Nearly 2,000 years ago a young man asked a question. “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” This question was posed by a young man from Cana of Galilee (John 21:2). Cana was a decent place with the strangest bride and groom who gave the best wine last at the wedding (John 2:9). Compared to Nazareth, Cana was an angelic place.
Mark Twain, yes, the famous writer, visited Nazareth and remarked that it was a horrible town that was located on the top of some sort of hill. The road up to Nazareth was hot and unbearably hard. One, especially Nathanael, would have expected better of the Messiah.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
See, Nathanael wanted to judge Jesus by what He knew of the physical Jesus, not the deity that was Him. Nathanael (and even Philip, he called Jesus the “son of Joseph”), for the time being, ignored that the Old Testament spoke of one who was to be born of a virgin.
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Nathanael ignored these prophecies until he met Jesus. Jesus called out to Nathanael.
“Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!”
Nathanael, obviously assessing the situation, replies, “Whence knowest thou me?”
“Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.”
Nathanael could only think of one thing, “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.”
“Because I said unto thee, I saw thee ‘under the fig tree’, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.”
So, the ultimate question is, “is Jesus Christ the Messiah?”
The ultimate answer?
Philip said it and now I repeat it, “Come and see.”