Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.…
Suppose you were told that a peasant out of Ross-shire was a man on whom the whole history of the nation hung. Would you believe it without first saying, "That is a strange place for such a person to be born in"? Galilee was a despised part of Palestine, and Nazareth was a proverbially despised part of Galilee; and this Jesus was a carpenter's son that nobody had ever heard of. It seemed to be a strange head on which the Divine Dove should flutter down, passing by all the Pharisees and Scribes, all the great and wise. Nathanael's prejudice was but the giving voice to a fault that is as wide as humanity, and which we have every day of our lives to fight with — the habit of estimating people and their work, wisdom, and power to teach us by the class to which they are supposed to belong, or even by the place from which they come. "Can a German teach an Englishman anything he does not know?" "Is a Protestant to owe anything of spiritual illumination to a Roman Catholic?" "Are we Dissenters to receive any wisdom or example from Church. men?" "Will a Conservative be able to give any lessons in politics to a Liberal?" "Is there any other bit of England that can teach Lancashire?" Take care that whilst you are holding up your hands in horror against the prejudices of our Lord's contemporaries who stumbled at His origin you are not doing the same thing in regard to all manner of subjects twenty times a day.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.