What Good Can Come From Da Hood?

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Bible, Forgiveness, Inspiration, Neighborhoods, Ron's Thoughts

In the book of John (1:46), Nathanael, the soon-to-be disciple, is told by Phillip to come and meet Gsus of Nazareth, who he says is the saviour who Moses and the prophets talked about. Nathanael astonishingly asks the question, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?”  This was a rather sarcastic response from someone who apparently had many doubts about Gsus, just because of the place he came from.

In order to understand Nathanael’s statement, you have to know a little about Nazareth. While we fondly think of Nazareth now as the place where Gsus grew up, we have to understand that Nazareth was really a pit, a rather nasty suburb of Jerusalem, the capital. It was the Humboldt Park of Jerusalem, a place with little respect and a place that everyone avoided. To put it another way, back in the day, Nazareth was considered to be the hood. That’s why Nathanael asked in true astonishment, “Can any thing good come from there?” In essence, he was saying, “What good can come from the hood?” Yo, dog, have you ever heard that same sentiment expressed about your hood??

If you look around, there are lots of Nazareths in the Chicago area. These are places most people try to avoid at all costs. You know the places, the ones with gangs, high crime rates, no housing, and bad services!  They’re the places where people don’t prosper and just try to survive. Sometimes people do things they shouldn’t,  just to make ends meet. Maybe you’ve heard someone ask, “Can anything good come from Humboldt Park?”, or “Can anything good come from Austin?”, or “Can anything good come from Woodlawn?”,  or “Can anything good come from Lawndale?”  Well, I’m going to say this right now and up front: if you hear that about your hood, or if you already believe that song and dance, it’s a lie. Never forget, Gsus came from the Nazareth hood and that’s as good as it gets! Jesus changed his hood and, in fact, he changed the world.

So what about Gsus? He had it all going for him, right? Not exactly! Keep in mind that Gsus didn’t come from a palace or a luxury penthouse. Not even a nice neighborhood. If you remember your Christmas story, Gsus was born in a cattle trough with animals in a barn. This was a less than auspicious beginning for the saviour of the world. How about you? If you were born in jail, maybe in the back seat of a car or the back room of a house, or if you were born in some other less than respectable way, maybe without a dad or born to a mom that couldn’t wait to get rid of you, here’s the good news, Gsus brings hope to the hood and he brings beauty to all the dark and lonely places of our lives. In his own words, Gsus said that he didn’t come to save the healthy (well-off and arrogant), but the sick (downtrodden and hopeless). He didn’t come to call the righteous but sinners (Matthew 9:12). And in case you forgot, Gsus didn’t just come a deliver his message to the hood and split. He stayed and took the great violation when he died for the hood with all its sin and tragedy.

So, what’s all this matter to you? Let’s face it, stuff happens in the hood.  Got any bodies?  Got any thefts?  Got any robberies?  felonies? How long is your rap sheet?  A history of slinging drugs?  Are you dirty? Been heavy into ganbanging?  Well, you’re the type of person that Gsus came for! So, whatever hood you come from, remember that Gsus came for you; he came for the G. He came, no questions asked. He’s not asking why you shot that dude. He’s not asking where that drug money went. He’s not asking who all you banged. He’s not asking if you’re going to church or even if you’re a Christian.  He’s walking right down Division street looking for you, right down Austin Avenue calling out for you; right down 67th Street holding out his arms to take you back. All he’s asking is whether you want something better than what you have, something that will give you life and hope, something that you can proudly pass on to your kids. If so, he’s ready to give it up to you with no strings attached.  All you have to do is open the door to your heart and let him in. Remember this, the problem is not whether you live in the hood. The problem is whether the hood lives in you! Gsus is the one that can take the hood out of you, so while you may physically be in the hood (and that includes jail and incarceration), you can get the hood out of you be letting Gsus take its place. He’ll remove the hood from your heart and replace it with the peace of God that goes way beyond anything you can hope, dream, or imagine. That’s a pretty darn good trade. Then, the next time someone asks, “What good can come from da hood,” you can say, “Hey bro, I came from da hood. Me and Gsus together, that’s about as good as it gets!”

If you want to know more, see a local pastor or get in touch with us at Crossfire. In the meantime, you can begin by saying this prayer:


I been in the hood ma whole life and done lots of things I wish i hadn’t had to do. Sometimes I see dem in ma dreams and just want them to go away. Even if I don’t see them, I know what I did and it makes me sick. I want to make it right, but I know I can’t make it right myself. I’ve tried and nuthin works. This guys sez, yu’ll forgive me of all that bad stuff – slingin, bangin, and even killin. I believe that Gsus came to earth from heaven and died to pay for my sins sins. I believe that he rose from the dead and that he has forgiven my sins as no one else can do. I need that forgiveness bad and I ask that all my sins be forgiven. I want to  kno that yur real and willing to help me make a new start. I got baggage so it won’t be easy but I believ that if you will help me, it will happen, just like he sez. So right now, I’m askin yu to come into my heart, and transform my life. Forgive me of evryythin bad i done. I kno i need you, without doubt, but its hard to walk away, so even if I play the G for a little while, guide my steps and watch over me. teach me your ways and open my eyes, help me to grow and walk away from this life, no matta wat. Give me and my family a new start. Reveal yourself to me just like dis guy sez yu will. Make me willing to turn away from this life and serve yu, no matta what. Thanks God!

If you sincerely said that prayer, God has heard and has forgiven you of all your sins. You are starting on a new journey that leads away from sin and takes you closer to God. I’m not sure where that journey will lead you, but this much I’ll guarantee you, it will be an amazing journey. Find a good Bible believing local church (ask us for suggestions if you don’t know of any). Start reading your Bible by reading the book of John. Start praying and make a practice of talking to God everyday. And let me know if I can help.


ps. Here’s a couple of raps for you to consider:  

Gangstaz Pain by Preachas in the hood: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9hm84LZkts

Take me as I am by Lecrae:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHlxQnr9Y0g

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