8/16/20 – “Meet Nathanael, a.k.a. Bartholomew”

Posted on : Aug 14th, 2020 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Can you recall the first time you felt or experienced prejudice?  It is a startling experience to realize you are making a judgement about another person merely because of a way in which they are different from you. Instead of seeing what you have in common, you see what sets you apart.

Not only is this something we grapple with, it seems to be a challenge through the ages of humanity. Our beloved Gospel stories also show encounters of prejudice.  We have several stories set in Samaria and from these stories, we learn of how Jews despise Samaritans.  In today’s story, we will encounter a man showing his prejudice toward Jesus, when he asks, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”  Even Jesus had to confront his own prejudice.  Read the story of Jesus and the Syrophoenician Woman and discover how she turns Jesus’ prejudiced heart. (Matthew 15: 21-28 or Mark 7: 24-30)

Perhaps we are supposed to struggle with our prejudices in order to rise above them to become better people!  Last week, Pastor Lisa led us in a very provocative experience of confronting our prejudices and provided excellent resources to utilize in order to start overcoming these feelings that set us apart and that create bias or even hatred in our hearts.  The world will certainly become a better place if ALL of us apply these processes of improvement to our lives.

Either coincidentally or set up by the Holy Spirit, I think the latter, this Sunday our featured disciple/apostle is a man who had to confront his own prejudice!  We will meet Nathanael.

In the story of his call to discipleship, which all took place under a fig tree, we will see how he overcomes his prejudice when Jesus extends an invitation to follow him.

In exploring his story, we will once again be given the chance to  challenge ourselves to realize that overcoming prejudice happens when we shift from the judgements we form in our heads to the openness that we create in our hearts.

I realize that preaching an extended sermon series is a tricky business as most of you will need to miss a Sunday here for there, especially over the course of the summer!  So, if you wish to keep up and not miss an apostle, then I invite you to send me an email with the date of the Sunday you missed, and I will be happy to send you that sermon.  This is my email:  joemcgowan@aol.com

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday!


Joe McGowan, Guest Preacher


A Reading from John 1: 43-51

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, ‘Follow me.’ Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Then, Philip found Nathanael and said to him, ‘We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ 

Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ Philip said, ‘Come and see.’   When Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him, Jesus said of him, ‘Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no guile!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘Where did you come to know me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.’

Nathanael replied, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’


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Topic: Worship August 16th
Time: Aug 16, 2020 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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