, and every time we get together I pray that God will use me to lead her closer to Jesus. But she still seems so sceptical, and I’m afraid of saying anything that might sour our relationship.

I wonder, will my friend ever come to believe in Jesus?

Nathanael was sceptical about Jesus when his friend Philip shared excitedly, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth” (John 1:45). But Nathanael said, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” (v.46).

Nathanael’s response is understandable. All of us have a tendency to jump to conclusions based on past experiences and preconceived ideas. His perception of the people of Nazareth was negative; he didn’t see how any good could come from that village—including Jesus. And he couldn’t consider the possibility that Philip knew what he was talking about.

But Philip was undaunted. He said, “Come and see for yourself” (v.46). And surprisingly, Nathanael conceded. Perhaps he was searching for answers to life’s questions, and so he thought, “Why not give it a try?”

Soon Nathanael and Jesus had an amazing conversation—one in which Jesus showed divine knowledge to Nathanael. And like a light switch being flipped on, Nathanael suddenly exclaimed that Jesus was “the Son of God—the King of Israel” (v.49).

God knows how to reach the heart and mind of a seeker. So let’s continue to pray for our loved ones. And, like Philip, let’s continue to invite them to “come and see”.

—Poh Fang Chia

365-day-plan: Esther 2:1-23

Read Isaiah 55:1-11 for the Old Testament equivalent of “come and see”. 
What makes it difficult to tell sceptics about Jesus? What gives you encouragement as you reach out to those who are far from Him?