[We are, as you can guess, starting again with Jesus’ mission and ministry. Familiar ground. I will try to find new approaches and pondering as we review verses that we have previously seen. In fact, as I look back, this is the third time through for Year B. Yes, fresh approaches will be a challenge. ]
“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.” (Verses 43 – 45)
I have to wonder how Philip knew Jesus was the Messiah. A little further back in this passage, John pointed out Jesus as the “Lamb of God” to two of his disciples. John the Baptist would know, as he witnessed the Divine recognizing Jesus as the Godself’s own.
I get the sense of Jesus as a compelling person, who just commands attention and belief. No mystery there as to why. But I am also cognizant that Jesus picked disciples/followers who be receptive to him. Not weak easily persuadable men; but men of conviction who formed their lives around faith in Yahweh.
“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.” (Verses 46 – 48)
Nowadays, we might ask if you “saw” someone on Facebook or some other media platform, or in a picture someone took. But in Jesus’ time the only way you saw someone was to physically be there, or as Jesus had – Divine sight.
“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.” (Verses 49 – 51)
Jesus said quite often during his ministry, “he/she who has ears to hear and eyes to see” to loosely paraphrase. It takes “special” people to do that. Not so special that it is a rarity. But discerning enough that the call from the Divine has taken root in their hearts and spirits, and they are open to hearing and seeing. And Jesus found men and women who were instrumental in bringing about a change in the known world. And that change has continued to be experienced right down to today. Are you, beloved reader, the special pivotal type of person that Jesus and the Divine calls and calls forth? Have you been chosen to play a role in the ongoing mission and ministry of the Lord God? I pray that it is so. Shalom & Selah!