Turn off your cell phone, TV, or radio. Listen to the silence that is around you. Listen for God to speak to you.
John 1:43-51 (NRSV)
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. 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 to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get 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 he 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.”
Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
Nathaniel is described “truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit” The Message translates this as “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.” I bet most everyone has a friend like Nathaniel. He strikes me as a “no nonsense” fellow who is clearly skeptical. He also appears to be one to pass judgment on someone based on his personal opinions as evidenced by his sarcasm when Philip referred to Jesus as being from Nazareth. I imagine him to a proud man who was easily not proven wrong. But when Jesus told him that he had seen him under a fig tree earlier, Nathaniel was amazed. I, too, have a tendency to be skeptical and sarcastic. I have to be reminded to “come and see” as Nathaniel was invited to do. I think during this season of Epiphany it is important for us to open our eyes and see Jesus in our everyday lives; especially when we are sitting complacently under our fig tree.
Holy and Amazing God,
May we always be mindful of your presence in our lives throughout our journey even when it seems mundane. Help us to see Jesus in those around us and not become complacent in our faith. In Christ’s name, Amen.
Go with God!